When taking notes for a meeting, it’s important to follow a few best practices so you can capture comprehensive notes while avoiding wasting time and effort.
While using a meeting notes template is a good start, there are other best practices for meetings that you might want to follow to ensure you get the best possible impact from your team meetings:
- Assign Meeting Roles and Responsibilities Prior to the Meeting.
Giving people a clear role to fill during the meeting helps ensure that they pay close attention to it. For example, you could make sure that key stakeholders make their own mini-presentations during the meeting. This helps maximize the impact of the meeting by keeping employees engaged and actively participating.
- Have Several Methods of Capturing Notes/Ideas.
Instead of trying to record everything yourself, consider having multiple note-takers assigned to the meeting. These employees can compare notes after the meeting to put everything into a unified document post-meeting so nothing is missed. Additionally, making audio recordings and going back over them at a later date can help ensure that no important items were missed. Some video conferencing solutions even have automated transcription solutions that can turn the audio into written text for you (though they often struggle with accuracy, they can help you save time).
- Practice Active Listening Skills.
If employees are sharing ideas or information during the meeting, be sure to practice active listening techniques—be sure to hear them out, ask specific questions when appropriate to demonstrate that you’re listening, and pay attention to both the speaker’s tone and body language. If an employee has an especially good idea, provide some on-the-spot acknowledgement and make sure that, if used, the employee’s contribution is formally recognized and/or rewarded.
- Try to Prevent Distractions.
Unless necessary for the meeting, try to curtail the use of phones, laptops, and other devices as much as possible. Also, try to hold meetings in a distraction-free environment (such as excess noise pollution from people chatting in the background or active televisions not being used to show presentation materials). Moreover, meeting participants should avoid having side conversations while the active presenter is talking.
- Follow up with Stakeholders after the Meeting.
Even after the meeting is over, there is still a need to check up on stakeholders and project staff to verify how things are progressing. Holding follow up meetings to track progress towards goals can help employees stay focused and engaged with their work—especially if said follow ups highlight the employee’s contributions (either in the meeting or after it).
Catering to your meeting’s needs can be easier than you think. Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can successfully manage a meeting. By actively listening, avoiding distractions, and ensuring meeting minutes are being taken, one can rest assured that every meeting is reaching its full potential. These are just some of the ways to keep things on track.
There are many more things you can do to make your meetings more meaningful. Need more help in increasing the impact of your team meetings? Reach out to the adam.ai team to learn more.