As a secretary or executive assistant in any association or organization in Nigeria, you must be able to compose good meeting minutes. Regardless of how you feel about your position as a penman, reporting significant meeting minutes is a long-term essential for any association with meetings.
It may feel critical when taking down a meeting minute based on the agenda, but it is vital always to make your writing clear.
In this article, we will discuss how to write meeting minutes like a professional so everyone involved comprehends what happened during the meeting just by reading the minutes.
And I’ll also share some recommendations and templates to make writing meeting minutes less tasked.
What are Meeting Minutes?
Meeting minutes are the written report of a meeting or hearing. Minutes are usually well framed and formal, so they can be communicated after the meeting and help serve as chronological documents in the future.
For those who could not make their presence to the meeting, minutes bring them up to speed, i.e., minutes carry them along. Minutes also give accountability to the activities and action items that were communicated during the meeting.
More importantly, if an association comes into any legal situation, minutes conform as an official document asserting proper diligence, morals, and ground rule compliance.
The secretary is the most frequent person who takes meeting minutes. Nonprofits, government entities, schools, public companies, and trade unions are usually expected to record official meeting minutes. However, many other companies also employ meeting minutes to sustain an official record.
Importance of Taking Minutes
Writing minutes can be time-consuming and may appear like an insignificant assignment compared to advancing with the “real task,” but not writing meeting minutes can be high-priced in terms of time and resources.
If you don’t take minutes, you will discover that your associates have several more recalls from the meeting than you. They might as well have varied ideas about what was decided upon.
If minutes are absent, then important missions will be neglected or not accomplished by the expected date.
Writing good meeting minutes can conserve time and expenses. Short minutes that grasp the basis of the meeting and its agreed results are a report that can be referred back to and employed later for follow-up purposes. Good minutes are brief and to the fact, but at the same time, they do not leave out important messages.
The method and subject of meeting minutes will differ based on the union and how it’s structured. Nonetheless, it would help if you often contained the basics, like date, time, and the individuals who partake.
But various organizations will also benefit from having other optional items like additional documents, action items and so on.
In this article, as you read on, you will find out how to write meeting minutes and what to include.
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Essentials of Meeting Minutes
Below are the eight fundamental facets of meeting minutes; these are essential and must-haves in any organization’s meeting minutes.
- Topics discussed
- Voting outcomes
- Next meeting date and place
Apart from these elements, some organizations in Nigeria may add one or two elements to their minutes based on preferences.
Besides the requisites, your meeting notes can be structured in any manner that best suits your organization’s needs.
Here are some custom entities you can add to your meeting minutes:
- Supplementary documents
- Action items
- Motive for meeting
- Items to be analyzed in the following time
- Project status updates and voting outcomes
- Subsequent steps, like research and follow-ups
- A column to specify attendees who are guests, non-voters, or speakers.
- Corrections or improvements to the last meeting minutes
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5 Pointers for Writing Good Meeting Minutes
Meetings are not a minute-by-minute record and instead focus on the outcomes of the meeting.
Use a template
Following a template is an excellent tip on how to write good minutes of a meeting. They are all laid out the exact way, and you will not have to consume time putting in headings and bullet points.
This is helpful later when other people in the organization want to reference them. Some organizations even put their schedule and anticipated attendees on the meeting notes for efficiency.
Use a recorder
When you begin your secretary function, you might have difficulty keeping up with note-taking. If you are encountering this, consider recording the meeting. You can achieve this using any smartphone, tape recording device, or camera. Later, you can use an artificial intelligence transcription aid or barely listen back to the recording as a refresher when required.
Before recording, however, be certain that your attendees are informed that they are being taped.
Grant others access
Ensure your notes are viewable to the members throughout the meeting
Occasionally, meetings are combined. This sometimes can feel violent and make it less easy to keep track of everything. Formulating the notes viewable on a projector or rationing your screen or document during meetings enables the participation of your teammates.
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Summarization is also one of the great tips on how to write minutes of a meeting. As a secretary or a penman in any association, you must be able to summarize. When you are writing meeting notes, summarize.
You should report as much information as possible, but do not write everything word for word. It is not a must to record everything said during the meeting notes.
You also might have trouble keeping up if you try to write the whole conversation verbatim. Simplify and define what occurred during the meeting.
Label remarks with initials
If numerous people in the meeting have input on an issue, it can help better to make use of attendees’ initials to specify who contributed what. You can also use initials to specify who will be in charge of the subsequent steps. This shorthand strategy is a creative means of analyzing a multi-person conversation.
Once the meeting has been adjourned, employ your notes to write and amend your minutes and then share them. It helps to write your meeting minutes before the meeting concludes, so you do not miss anything.
From this article, you must certainly have learned one or two things about how to write meeting minutes. Maybe you are planning to take on the role of a secretary or penman in your association, or you want to play your role better. This article will serve as an inspiration for you.
Though, when it comes to the writing of meeting minutes, there are no specific categories. You have to find the formats that best work for you and your association or union.
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- I am Sulaiman Halima, a Microbiology student born and raised in Ilorin, Kwara State. Writing has always been my dream since childhood; it makes me curious. Apart from the fact that I learn more through writing, I chose writing also because I found it to be a great way to express my thoughts and share my feelings with others.