Clerks and secretaries fulfill a critical role in ensuring that public meetings are properly recorded.
They also create the record of the meeting that can be consulted if disputes arise over what was decided.
But taking meeting minutes can be complicated. Not only do you have to know terminology, procedures, and rules, you also have to be skilled at taking notes and capturing the actions of the board. Additionally:
- There are no uniform expectations as to type of minutes
- People don’t express their thoughts clearly and they speak too softly
- The subject matter is sometimes technical and complex
- Meetings go on too long and the work is exhausting
- People sometimes expect the clerk/secretary to have miraculous powers of mind-reading
On top of that, the clerk is expected to be an expert on Robert’s Rules of Order and other parliamentary issues.
And since the clerk is part of the staff and not a member of the board, sometimes board members don’t understand the clerk’s roles and responsibilities. Clerks run into these issues:
- Someone challenges the clerk’s authority
- A board member asks the clerk to do something that isn’t part of their responsibilities
- A board member thinks that something the clerk does isn’t part of their responsibilities—even when it is
In “Meeting Minutes in Robert’s Rules,” Ann G. Macfarlane, a Professional Registered Parliamentarian, addresses these concerns.
First, she’ll use an example meeting to guide you through taking effective meeting minutes. Then, she’ll show you the exact roles of the clerk so that you know what should and should not be expected of you as clerk.
Ann is a lively instructor and the time will fly by. You will gain confidence and understanding of your role and how to fulfill it, and enjoy the learning process.
A. Meeting Minutes
The first part of this workshop gives you everything you need to feel confident in processing meeting minutes. Ann will go over sample minutes that you can use as a template when writing your own meeting notes—including step-by-step procedures you can follow to help make taking and writing minutes efficient. And because Robert’s Rules provides some flexibility with meeting minutes, she’ll give recommendations on what works best.
Benefits of Part A
The purpose of minutes and six reasons why detailed minutes are a bad idea.
Nine items that should go in the minutes, including one that we recommend in addition to Robert's Rules.
Examples of variations in recording votes, and examples of what not to do.
The eight steps to process a motion (you'll fill out a worksheet you can use as a reminder at your next meeting), and more
B. The Role of the Clerk/Secretary
In the second part of this workshop, you’ll learn more about the role of the clerk/secretary so that you can be confident about what is and is not required of you during board meetings. You’ll even get sample dialogue to use when someone questions you.
Benefits of Part B
Five roles of clerk/secretary, and the difference between staff and members of the body
Recommendations for what the staff should have the power to do.
When the clerk should speak up
Verbiage the clerk can use in speaking up, or when asked to speak on issues they do not know about
See what people say
Thanks to our commission attending the Jurassic Parliament, I was finally able to convince them that our minutes were far too detailed and we have streamlined the process significantly. Thank you!
This is where technology truly helps us by means of a webinar. It saved the taxpayers money and saved us time and travel by viewing and participating in a webinar from my office. We look forward to the next one. Thank you.
Ann helps take the anxiety out of taking meeting minutes. I feel much more confident that I am recording the meeting minutes correctly by taking her classes and webinars.
Love your depth of knowledge and the humor you bring to this subject that actually helps make it more memorable!
Have attended both a webinar and in-person training now and I love the fast pace yet clear instruction that makes Robert’s Rules and associated activities clear. I breathe a sigh of relief!
I particularly appreciated the list of reasons why taking minutes is hard work! and the various ways to streamline the task by following Robert’s Rules.
After attending this webinar, you'll feel confident and prepared for your next meeting. You'll know what your responsibilities are, what to pay attention to, and how to address any issues that come up during the meeting.
BONUS After the webinar, you will receive access to a recording of the webinar and the PowerPoint slides for your personal use. By registering for the webinar you agree to be recorded.
REFUND POLICY Refunds will be given if you cancel more than 24 hours before the event. After that time no refunds are available, but the valuable materials will be provided.