As minute takers, we tend to panic the as soon as we hear unfamiliar wording, jargon or acronyms. We feel we have to understand what is being said before we can take good minutes of the meeting. You find yourself panicking and losing track, and feeling unsure of how to record the information. Does this sound familiar?
It is important to understand that minute takers are not required to be accountants, engineers, attorneys etc. in order to take effective minutes. In fact, the skill of a professional minute taker is the ability to walk from one company to another and accurately record, without necessarily having any understanding of the business!
While we are not saying you should ever stop learning, it is important to understand that your function is to ‘record’. When you hear unfamiliar terminology or a portion of the conversation that you do not understand, simply record it as you hear it. Afterwards access your company’s resources in order to obtain the correct spelling of jargon. You can also ask the Chair to assist you with material you couldn’t make sense of.
Take a deep breath, and continue.
You may not understand everything that is discussed, but this does not mean you cannot accurately record it.
Acronyms and Jargon, a minute taking tip.
When reviewing your minutes, make sure to completely spell out all acronyms and jargon. It might also help to include a definition of technical terms at the beginning or end of the document. Remember to confirm the meaning of all acronyms and jargon after the meeting.
For more information on how to identify patterns of information when taking minutes of meetings, please join us for one of our monthly courses, or request onsite training at your offices. And watch this space for our e-learning initiative to be launched later this year. now! Details here.