Protokolle sind beliebt, weil sie dafür sorgen, dass nach einer Besprechung die Ergebnisse schriftlich zusammengefasst sind und auch später der Ablauf noch nachvollzogen werden kann.
In manchen Fällen müssen Sie das Protokoll auf Englisch anfertigen, dafür werden Ihnen im Folgenden ein paar Hinweise gegeben.
Secretary of a meeting: the person who takes the minutes – most likely, that is you. It is preferred that this person is neutral and does not participate in the discussion. That way, you cannot miss any information and fully concentrate on what is being said. Are you given enough time, you can write as well as participate, of course.
Information that should be noted:
First: note the date and time of the meeting, where does it take place, who is attending and who is excused (little help: pass an attendance sheet around, so everybody can sign it and you can keep track more easily).
–> This part can also be prepared BEFORE the meeting starts.
The rest of the information is more specific to the meeting. A rough agenda can still be given:
- Topics that are discussed
- Decisions that are reached
- Actions that have to be taken
- Material that is used or given out
- Details of the meeting or any other business
If you already know the agenda, you can easily prepare a sheet with the headings and leave enough space for notes or prepare it directly on your computer. This will save you some time.
When you are writing…
… be precise, factual and pertinent.
… do not include information that could frustrate, annoy, put down or embarrass the reader of the minute.
… concentrate on the most important facts and events of the session, no one wants to read all the unnecessary details.
… do record special accomplishments. However, note to yourself: singling out a person in a minute is not very common unless it is required.
… avoid passive phrases and negative phrases. Do not use too many words to make your point.
When you are done with your minute, first, pass it to the chairperson. As soon as he or she has given approval, you can hand it out to everyone else.
It is recommended to complete the minute with your notes within the next two days.
This way you will be able to review the meeting and you will have all the information at the top of your head.