High-speed presentations, rambling discussions, unclear decisions, and vague action items at meetings without agendas make life hard for meeting note-takers, writes Lynn Gaertner-Johnston. Here are a few of her tips for organizing meetings that are easier to record, which she shared in her recent e-newsletter.
- Have an agenda and distribute it in advance. This helps the note-taker know what is relevant and important enough to record.
- Include outcomes rather than just topics on your agenda. For example, “Discussion of team emails” is a topic; “Agree on best practices for team emails” is an outcome. That outcome tells attendees to work toward agreement, and it informs the note-taker to listen for and record best practices that the group has agreed upon.
- Help the note-taker come prepared. Be sure the note-taker receives copies of presentations in advance to be ready for any unusual vocabulary or technical terms. Talk with the note-taker before the meeting about how much information you would like to have recorded in the meeting notes.
- Summarize throughout the meeting so attendees will know what the group has accomplished. This helps everyone know decisions, action items and key points.