Taking Minutes – STL Case Study

Organisational Profiles

As part of our Public Schedule portfolio, STL offers a course on Taking Minutes, delivering high-value content along with a significant amount of practical exercises which allows minute-takers to remember, write and record in meetings without anxiety and tiredness.

Minute taking is required across the spectrum of industry: large organisations government departments, councils, law and administration offices, courts, schools and the NHS; anywhere where reports have to be kept and presented to management across the board and many of which can be held as legal documents.

Purpose of the course

An organisation needs to ensure its staff are made aware of the purpose of minutes, and the value they bring. An effective way of recording and presenting minutes, either formally or informally, is a pre-requisite for the efficiency of the business, particularly if it wants everyone to understand what is happening within it.

The biggest complaints minute-takers have is that they are :

  • Often ignored
  • Secondary to proceedings and
  • Unable to know exactly what to take down
  • Writing as soon as someone speaks and then find they tire quickly, truly missing most of what the speaker has said

Their anxiety levels are increased when:

  • Delegates are unknown to them
  • International meetings often result in listening to different accents, foreign spellings and over-talking which means they must write a lot
  • They look back at their work and can hardly read their own notes

Person on a Taking Minutes Course Using Yellow and Black Pen


The course gives them wonderful tools to:

  • Know how to slow down and listen to the words spoken before writing to get the feel of the communication
  • Record the key points and relevant facts
  • Prepare for and lead the Chair and Attendees to advise you when using any acronyms, foreign names or spellings etc.
  • Fashion your report to the intended recipients
  • Know when to use which style of minutes required
  • Design a colour coded way of reading back your reports
  • Summarise and consolidate
  • Reflect and record necessary dialogue accurately
  • Demonstrate the transparency and historic thread of decision making, laws, and motions and provide a snapshot of the course and progress of a meeting/hearing
  • Use keywords which will help you to remember the gist of a communication if there has been a delay in writing up the minutes.
  • Techniques learned lead to an increase in working efficiency which leads to higher productivity

Learning Deliverables

Without actual practise we cannot correct the mistakes we may be making when taking minutes. Naturally therefore, the course will offer several minute-taking exercises to try out the new skills and methods demonstrated. This can be slightly uncomfortable at times, but it can also provide excellent insight into areas of improvement.

The coupling of professional trainers delivering the material and the gleaning of feedback on the day ensures that STL can provide a course that features what the majority of people having to take minutes are looking for: new ideas, useful and effective models and full hints on preparing for sessions which build your confidence.

Key skills such as conducting sessions, listening, critical thinking and organisation are also examined.


We have been running this course for many years, and it’s being constantly ‘upgraded’ to reflect the changing needs of the market. Inevitably, our feedback has been excellent across the board with delegates recommendations:

“Remembering techniques highly useful. I now have a way to recall a scenario given to me even after a few days of the meeting.”

“Everyone got involved in the exercises. It showed us all what traps we were falling into and how to prevent common mistakes.”

“As secretaries, we have so much on our plate that the fear and boredom of taking down and writing up minutes adds to the turmoil of our day. This course has helped take away that anxiety and I actually look forward to using the techniques I learnt. The chore has been turned into a challenge”


As a trainer I have seen many minute takers undervalue the role they play, that they are just observers. Yet they are second in importance to the chair, if not more so, because it often depends on them to set the agenda, organise and run the meeting as well as to keep everyone abreast of what was said and the motions and tasks put forward.

The course instils in the delegate the confidence to take accurate notes, inform participants of the minute-taker’s requirements and to conduct the meeting in a way helpful to ensuring accurate notes are taken. Dry notetaking becomes a way of telling a story to the reader, even in formal presentation.

There are many training companies offering courses on Taking Minutes. Hopefully this case study illustrates how STL can uniquely improve the productivity and efficiency of taking minutes, without the stress!

Other necessary skills for minute takers are a high proficiency in core Microsoft Office applications, and we can help with our Word, PowerPoint and Excel courses.



Case Study on Negotiation Skills

see how our workshops provide immediately applicable SKILLS.

