What Are Meeting Minutes?

The minutes of a meeting record in writing the proceedings of such meetings. Meeting minutes are very important in the documentation of key points discussed which led to a decision, especially if such decisions required voting on the participants' or attendees' part. Effective meeting reports or meeting minutes are fairly simple to write but they also shouldn't leave out critical information.

How to Write Formal Meeting Minutes?

Among 182 senior managers in a range of industries surveyed by Harvard Business Review, 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. One way of changing your approach to make your regular or monthly meetings productive and effective is by creating and using meeting minutes.

In official or formal gatherings such as Senate and Congress sessions, everything that is said by everyone is recorded so that no one can claim otherwise. Whether it's for a formal or fairly informal meeting, you should be able to create weekly meeting minutes for your business that document the session accurately. Here's how.

1. Know the Rules

Different industries and organizations follow a generally accepted set of guidelines in writing business meeting minutes which is Robert's Rule of Order. Ask whether your group follows the same if you're the secretary, since most of the time, it's the secretary that writes the minutes. If you're following any other basic corporate meeting minutes guide, it's still important for you to be familiar with the general formatting rules. You also have to know your role beforehand because it might be limited to documenting which means you may not be able to participate in the meeting itself.

2. List Down Attendees' Names

Make sure that you have the correct first and last names of everyone attending or present in the meeting. If you're not sure, ask your boss or the person who presides it. Most of the time, a meeting cannot take place without the presence of a particular person or individual. You can also prepare a meeting attendance sheet that the attendees can just fill in.

3. Create a Rough Draft of Your Meeting Agenda

Writing a sample meeting minutes agenda or a rough draft allows you to organize information better. Have a separate section for the agenda as well as the time and date of the meeting. Include a space for writing down motions with their corresponding ruling because it is crucial to have a written record every time something is decided by officials or organization board.

4. Everyone Should Sign It

In a professional meeting, everyone should sign the meeting minutes, making it an official document that binds all those people to agreements made at the meeting, policies formulated and all such other things discussed. In no way can an official or member back down from the agreements or decisions as therein lies what they had agreed upon.

5. All Proceedings Should be Recorded

Even when an official or personality objected to a business agreement, whatever decisions reached after such objections become official. That is why all the proceedings in a meeting should be recorded, and it is precisely why it is called a meeting minutes. It is an official document which, in many cases, can withstand court scrutiny.

What are the Important Components of a Meeting Minute?

The major elements that make up an accurately-prepared meeting minute include:

  • Meeting Attendance
  • The Agenda of the present meeting
  • The proceedings of the last meeting
  • The Motion-for and against
  • The name of people presenting the specific ideas
  • The Decisions made
  • The Signatures of concerned authorities

The contents can vary depending upon the purpose of the meeting, but the general format remains the same. Follow the order to create a generalized minute properly. At Template.net we have multiple samples with provisions specified to suit the meeting type. Simply attend the meeting and fill up the blank minute and prepare the perfect document accurately.

Why is a Meeting Minute Important?

A meeting is important only to the people invited to attend, one might think. However, the proceedings might involve decisions that include the other departments as well. Communicating the meeting minute around is extremely important because:

  • It updates the office about the proceedings of the meeting
  • It tells the departments what steps they ought to take next
  • It coordinates the departments
  • Results in faster development of the company

It is essential thus that the important detail of the meeting are taken down and communicated accurately to unite the employees and help them operate in coordination.

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