Minutes and agendas

Minute-taking is demanding. Anyone who has taken full minutes of a meeting will acknowledge that they are one of the hardest types of document to write well.

Skills needed

To write minutes we need to be good at listening, and quickly select and analyse ideas. We need to take comprehensive notes at the speed of the spoken word. We also need to agree ground rules that support an understanding with the chair, and have the self-confidence to interrupt for clarification.

Minutes and agendas emphasises practical techniques for improving our minute-taking. Throughout the day we discuss what works best for us and every topic is reinforced through practise.

  The course exceeded its objectives and was more helpful than I thought it would be.   Alison L

Attend this course to

  • understand the importance of planning for meetings;
  • develop a structured approach to making notes;
  • manage the challenges of speed and distraction;
  • use effective listening techniques; and
  • produce well-written, comprehensive minutes.

Minutes and meetings

In Minutes and Agendas we look at how a meeting is a ‘controlled discussion’ and what this means for us. We examine conventions for formal and informal agendas. In particular we emphasise the importance of the support of the chair when intervening and checking facts.

Note taking

Note taking is the evidence of the meeting, and we practise the process of PSQOR (prepare-select-question-organise-review). This is combined with a structured approach based on BDDA (background-discussion-decision-action). We explore options for taking notes (such as linear – pattern – verbatim) and their techniques.

Practical results

In Minutes and Agendas we are encouraged to practise minute-taking skills in a supportive environment where we identify bad habits and replace them with best practise. The result is minutes that are clear accurate records.

  Really engaging, with a lot to take back.   Tahera M