Write clear, concise and condensed meeting minutes and still keep your sanity!

In a number of previous posts I’ve mentioned what a key role the chairman has in assisting the minute taker in a meeting.

There are a number of ways this can be achieved, but the most important part is ensuring the minute taker is clear about the key points, decisions and actions.

On my Art of Minute Taking course, I encourage minute takers to work with their chairman and educate them to provide a summary at the end of every agenda item.

The understanding by the chairman in the role he/she takes in a meeting is critical. Some chairmen get it, others don’t. In fact, some of them believe it’s the minute taker’s job to summarise the minutes.

Recently I connected with Bob Boze, who read Minute Taking Madness and was kind enough to write a review, which I read with glee! Why? Because here was someone who had been in the manager/chairman role and had attended many meetings.

Bob has kindly given permission to post his review on this blog. Thanks Bob!

Minute Taking Madness Review

Rating: 5 Stars

I am probably the last person in the world who would be asked to take minutes at a meeting. However, as a Project Leader, Program Manager and finally Department Manager, several times over, I have conducted more meetings than most people ever will. I’ve also attended numerous meetings at customers’ facilities all over the world where I walked away being responsible for most, if not all, of the action items.

In more cases than I care to admit, I later stood scratching my head as I read the minutes from a meeting asking: What is that? When did that come up? Is that an action item and if so, whose? Uh, where is….? Wasn’t there a second item to that? And on and on.

Being a manager, I did what most managers do. I blamed the poor person designated as scribe for the day, who typically was unfairly forced to take minutes. Did they get any training in minute taking? No. Did I help them accurately record minutes in how I conducted the meeting? No. Did I even know any of this? Not until I read Robyn’s book.

Reading Minute Taking Madness woke me up to several things. Minute taking is not an easy task and the person tagged to do so should be properly trained. Accurate minutes from a meeting are critical; especially to those who weren’t able to attend, those assigned action items and whoever is responsible for making sure the meeting is accurately reflected and all items are closed. (Uh, that last one would be me!)

One other thing Robyn made me realize? The most important person in the meeting room is the minute taker!

Minute Taking Madness should be mandatory reading (as well as taking her training course, if possible) for anyone designated to take minutes. It should also be required reading for anyone conducting meetings. That’s because, as she points out, how the meeting is chaired either helps or hinders the minute taker greatly!

Even if you’re just an attendee at most meetings, I urge you to take a moment to read this well-written, easy to understand and extremely helpful book. Who knows? It maybe you up there one day conducting the meeting and wanting the most accurate minutes possible.

While Robyn was too polite to say it, I will: The minutes from your meetings are a glaring reflection of your skills as a manager!

A must read for anyone taking minutes or conducting meetings.


Project Engineer/Program Manager, Communications and Navigation Systems, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Electronics Division

Department Manager, Turbine Engine Monitoring Systems, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Electronics Division

Senior Technical Advisor to Vice President of Advanced Systems Design, Titan Corporation

Department Manager, Airline Communications and Engine Monitoring Systems, Teledyne Corporation, Controls Division

Senior Technical Advisor to Vice President of Advanced Technology, B/E Aerospace, In-Flight Entertainment Systems Division

Department Manager, Customer Service, Airline Seats, Airline Interiors Inc.


Follow this link here to purchase Minute Taking Madness.


2 thoughts on “Minute taking from a manager’s perspective

  1. Robyn – what an illuminating review of your book. This is definitely going on my “Books to Buy” list!


    1. robynfb says:

      Thanks Tara – it was awesome to get a review from a manager’s point of view.I hope that there will be other manager’s out there as astute as Bob.


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