What are Meeting Minutes?
Meeting minutes are a recorded or written documentation that is used for letting other people know about the things that occurred in the meeting or a conference.
Different things that can be comprised in meeting minutes are names of the participants, due dates or calendar, agenda items, main points, actions or tasks, different decisions that participants make, future decisions taken in the meeting, recording of the most important points, various documents like attached files, images, etc.
What goes on in a meeting is noted down separately, and we call that meeting minutes.
It’s an official record hence kept permanent. This is used as a future reference about what happened in the meeting. They are highly useful for those who were not able to attend the meeting or those who want to take a glimpse of what happened in a particular meeting.
In simple words, meeting minutes are like notes that consist of all the essential information related to a meeting. Don’t get it by word – it doesn’t contain minute-by-minute information; preferably, it includes key information.
From the decisions made in the meeting to those who attended the meeting, everything goes in the meeting minutes. This post will take you deep into the world of meeting minutes and help you understand what it is, what it includes, and how to make effective meeting minutes. Next-sections talk about the meeting minutes in detail, so stick to know more –
What do Minutes of Meeting contain?
People are often confused about what goes on in meeting minutes.
Well, your organization might provide you with a specific format for meeting minutes, but generally, the meeting minutes should be prepared as a reference.
It should include information such that anyone in the future can understand everything about a meeting by just going through the meeting minutes.
Here is the crucial information that should be included in meeting minutes –
- Name of the meeting
- Date, time and place of the meeting
- Purpose of the meeting
- Participants name
- Decision made and next steps
- Next meeting schedule and place
- Necessary documents
So, this is the basic overview of how your meeting minutes should look like.
You may change it according to your organization’s needs at meeting conditions. It should be prepared in such a way that those who failed to attend the meeting can understand every bit of the meeting correctly.
Why are Meeting Minutes important?
Well, most of us don’t understand the true essence of the meeting minutes.
People consider them a waste of time and effort. But they are beneficial and save a lot of your time and money in the future.
The meetings with the board of directors are not just a discussion; rather, a lot goes on there. It should be noted down in a comprehensive format for future references. For those who miss the meeting, meeting minutes act like the most valuable asset.
Suppose if in future your organization wants to refer to a particular meeting about any decision and you don’t have meeting minutes with you. What are the chances that all of you will remember every information correctly?
Almost zero. In such cases, meeting minutes act as a boon– they save you precious time and money.
Preparing meeting minutes is one of the best habits you can inculcate.
How to prepare meeting minutes?
Meeting minutes can be extremely useful for any organization. They are highly efficient when prepared correctly. A non-comprehensive meeting minute will do no good for your organization.
It should not only contain all the information but in a comprehensive manner so that it could be understood in the future.
Here’s how effective meeting minutes should be prepared –
1. Before meeting
People often ignore this period while preparing meeting minutes and end up making blunders. This is a crucial period, and you can do some essential things that will make your overall meeting minutes effective.
Go through the agenda of the meeting to get an idea of what the meeting is all about. You should prepare an outline based on the agenda, and this will make your job less complicated. Leave a separate space for some unplanned event.
Take a check of your tools like a recorder, laptop, tablet, etc. Discuss it with your boss, and see if they have any particular suggestions. Make sure your tools are working fine. Have a backup plan ready if the tools fail like using pen and paper if your laptop fails.
2. During the meeting
Here comes the most crucial phase of your job. At first, note down the name, date and time, place, and motive of the meeting. Make everyone sign the attendance sheet, and you must know who everyone is.
It’s not required to write every comment from the participants instead of note down the important points. Keep your biases aside while writing the information. It’s an official document; hence you should note down every crucial information even if you disagree with it.
Write down the decisions made and about the motions. Note down the next schedule of the meeting and conclude your minute with the ending-time of the meeting.
3. After meeting
This is the time where you revisit your minute and correct the errors that you made. At first, type the minute in the specific format as soon as the meeting is over because everything is fresh in your mind.
Proofread your minute – check for common errors. Make sure you have included all the timings and other crucial information. Take a review from someone else who attended the meeting. Make the final edit and submit your minute.
Essential Tips for Meeting Minutes
There are possibilities that you will make some errors, even if you do everything right. Here the tips you should follow to avoid those mistakes –
- Make your minute short and concise. It shouldn’t contain an ambiguous description.
- Follow a template and do not miss out on any critical check-list.
- Note down the information as soon as it pops-up. Please don’t keep it for later.
- Get clarification if you want any.
- Don’t make it too complicated with your language. Keep it as simple as possible.
- Add necessary documents
You must follow all these tips to prepare a perfect minute for your organization.
Template of a Formal Board Meeting Minutes
- Call to Order or Opening Remarks
- Approval of the meeting minutes from (Date)
- Additions to the meeting agenda
- Approval of the meeting agenda
- Business from the previous meeting
- Item 1- To be discussed
- Item 2- To be discussed
- Additional items to be added in meeting agenda
- Next meeting (Date)
So, this was all about meeting minutes. Undoubtedly, it is of great essence for the organization.
Every organization should promote it. The guideline mentioned above should be followed to prepare an effective minute which is useful for the organization.
Moreover, opinions of the authority should always be taken to make sure everything goes with mutual consent. Meeting minutes should be prepared carefully and with the expertise to save the organization’s time and money in the future.
What are your thoughts about the significance of meeting minutes in optimizing the effectiveness of a meeting or conference? Tell us in the comments below.