Taking Minutes for Meetings

 In Minute Taking

Taking Minutes for Meetings

coursedetailsIt is a rewarding and important role to take good minutes of a board meeting. The minutes of board meetings are not just a record of discussions, but also serve as an official and legally binding record of each meeting. The minutes can be used for a number of purposes, including to track progress and provide a reference point. Your meeting minutes should include a record of all motions, votes, and abstentions.

As secretary, there are four steps to recording minutes of a meeting. It will take some time to plan ahead, take notes during meetings, and then write a formal report at the end of the meeting. You will also need to file and share the minutes from each meeting.

A quick and simple guide to using minutes. Minutes are notes that you take during meetings to remind yourself of what was discussed and agreed upon. They don’t have to be lengthy or complex, or use fancy grammar or language. However, they should clearly record the decisions made and who will carry them out.

Taking Minutes for Meetings

1. Preparation for the Board meeting

It is important to remember that every board records its minutes in a different way. Discuss with the board president any expected or current formats you should use. You can review past minutes of meetings to help you create a template. Ask the board president to provide a copy the meeting agenda. This includes the names of all participants, as well as the names of any guests or speakers.

2. Taking a record of the Board Meeting

If your organisation does not require you to take notes during a meeting, you have the option of either writing them down or typing them. A strong meeting minutes template will help you keep more organised minutes. When taking minutes at a board meeting, the two most important aspects to understand are how to present and record information.

You should include the following information in order to take effective minutes of a board meeting:

  • Date and time of the meeting
  • Time: The meeting was called to order
  • Names of absentees and participants in the meeting
  • Corrections and modifications to meeting minutes
  • Motions to add to the current agenda quorum

3. Writing the Official Record of Board Meeting Minutes

To understand the scope of the meeting, review the agenda. Notes can be added to clarify. Clearance can be achieved by reviewing actions, motions and votes. Make sure that the minutes are clear, concise, and easy-to-read.

It is better to attach any meeting handouts or documents that were used during the meeting to the final copy than to summarize the contents in the minutes.

4. Signature, filing, and sharing minutes

After your meeting minutes have been completed, you must make them official by signing them with the board secretary. The president may be required to sign the minutes.

You should be familiar with the by-laws of your organisation and how to keep minutes. It is a good idea for board members to have backup copies in print, on a hard drive or online. The secretary has responsibility for sharing minutes. Before sharing the minutes in print or online, make sure that the president has approved them.

istockphoto xWhat is the point of having minutes?

It’s useful to keep a written record of your meeting. This will help you remember what was agreed upon and who is doing it. Even if the meeting was informal and small, this is important.

The minutes keep everyone in the group informed, even those who couldn’t attend.

How to take meeting minutes

  • Before the Meeting

Select your recording device. You can choose to use pen and paper, or a tablet, smartphone, or laptop computer. You can check with your boss to determine if you prefer a certain method.

You should ensure that your chosen tool is working properly and keep a spare in case it breaks. For example, if you have a laptop with you, make sure to bring pen and paper. If your computer crashes, you don’t want the meeting to be halted while you look for something to write on.

Before the meeting begins, you should prepare the agenda. This will help you create a plan for your minutes. You can write your notes in the space provided below each item. This will make your job easier, provided that the meeting leader sticks to the agenda.

  • During the Meeting

Distribute an attendance sheet to everyone and ensure that they sign in. In the official meeting minutes, you will need to list all attendees. It is important to know the names of everyone. This will help you identify the speaker and accurately record their information.

Take note of the start time for the meeting.

Do not try to include every comment. It’s okay to only include the most important ideas. It is okay to include only the main ideas. You shouldn’t let your biases influence you. This is not your opinion, it’s an official account.

You don’t have to record who made the motions or who voted on them. Your organisation’s rules may be different so check with your boss.

Note any deferred votes or discussions that are not being voted on at the next meeting. Keep track of the end time.

  • After the Meeting

You should make sure to complete the minutes as soon after the meeting as possible, so that you have everything fresh in your head. Talk to other attendees if you spot an error in the meeting notes or have questions. The final copy of the minutes should include the name of your organisation, the title of the committee and the purpose of the meeting.

Include the complete list of participants and a brief description about the person who led the meeting. In parentheses, add your name to the list of participants. You can also sign off the document by writing “Respectively submitted to,” followed by your name.

Before you send them, proofread them. Ask another person who was present to review them. If you have missed something, they will let you know. If you are asked to, submit them to the organiser of the meeting.

Last Thoughts

For many reasons, meeting minutes are important. Meeting minutes are a record of the company’s long-term and short-term planning. Each meeting has an objective or goal. The board and participants can use the minutes to help them understand the progress made.

Meeting minutes provide legal protection to the organisation. Many times, due diligence is documented in company meeting minutes. This includes any legal conversations that can be officiated to verify the fair and ethical practices of the organisation. The meeting minutes can also be used to prove the reasons and methods for certain decisions. These documents can be used to answer questions about any decisions made. Learn more about minute taking with one of our courses or have us tailor a training session to suit your team.

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