How do I improve my scribing skills at conferences or meetings? I can copy down every word but that makes up a document that is tedious to read by executives. I've seen examples and those scribers don't copy verbatim.

I know there's software but sometimes I can't have access to that.


The key skill for taking good "executive type" meeting minutes is summarization.

You need be able to listen and understand what's being said and to boil it down to the most relevant information pieces / decisions in the conversation.

Bullet points are your friends.

There are different frameworks you can use for notes, the one I like to use is Context - Action - Result. On the given topic I write 1 or 2 bullet points for each of those, 1 or 2 sentences max. Use direct order and keep it as short as possible.

  • Context: What's the issue / topic, initial statement. Include relevant 5W2H (What, Who, When, Where, Why, How, How Much) here

  • Action: What was done regarding this topic. Include additional points brought up during the meeting that are relevant to topic

  • Result: What was the reported outcome. Decisions that were made regarding the issue

A few options of summarizing exercises:

  1. Summarize a short or medium text like a blog post, newspaper column or article. Start with 2 bullet points for each paragraph and work on getting it shorter. Ask for feedback on the exercise by giving the article and your summary to someone.
  2. Use a recording (video or audio) of a meeting you typically take minutes
  3. Use your previous minutes and try to summarize them
  • I’m not giving this 2 plus unless you undo minus one – user110652 Oct 10 '19 at 21:19
  • @Numbers I'm sorry, what do you think it could be improved in the answer? – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 10 '19 at 21:33

How do I improve my scribing skills at conferences or meetings?

  • Read the Minutes from other conferences and meetings.
  • See with your own eyes what makes for a good, useful set of Minutes.
  • Copy that style.
  • Practice.

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