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Effective remote board meeting #3: The minutes

Silvan van Hierden
Wednesday 20 May 2020

Effective remote conferencing is not just about the meeting moment itself, but about the entire meeting process. This process ranges from preparing your meeting and drawing up the meeting agenda, to drawing up the minutes. In this blog you can read about how to effectively create good minutes of your online meeting.

Why taking minutes is part of effective meetings

Tips & tricks on effective meetings often focus only on the meeting moment itself. A shame! Throughout the entire meeting process, you can meet more effectively with a few simple adjustments. In other words: get the same or more out of your meeting with less time and effort. It is precisely when drawing up the minutes that you can waste time unnoticed. Both your own working time and that of the meeting participants. The tips below will help you write good minutes quickly and efficiently. 

1. Effective note-taking? Good preparation is half the work

If it is a recurring meeting, you probably attended the previous meeting and took the minutes of that meeting yourself. You are then, of course, (quite) aware of what is going on. In the case of a new meeting or a separate meeting, reading in advance is extra important. It helps if you know who will be present and what will be discussed. It is also nice if you have a clear purpose for the meeting, so that you can take this into account when working out the minutes. In this way you keep your focus and only write down the important issues.

2. Optimize your internet connection

If you want to be able to take minutes effectively, a good internet connection is crucial. Disruptive online meetings are disruptive to say the least. These are often caused by several people using the same internet connection at the same time. This has to do with the bandwidth of your internet, which is limited. You will immediately notice the quality of your online meeting connection when someone is simultaneously watching Netflix via streaming and someone is playing an online game. Then there are hiccups in image and sound and it is impossible to follow what is being said, let alone make good minutes.
 
Conscious use of your bandwidth is therefore not an unnecessary luxury. For example, download the Netflix series in advance and make agreements about the internet use of others during your online meetings. 
 

3. Easily convert your 'Agenda' into 'Minutes' and avoid duplication of effort 

Make sure that you, as a notary, are aware of the functionalities of your meeting software and thus avoid unnecessary work. For example, when creating the minutes. With Easy2Meet you can turn an existing agenda into a special document for the minutes with just a few clicks. All information plus all attachments are automatically included. This allows you to immediately start working out the minutes. All documents of the meeting are saved together, so you can easily find everything later.

4. Immediate production of minutes saves meeting time

For you as a notary, online meetings offer an advantage: if everyone sticks to the online meeting etiquette to some extent, then everyone speaks neatly one after the other. This gives you time to take notes. Don't be tempted to type out the meeting verbatim. This is unnecessary and will result in far too large minutes in which the core is lost. 
 
If you want to take effective minutes, you stick to clear agreements and conclusions. Use keywords that you type directly into the minutes format of the software to save extra time. Later on, you can make good sentences; you may even have time for this during the meeting. With Easy2Meet you can - if desired - let the other meeting participants directly read the minutes you write. This saves time afterwards. Both for you as a notary, as well as for the meeting participants. 
 

5. Use the chat function for clarification (but in moderation) 

Feel free to ask for clarification if necessary. Please use the chat function so that your speakers don't interrupt their story. Do not do this too abundantly and not at every point. You can also ask for clarification after the meeting. You can ask this via the chat function.

6. Highlight Tasks and Decisions for even more efficient minutes 

Are decisions made or tasks distributed at meetings? Mark this as Task or Decision in the meeting software. This is possible if you use Easy2Meet. The software will then automatically number the Task or Decision. You can then make use of the extra possibilities of the software.

7. Use the annotations of the meeting participants

You don't have to do everything yourself. If the chairman, or another participant, has a great input, ask for his or her personal note and make a public note so that everyone can read it. Not all meeting software offers this feature. With Easy2Meet this is possible.

8. Working out minutes immediately after the meeting is most effective

Immediately after the meeting, everything that was said is still fresh in your memory. Make use of this and, where possible, plan a moment immediately after the meeting for further elaboration of the minutes.

It is also convenient for the meeting participants if they receive the minutes within a few days after the meeting, so that they do not have to go far back in their memories. In Easy2Meet you can prepare the minutes immediately after the meeting is finished. The minutes are not yet visible to the participants. This way you can share the agenda with all participants with a single push of a button, after approval by the chairperson. In between you can easily adjust something if necessary. This way of working ensures a shorter turnaround time per meeting.

You can learn to take effective minutes

Above you have read about how to effectively take notes during a remote meeting. Many of these tips can also be used during a real life meeting. Taking minutes is a skill. And skills you learn mainly by doing it a lot. So it is with making use of the possibilities the software offers. The meeting software of Easy2Meet has a steep learning curve: in a short time you notice that you work more and more pleasant and save time.

More effective meetings? 

Do you also want to go through the entire meeting process easier, faster and therefore more effectively? Schedule an online demo and we will be happy to show you our added value!

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