As part of our Public Schedule portfolio, STL offers a Negotiation Skills Course to a range of organisations, from banking and finance to one of the leading on-line global travel companies.

What they have in common is that they have identified a ‘negotiation skills profile’, namely employees who are progressing into a more challenging role; be that in sales, management, leadership or business development.

Each of them has one goal in mind, which is to become better at negotiating contracts, timelines, milestones and new business, in order to gain a competitive edge in their respective industries and increase productivity.

Negotiation and Influencing Skills
Negotiation courses and Influencing Skills

Their HR/Learning and Development departments choose this particular course because they want to employ techniques and strategies to negotiate more successfully with others, achieve a win-win situation that addresses the needs of both parties, rather than making compromises or concessions, whilst at the same time preserving the relationship.

Amongst other things, they are looking to:
  • Gain a better understanding of the negotiation process, namely when to use different styles such as; transactional, collaborative and creative, and how to determine the best fit for each scenario
  • Excel at the preparation and planning stage, which is key to success in all forms of negotiation. This means anticipating objections, which questions might arise and how best to tackle them
  • Improve their communication style, so that it is geared specifically to the person/group they’re talking to
  • Identify the best way to initiate, propose and achieve a win-win outcome by going in hard on the problem and soft on the people.
  • Learn how to determine limits, address the power balance, learn deep-level enquiring and listening skills which will place them in a position of strength and increase self-confidence
  • Apply contemporary, tried and tested tools and techniques to open, conduct and close negotiations successfully.
Principled Negotiation

We draw on cutting edge material at the forefront of negotiation techniques to accomplish this, including the following 4 principles, which come from the best-selling book ‘Getting to Yes’ by William Ury and Roger Fisher, members of the Harvard Negotiation Project:

  1. Separate the people from the problem
  2. Focus on interests, not positions
  3. Invent options for mutual gain
  4. Insist on using objective criteria
Learning Deliverables for Negotiators

Our adaptation of ‘principled negotiation’ avoids the usual bargaining, haggling, drawn-out discussions and dissatisfaction that often arise when both parties cannot agree on a win-win outcome.

Interesting research by Harvard Business School (Law), where Fisher still teaches, has shown this to be the most effective method by far for closing successful negotiations.

Principled Negotiation forms a powerful backbone to the course, which in addition to our proprietary materials makes for highly engaging discussions amongst the group. One of the main benefits of the course is the fact that delegates from different industries are able to openly sharing their thoughts, hopes, experiences and challenges around current corporate negotiation techniques.

A significant amount of role-playing activities and problem solving meshes with our materials, you can see light-bulb moments happening as delegates re-frame their current experiences and learn how they can put this to use to increase productivity and improve relationships in their individual areas of the business.

Two areas that come up time and time again are the need to preserve relationships and feeling uncomfortable with silences. These are both tackled in detail on the day. We also cover a range of scenarios familiar to all employees, such as negotiating a pay rise, time off and flexible working.

As the trainer, it’s always gratifying to facilitate Negotiation and Influencing Skills. With 80% of this course being practical, delegates emerge with a newfound confidence in their skills and often form lasting connections with peers from a large array of industries on these types of high-impact courses.


From our Negotiation course London

“The Trainer has articulated a clear message of how to demonstrate extremely good negotiation skills. I found the course very interactive, which has been very beneficial. I will be able to use the skills I have gained and practice them in real life situations. I would recommend this course to other people.”

“I usually hate forced activities and role plays but Garret made me feel very comfortable from the start of the session. I think his enthusiasm is liberating and he really engages you. It wasn’t an overload of information and the relevant examples really helped me understand the theories behind negotiation.”

(more feedback)


As a trainer, developing negotiating and influencing skills is something that I am passionate about. This is one of our most popular courses, simply because we negotiate in every area of our lives. Having taught this course to delegates with a range of needs from those who negotiate multi-million-pound deals to those who simply acknowledge that they have skills-gaps at a most basic level, there is something for everyone in this course, and every individual viewpoint is thoroughly considered when delivering it.

For those who are ready to progress to the next level, we deliver an outstanding and highly effective Advanced Negotiation Skills Class which follows on naturally from this one.