Tips for Taking Minutes at Meetings: The 3 Most Important Things to Take Note Of

A minute taker during a meeting is important because it allows a review and briefing to be made of each meeting that your company has. It is also a great way to document what happened in a meeting so that it can be sent out to board members or others who couldn’t physically be at the meeting. Here are few tips for taking meeting minutes in a board meeting, that you should remember:

1. The basics of the meeting 

Minutes should not be too detailed or too long. They are meant to be a concise and short briefing to make the meeting agenda clear. One of the most important things to take note of are all the basic information such as the date, time, and venue. 

Everyone attending the meeting should also be listed. Also include who the minute writer was. The minutes also need to mention who didn’t attend the meeting but was invited. This includes everyone who will need to be briefed about the meeting but wasn’t able to be there in person. 

2. Summary of the agenda 

Before attending the meeting, consider talking to the chief or their secretary to ask what the meeting will be about and the main events that will take place. This allows you to make a template or a format for your writing before stepping into the meeting. 

Using the right format will make minutes less time consuming and easier. The order of the minutes should follow the same schedule as the agenda from beginning to end. Only a summary sentence or two is needed, not too many details. 

The name of the person who talked about that part of the agenda should also be listed. This makes contacting them or asking them questions easier. 

3. Votes taken 

If any motions or votes were taken in the meeting, they need to be written down. Names are usually not needed when saying who voted for what. Always ask your chief though if they want names recorded for larger votes or votes pertaining to a certain matter. 

If a transaction with a board member is being taken or compensation is approved, usually the minutes will include who voted for and who voted against it. 

Some Other Tips

Now that you know what to take note of, there are also a few tips to make the process easier. Try to take all the minutes shortly after the meeting and format it quickly so you don’t forget what happened. 

You should also compile it into an online file unless your company specifically asks for paper copies to be handed out. Send the file out in a timely manner so that people can review the meeting and ask questions if they have any. 

What not to Include 

Any minutes that are taken usually become public documents within the company or even to third parties. So, there should be a few things you will want to exclude. Try not to mention direct quotations with or without a name. 

You don’t need to make detailed notes about discussions or exactly who said what. You also don’t need to include a to-do list or a list of actions that the company decided on for the future. 

Most companies want the minutes to be the only record of the meeting. So, other notes and audio are often deleted after the minutes are created and sent out. Make sure to only distribute the minutes and not all the notes and details of the meeting unless otherwise stated by a leader within the company. 

Minutes are a great way to brief meetings as long as you include the important notes.

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