After you have collected your attendance sheets, flip charts and notes and you get everything home, you’re done until just before the next meeting, Right? WRONG!! Now is the time to finish your minutes.
Tips for Finishing Minutes
- Do it Now. You have all the information, things are still fresh on your mind (and the minds of other participants, if you need to contact someone for clarification) and you haven’t put anything away yet where you might lose it.
- Consolidate Notes, Templates, Flip charts. Use your preliminary minutes and “fill in the blanks” to ” flesh out” the minutes. Since you knew the agenda, the hand-written info on the prelim minutes and flip charts it shouldn’t take long to complete what transpired at the meeting.
- Signpost the Minutes. Using a format that helps locate what was donre, is an easy way to help the membership read and reference their minutes. Called signposting, this is a publishing technique that allows each section to be identified and has a “header” to identify what was transacted during that portion of the business meeting. Typical signposts are: Call to Order, Attendance, Minutes approval, Treasurer’s report, New Business, Adjourn. Although these headings could be placed before each paragraph, or as the first words of the paragraph (as I do in this blog), I prefer a two column layout with the headings to the left and the body of the corresponding minutes section in the right section. This makes it very easy to scan the left column for specific motions when I want to look back and find them.
Next. Contents of Minutes.