Now that we’ve spent time Deconstructing Your Minutes, let’s turn to how our use of language can elevate those minutes.
Blah, blah, blah … are you stuck in a repetitive mode?
Take a close look at some of your recent minutes. When recording meetings, you want to avoid monotony and the repetition of key phrases used to describe actions or undertakings.
After all, few among us enjoy reading sentence after sentence monotonously stating that “The President noted …” or, “Members asked …”
Could you use more help with your minutes?
I offer live and on demand webinars.
Why you should record in an active, rather than passive, voice
Equally important, we want to present minutes in an active voice that reflects the action-oriented nature of our meetings. It may be easy to lapse into a passive voice, recording that, “The committee received a report …” or that “The team accepted an award …” but passive language is a disservice to individuals’ preparation for and active participation in meetings.
With these thoughts in mind, check below for options to consider the next time you’re seeking inspiration … and note (or reflect, observe, confirm, declare or even applaud!) that all such words are provided in the past tense, which is the appropriate choice for recording minutes.
Shelagh Donnelly’s Action-Focused Verbs for Minutes
Hello Sheila, This is a thorough list, thank you. I work for the Government of the Northwest Territories here in Canada and we are developing an elearning course on minute taking for our clients in NWT community governments. This list would make a valuable addition to our course material. Would you be willing to give us permission to use it with attribution?
School of Community Government
Municipal and Community Affairs
Government of the Northwest Territories
867 767 9163 x21062
Hi, Scott. Thanks for your note and request. I’ll drop you an email later today or tomorrow from my email account, ExceptionalEAs@gmail.com – you may want to add me to your contacts so the message isn’t treated as spam.