Meeting minutes provide a formal record of discussions during a meeting, including decisions made, actions assigned, and deadlines agreed upon. They function as an official reference document for both meeting attendees and those who were unable to participate.
However, many people find the task of writing meeting minutes daunting, often due to a lack of understanding of what it involves or how to make the output both effective and efficient. If you're tasked with this responsibility or are looking to enhance your minute-taking skills, you will find this blog post highly beneficial.
We aim to guide you through the basic principles, onto the detailed processes, all the way to the advanced nuances of writing meeting minutes. Our step-by-step approach will enable you to capture important information accurately and concisely, thus, becoming an integral part of the corporate communication chain. So, let's delve into the practical and valuable world of professional note-taking, where every decision, task, and deadline is critical.
Meeting minutes are an official written record of a meeting, encapsulating discussions, decisions, task assignments, and deadlines. These notes are not only a tool for accountability, indicating task assignments, but also serve as a reliable reference for decisions, preventing future misunderstandings. In certain organizational contexts, they can also act as legal documents.
Examining minutes over time reveals progress on tasks and assesses meeting efficiency. For non-attendees, these records offer an overview of the proceedings, keeping them informed. While preparing minutes, it's vital to maintain clarity and conciseness, capturing essential details like date, time, participant names, agenda items, and respective discussions and decisions.
Understand the meeting agenda in advance. Identify key items that will likely require decisions or actions.
The minutes should be an unbiased record of the meeting. Avoid personal interpretations or asides.
Keep track of the conversation, and don’t get too caught up in small details. Concentrate on decisions, tasks, and key points.
Record who said what. This is important for accountability and follow-up.
If a point isn't clear, don't hesitate to ask for clarification during or immediately after the meeting.
Include who is assigned each task, the task details, and the deadline.
Re-read the minutes for clarity, grammar, and punctuation while the meeting is still fresh in your mind.
Try to finalize and distribute the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting, while the discussions are still fresh in everyone's mind.
Once finalized, meeting minutes typically require the approval of the meeting chair or facilitator.
Some meetings may discuss sensitive information. Ensure you respect and maintain necessary confidentiality when taking and sharing minutes.
Keep minutes in an easily accessible and secure place for future reference. They are official documents and should be treated as such.
If you realize something from a previous version is incorrect or a key detail is missing be sure to mention it in the next meeting so you can accurately amend it.
Remember, meeting minutes need not capture every single detail. Rather, they should provide a concise and clear summary that reflects the discussion and decisions made, tasks assigned, and the timeline for those actions.
Typically, the responsibility of taking minutes during a meeting falls to a designated person called a minute-taker or a meeting recorder. In formal meetings, such as a board of directors' meeting or a shareholders' meeting, this person is often a professional secretary or an administrative assistant. They are usually not involved in the substance of the meeting, allowing them to focus on accurately recording the proceedings.
In less formal settings, like a team or project meeting, the task may be assigned to one of the attendees. In some teams, the responsibility rotates among members. Whoever is chosen should have good listening, note-taking, and organizational skills, as these are key to producing clear, concise, and accurate minutes.
It's important to note that the minute-taker should always be decided before the meeting starts, to ensure that they are prepared for their role. It is also a good practice to have the minute-taker review and finalize the minutes promptly after the meeting, while the discussions are still fresh in their mind.
Date and Time: June 9, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Main Boardroom
Attendees: Sofia Martinez (Chairperson), Takumi Suzuki (Vice Chairperson), Nia Davies (Director, Marketing), Djamila Benali (Director, Sales), and Priyanka Patel (Director, Customer Service)
Absent: Alessandro Rossi (Director, Product)
The board approved the proposal to adopt a more aggressive social media strategy for the new product launch (Unanimous approval).
The board agreed to overhaul the customer service response system based on recent feedback (Vote: 4 in favor, 1 abstained).
Next Meeting: Scheduled for September 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM in the Main Boardroom.
Attachments: Sales Report Q2 2023, Proposed Marketing Plan 2023, Customer Feedback Report Q2 2023.
Sofia Martinez, Chairperson, Board of Directors
Date and Time: June 9, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: School Conference Room
Attendees: Sofia Martinez (Chairperson), Takumi Suzuki (Principal), Nia Davies (Teacher Representative), Djamila Benali (Parent Representative), and Priyanka Patel (Community Representative)
Absent: Alessandro Rossi (Teacher's Union Representative)
The group decided to focus on social media for the promotion of the School Open House event.
Agreed on the need for an improved communication strategy between parents and teachers.
Next Meeting: Scheduled for July 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM in the School Conference Room.
Now that we have covered the ins and outs of recording meeting minutes, why not turn towards the meeting itself and look to see what you can do to run a more effective and efficient session?
No matter if it's a workshop, team meeting, or something involving your entire company, we have the tools to help you keep everyone and anyone engaged throughout.