Guest Author - Chris Curtis
As a meeting facilitator, you often need to take minutes of the meeting and take notes on items needing follow-up. PowerPoint offers the Meeting Minder to help you keep track of those all-important notes. You can activate the Meeting Minder during the slide show, where you can record notes, minutes, and action items. Action items will automatically appear on a slide at the end of the slide presentation. The Action Items tab allows you to record task owners, due dates and a description of what needs to be done. You can also use the Schedule button to record the next meeting time in Outlook.
At the conclusion of your meeting, you can export the action items to Outlook tasks and generate the minutes by exporting the Meeting Minder contents to Word. The minutes will include any notes recorded as well as a list of any action items entered. You can then edit the minutes to produce a professional document, but the tedious typing has been completed for you.
Activating the Meeting Minder
While the slide show is running, right click on the desktop to display the shortcut menu. Choose Meeting Minder and the dialog box will be displayed. To display the meeting minder dialog box when the slide show is not running, choose Meeting Minder from the Tools menu.
The Meeting Minder Dialog Box
The Meeting Minder Dialog Box consists of two work tabs: Meeting Minutes, and Action Items. The Meeting Minutes tab allows you to type in any notes you want to have appear in the meeting minutes.
For example: Jack presented the “New Frontier” Loan Proposal; Mary commented that she felt the company was taking on too much debt. Jack mitigated the risk by explaining the projections show that the new line of widgets will generate adequate cash flow to service the increased debt structure. The committee approved the loan proposal with 4 in favor and 1 decline.
The Action Items tab provides fields for the task description, to whom the task is assigned, and the date due to be completed. You can add as many tasks as you need. Complete the fields and click on the add button to add the task. Each of the tasks added will be summarized on the final slide of the PowerPoint presentation.
Scheduling the Next Meeting
The Meeting Minder will interface with your Outlook calendar. You can schedule the next meeting time by clicking on the Schedule meeting. The Outlook appointment form will be displayed. Enter in the meeting details, click on the Attendee Availability to check schedules, then send attendees a meeting request.
Exporting the Meeting Notes and Action Items
After the meeting is concluded, you can export the Meeting Minder details to a Word document. The notes you make and the details of the action items you recorded will be transferred to the Word document. You can then edit or add any details you want, format as desired, and publish the minutes quickly and easily because the details are already done.
The Meeting Minder is a great tool to use for meetings. It can eliminate redundancy and make the meeting wrap-up more efficient. Scheduling the next meeting is a breeze, and getting the minutes to the meeting completed is relative painless. Try this technique the next time you facilitate a meeting.