The 411

This workshop is only available on an in-house basis. Email us for pricing and to arrange for delivery of this workshop to your team.

Meet the Instructor

Josef Jurkovic

Josef Jurkovic

Josef Jurkovic is a CEC director and founding partner. He has over 35 years of public and private sector experience across diverse areas of internal and external communications, public consultations, branding and marketing.

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Taking and writing effective minutes and records of decisions is an essential skill for all public servants. Well-structured and clearly written minutes of meetings, advisory boards or consultations help all involved and especially the decision-makers to focus on the right actions and to ensure the overall effectiveness of their team and stakeholders. This one day, highly interactive and practical workshop is designed to equip public sector note-takers with the right knowledge, approaches and skills to prepare professional minutes and records of decisions.




8:45 - 9:15 Introductions and Workshop Overview
9:15 - 10:15 Understanding the Mandate, Purpose and Stakeholders’ Needs

Overview and discussion of diverse types of meetings, advisory and consultative mechanisms and the drivers behind their mandates and operation. The importance of working with the chairperson. Knowing and understanding the audiences for our written outputs (minutes, records of proceedings, working groups’ reports, etc.)

10:15 - 10:30 Health Break
10:30 - 11:15 Note-taking Stressors, Challenges and Remedies

Stressors and challenges in taking notes and preparing minutes of proceedings: is the task clear? Common elements of ineffective meeting minutes and records of decision. What can be done to deal with the stressors and avoid the mistakes?

11:15 - 11:45 Exercise 1:

Working in small groups, participants will be given notes from a meeting (or a similar document). Each group will identify and summarize the important points and present its summary (précis) to the plenary.

11:45 - 12:30 Taking Notes: Purpose, Preparation and System

Purpose - what the note taker is doing.

Preparation - addressing and clarifying expectations about the content and approach to the minutes/ROD, the standard format and what it should contain. Going over the agenda before the meeting and discussing what items may involve significant discussion, contentious matters, follow-up from previous meeting and any other items that could impact upon the note taker.

12:30 - 1:15 Lunch
1:15 - 2:00 Approaches to Note-taking

Different ways of taking notes. What must be captured? Having a system for taking notes. What will be most effective? Knowing how to look for and phrase key messages.

2:00 - 2:45 Exercise 2:

Working in groups, and based on the previously prepared précis document, the participants will identify and redraft 2-3 key messages they believe are of most importance to the minutes’ stakeholders and other potential audiences.

2:45 - 3:00 Health Break
3:00 - 3:45 From Notes to Minutes of Proceeding

Getting from notes to actual minutes of proceedings. How much content is enough? What must appear? An appropriate style. Using plain language principles. Conciseness and clarity. Questions to ask about the draft. Formatting for functionality, readability and ease of understanding.

3:45 - 4:15 Exercise 3

Working in groups, participants will correct and/or re-phrase a series of short texts for final minutes.

4:15 - 4:30 Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluation