How to Write Meeting Minutes

Most important business meetings include someone whose job is taking meeting minutes a person who will keep a written record of all that is done and said during a meeting. This document will be saved and those both inside and outside the company might consult it as needed. Learning how to write meeting minutes does not need to be a long or stressful process.

Many minute takers develop a template especially tailored to the needs of their business, and this form will guide them through the process during each and every board meeting. All the writer needs is a pad of paper, a pencil, decent observation skills, and the knowledge of what to look for and record.

Preparing for Taking Meeting Minutes

A writer will need basic preparation for each meeting. The most important step in preparation is reviewing the basic agenda for the day before the meeting begins. This gives the writer an idea of what significant items he should definitely include in the minutes, and what items are only tangents or off-topic discussions.

A classic blooper, when writing minutes is to zone out for even a small bit of time. Everyone does this from time to time, and these people will usually consult the minutes to figure out what they missed. To ensure optimum concentration minute takers should try to get a good night’s rest before important meetings. They might also benefit from a cup of coffee, a bathroom break, and a quick stretch right before the meeting begins. Impeccable focus separates an adequate minute writer from the best.

Meeting Minutes Format – Beginning Details

Certain small details should be included in each meeting minutes. The most important is the time and date. This information makes the minutes easily organized and found when needed. The minutes writer might also include if this meeting happens every Friday, at the first of each month, or annually. This information can set the context for certain discussions. Later readers can then look up past or more recent meetings to get more information or observe the big picture.

Meeting Minutes Format – Attendance

There are two ways to include attendance on a minutes report. The writer can create an attendance sheet and require each person sign in before the meeting begins. This approach works well in big companies where workers might not know each other by name. Minute writers for smaller businesses can usually compile the attendance list themselves. This should be done quickly before any important matters are raised for discussion. Writers should never forget to include their own name as the minute taker, along with their signature at the end of the document to validate the record they kept.

Meeting Minutes Format – The Body

The body of the minutes details all topics of discussion for the meeting. Writers should lean cautiously to the side of writing too much rather than writing too little. Meeting minutes are more readable when broken up into sections. Organize the information into different topics and subtopics for easy searching and scanning. Include names and titles whenever possible, explaining who said what, who voted for different motions and who argued or appealed against them. The minutes should also include a list of any tasks assigned to employees during the discussion, and a list of discussions that were postponed until the next meeting.

Where the Minutes of a Meeting Go

Different businesses will handle their meeting minutes differently. Some will keep one archive of minutes that is open to several members of the company. Others might request that copies be sent to each member present at the meeting. Minute takers should consult with their boss to determine whether copying, faxing, or mailing the minutes to anyone will be required once the meeting has concluded.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *