To improve the quality of a board meeting, you need a good interaction of many aspects, so one of them is a well-written minute of the meeting. Experts say that the best minutes are the ones that are not overloaded with a lot of information, are easy to read and understand. And to achieve this, the minute’s keeper must be able to create proper notes during a board meeting. If you are new or want to upgrade your skills, in this article we will look at how to take notes at a board meeting.
Preparation Guidelines Before a Board Meeting
Below we will look at the steps a secretary needs to take to prepare thoroughly for an upcoming meeting:
- Aware of your role and how your board works
You should be clear about your role on the board, your responsibilities, and your tasks. To do this, you can refer to Robert’s Rules of Order, which guide virtually all board meetings, and your board’s unique rules, which are outlined in the company’s bylaws. If you are in doubt about any points, you can check with your board chairman.
- Prepare a template of minutes in advance
Having a template will help the secretary navigate the meeting better, so they are more relaxed and organized. Not only will you save yourself time creating a new document, but you’ll also have a better understanding of how to create notes. Be sure to agree on the format of the minutes with the chairman, which will be a great reference point for the deputy for all future meetings.
- Carry the necessary materials to the board meeting
Regardless of your preference for creating notes: handwritten or typed, you should make sure you bring everything you need with you. It would also be a good idea to have your Plan B materials with you in case there is something wrong with your usual way of taking notes.
How do you take meeting notes like a pro during a meeting?
During a meeting, the following guidelines should be followed for successful note-taking:
- Mark your attendance at the board meeting
Depending on how your board works, go into action before or at the beginning of the meeting. Mark directors present, absent, and late by crossing out their names on the minute’s template or otherwise.
- Fill out the minute’s template as the meeting progresses
To make it easier for you to generate official minutes later, you can organize your notes by signing each note with the number of the agenda item to which it corresponds. The notes should indicate the final decision on an issue, the motions passed, the member who moved the motion, the lists of members in favor and against during the vote on each issue, and (if any) conflicts of interest and how to resolve them.
- Record the end time of the meeting
Record the exact time of the beginning, end, and adjournment during the board meeting. Also, if the board has already decided exactly on the next meeting date, write it down, too.
- Get copies of all reports
Contact the member who presented their report at this meeting to get a copy.
After the board meeting
After the meeting is over, the secretary should begin to formulate the minutes, the sooner the better. You will have a better chance of expanding or correcting your notes in the heat of the moment. You must then share the finished minutes with all attendees, and the best way to do this is through the safe space of a whiteboard portal. This will allow you to keep them in one place for a long time and not have to worry about their integrity.