Companies and organizations executives always hold meetings to discuss, vote, and agree on matters regarding their projects, operations, plans, or other important matters. While a meeting always has minutes that serve as a written record of the meeting that was being held, it is oftentimes too long for everyone to read, especially if each is swamped with a lot of workloads to do. A meeting summary is essential to distribute to everyone to let them know what went down during the meeting, especially for those who failed to attend it. If you’re the designated meeting minutes taker, you are also likely assigned to write the meeting summary as well. Read the article to know how to write a meeting executive summary.
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What is a Meeting Summary?
A meeting summary is a less formal version of meeting minutes. It mainly serves as a recap or a general overview of the discussion during the meeting. It includes the agreement that was voted on during the meeting, updates within the organization, or any projects that were discussed in the meeting. The purpose of your meeting summary is to help everyone remember all the important details that were talked about during the meeting and inform the members who were unable to attend the meeting of all the important points discussed.
How to Write a Meeting Executive Summary
1. Take Notes During the Meeting
While the meeting is in progress, take note of the meeting agenda and write down important details that are being discussed. To aid you in taking your notes, use a voice recorder to record everything that is going on. Ask permission first that you will be recording the meeting in progress and you will only use the recording for note-taking purposes.
2. Highlight the Important Information
When taking notes, highlight any key decisions that were made in the meeting. Note also why this decision was made by the executives and if these were voted by everyone. This will be useful when you get to write your summary since this information is what you will put.
The second important detail to document is the actions items that have been discussed in the meeting. Write down the activities or tasks that will be done, the people who are responsible for carrying these tasks and actions, and the due date to complete these tasks.
3. Share the Notes to the Attendees
Before you wrap up your meeting summary, pass your notes first to the attendees and ask for their feedback; this is important because you might have written the wrong information or you missed writing some important points. They can also help remind you of the other points being discussed. This is helpful if you didn’t get to record the meeting or your recorder suddenly stopped in the middle of the meeting discussion.
4. Include a reminder of the next meeting date
Once you’re done letting the attendees review your notes, you can end your summary with a reminder of the next meeting that will take place. If your organization or company has a shared online calendar, you can note the meeting there to notify them of the next meeting. This will help the executives remind them of the meeting and the responsibilities they have to do and to also free their time on the meeting date so they can attend it.
What is the difference between a summary and meeting minutes?
A meeting summary is less formal and less detailed compared to meeting minutes. As the name suggests, the meeting summary is brief and concise and only focuses on the highlights that were discussed during the meeting.
How do you conclude a meeting?
If it’s your first time to officiate a meeting, and you’re not sure how to adjourn a meeting, here are a few phrases to say to end the meeting
- Since we’ve run out of time, we’ll finish here.
- I think we’ve covered everything on the list.
- That will be all for today.
- Meeting adjourned.
Before you print the meeting summary and let the chairman sign it, review and proofread it first for any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Make sure the summary is understandable, clear, and concise. A formal tone must be used in writing the summary. If there are any supporting documents needed for the summary, attach them as well. Don’t send a sloppy summary that has a lot of corrections; you will be asked to write it again and this will cost you time since you need to give copies to the rest of the executives. If you need a guide to help you write the meeting summary, download our free sample templates above!
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