So you are going to be chairing your first meeting. Are you the most important person in the meeting? Probably not. There will others sitting at the table who have greater expertise, more insights but one of the most important people in the meeting is the secretary who takes the minutes. They may be a PA or an attendee in their own right but they are vitally important in the secretary position, not so much to the meeting itself in that role but to its eventual success.
Sometimes the secretary is also the chairman though I wouldn’t recommend it as it tends to slow the meeting down sometimes. Here are three brief tips about your secretary
- Designate a secretary: The most important point of all is making sure there is someone who will be taking a record of the meeting. They can be a full blown minute taker (though this does take practise to do it well) or just note down the actions and who is responsible. The important thing is they know that they are responsible for doing it throughout the meeting.
- At the end of each part of the meeting, ensure that the secretary has captured the key points and actions agreed is important. Sometimes documenting the meeting can be difficult, especially if it a rambling one but just checking quietly that they obtained the key points can save a lot of grief later.
- The final point is to publically thank them at the end of the meeting. No matter who they are “Thank you “ goes a long way, it also means that if the role is rotated then people are more willing to perform it the next time.