Taking Meeting Minutes

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The style of minutes has changed a lot over the last ten years – there is less emphasis on verbatim notes and more focus on actions.  The saying goes, “prior preparation and planning can prevent poor performance” and this applies as much for taking meeting minutes as it does for any other task.  So, if taking minutes for meetings leaves you in a cold sweat, here’s a few tips to get you ahead of the game:

Agendas and Papers

If you’re not the person preparing the agenda and papers, ask for copies along with previous minutes and make sure you review them before the meeting.  This will help you anticipate the discussion and decisions that need to be made.  It will also give you a guide as to what actions might arise.

Templates

Use previous meeting minutes and/or the agenda to create a template for your minutes. Most meetings will follow the order of the agenda and often the meeting papers will outline the decisions or actions to be taken. You can prep these in your template, meaning you can better focus on what is said in the meeting.

Speak to the Meeting Chair

The Chair will be able to guide you on how formal the minutes will need to be. They will also be the person who has the final sign off on the meeting minutes, so can give you guidance on the level of detail and format they expect.

 Choose your Technology

Some people still prefer to take minutes using paper and pen. Others prefer going straight to the laptop. Personally, I prefer to take minutes on the laptop as I type quicker than I write and if the agenda order changes, it’s easier to shift things around. If you are planning to use a laptop make sure it is fully charged or that there’ll be a plug close to where you are sitting. It’s also helpful to keep your original typed document, creating a new document when it comes to the editing process.  Always make sure you have a notebook and pen just in case your technology doesn’t work!

Arrive Early

Be the first one in the meeting room. Make sure any technology you plan to use is working and, as above, if you’re using a laptop, choose a seat close to a power supply. As people arrive, if you don’t know them, introduce yourself and make yourself a seating plan – this will make it easier to note who said what and who has received actions in the meeting.

Minute taking is a great skill to have, regardless of your role within a company, and it needn’t be daunting.

Holiday support: is it time to think about it?

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The last half term has passed us by for this school year and it will be the summer holiday in ‘only’ six weeks’ time, seven for some!  Not long, is it?  While children, no doubt, are looking forward to the time off, it can be a frantic time for parents who are employed, let alone run their own businesses. Continue reading “Holiday support: is it time to think about it?”

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation!

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Over the past few months, I have been helping a client move offices, relocation, relocation, relocation! Moving from the Isle of Wight to the mainland (a real change of scenery). I have visited both the Isle of Wight and the chosen area in the UK during the past few months, so some on-site work rather than virtual for a change!

However, initially, the sourcing of the new office was started by searching the internet for possible options and making lots of telephone calls. Continue reading “Relocation, Relocation, Relocation!”

Networking adventures, part two

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It’s been a little while since I wrote my first networking adventures blog, here comes part two……………

In December 2015, I met the wonderful Heather Waring, founder of Waring Well.  Heather is a coach who combines walking with her coaching practice to inspire women, helping them to find the space they need.  Initially I met Heather to discuss public speaking, however our conversation took an unexpected turn when she told me she was looking for a VA.  The meeting quickly turned into a getting to know each other session for both of us and I am pleased to say we are now working together. Continue reading “Networking adventures, part two”

My advice to new Business Owners

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As a business owner I regularly attend different networking events. I enjoy meeting other businesses and it’s a great opportunity to build connections and get advice. At a recent event we were asked to break in to groups and discuss what we would do differently if we started out in business again and what advice we would give a new business owner. It was a really interesting discussion with lots of common themes across the groups. I thought I would share with you my thoughts about starting up a new business. Continue reading “My advice to new Business Owners”