No matter how engaging it may be, you’re bound to miss something when you sit through a meeting that goes beyond twenty minutes. Often, even in the middle of a crucial decision-making discussion, your mind will start to wander far away from your business meeting agenda. Of course, you get back to your senses from to time, but there’s no denying that some meeting details have already slipped past through attention. This is why meeting minutes is important. It holds a complete record of discussion points, presentation, summary, and assigned tasks that are crucial takeaways to help you perform your job. Learn more about this below.
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What Is a Meeting Minutes?
A meeting minutes is a record of significant points and highlights discussed during a meeting. It’s a note of the account on what happened during the discussion. It often serves as a reminder and a guide for those who failed to attend the meeting. It can also be a future reference for related upcoming agendas.
Why Meeting Minutes Is Important
According to Highfive’s interesting collection of statistics about meetings, the average duration of meetings lasts between thirty to sixty minutes. If you have a roomful of people on board a discussion, only two to four people are actively involved 73% of the time. In an even more interesting finding, nine out of ten people daydream during meetings. It’s no wonder minutes of the meeting are significant. It summarizes every matter in the discussion to provide everyone involved in the meeting a complete copy of the discussion.
Furthermore, according to AllBusiness, among the reasons why meeting minutes are integral is because it can serve as legal protection. Apparently, documented minutes of the meeting are acceptable legal documents by the IRS, courts, and legal experts. An action is only viable when discussed and published in the minutes. If a decision raised and voted in the decision turned out to be unlawful, those who refused or abstained from carrying out the action as written in the minutes will be exempted from the consequences and will receive protection. Aside from being a defense document, it’s an essential outline of agenda guide and reference on what the meeting was all about. It is a valuable archive that the organization can dig up from their business records whenever necessary.
How to Write a Meeting Minutes
If you’re looking for a way on how to construct your meeting minutes properly, here are some tips for you:
1. Actively Take Notes
When you record the minutes of the meeting, always take notes actively. Write down the details while the meeting is on-going. Even when you’ve had the same agenda as before, and you take pride in the power of your memory, you’ll never know that you might be missing something. Instead of being complacent, write down everything as soon as the speaker mentions them. Make a bullet of important points and major decisions. You can use diagrams to write down processes or connections. This way, you can be sure that you got everything on paper so you can interpret the details easily later on for distributions.
2. Review Previous Agenda
If the meeting is a continuation of the previous team meeting agenda, it’s best to place the previous topic on the top so you can easily connect it to the current discussion. Take note of the resolved and the unresolved action plans and how the meeting addressed the previous session’s unfinished issues. This way, when you finalize the document copy of the minutes of the meeting, the members would be able to understand how the different topics correlate with each other.
3. Ask Clarifications
When there are points in your meeting that are vague or lacks the necessary details, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. This is the only you’ll be able to present a comprehensive account of what transpired during the session. Don’t leave the room with loopholes and unanswered queries on your minutes. As an example, if you are in a large formal meeting for a project plan where it’s challenging to ask questions, wait until the speaker allows inquiries and suggestions. Aside from completing your meeting notes, you might also be helping provide answers for the crowd who probably want to ask the same questions.
4. Note the Attendance
Sometimes, those who confirmed their attendance upon receiving the meeting agenda scope and the meeting invitation are not exactly the same number or person who will turn up during the event. Record the attendance of those who attended during the said meeting schedule. Some office would list down names starting from the executive members down to the staff member in alphabetical forms. Revisit the invitation list and take note of who didn’t participate. If they sent a substitute on their behalf, identify the substituting individual. If an invited individual failed to attend in person and used a video call instead, your minutes should show that.
5. Specify Assignments
If you think you can skip the assignments and task delegation during the meeting because the participants are taking note of their responsibilities already, that where you’re wrong. As someone assigned to document the details of the meeting, you should never miss out on the who’s who of the discussion. You must include the task assignments and the person responsible for each of them on your meeting minutes. Remember that not everyone who is essentially involved in the agenda can be present during the team meeting. It’s best to know their task through the distributed minutes officially. It will also serve as a reminder for those who were there.
What notes can you include in your meeting minutes?
Here is a list of notes that you can include on your meeting minutes:
- Time and date
- Attendance record
- References from the previous meeting
- Agenda list
- If the meeting is in quorum
- Voting results
- Agreed and disagreed matters
- Details about the next meeting
When do you distribute the meeting minutes after the session?
Within the next 24 hours if possible.
Should you include specific names in the copy of the meeting minutes?
Yes, names are included in the meeting minutes, including their positions or the name of their organization.
Meetings are where ideas come forward, integral matters are tackled, and decisions are laid down with people whose insights matter in forming different agreements and resolutions. Therefore, it’s only right that whatever matters it entails should have complete documentation that will serve as a valuable tool in preserving these important matters. The meeting minutes have a significant role in fulfilling this. Browse through our collection and select which best fits your purpose. Download now!
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