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What To Know About Minutes Writing Format

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This article outlines a generic minutes writing format that will help one prepare minutes of a meeting. Take note that the writing format, style, and composition for every meeting minutes vary depending on the organization and the type of meeting held – formal or informal.

Corporate minutes document,

What are the minutes of a meeting?

Minutes comprise an official summary of the proceedings of a meeting: a written record of whatever took place. These are essential to use for future reference to inform decisions and as a communication tool.

Minutes writing is not a demanding task. Nevertheless, one ought to capture the following information:

  • Meeting’s Agenda
  • Persons in attendance and whoever is recording the minutes: also those absent.
  • The title of the group that is meeting or the company
  • The date and time, along with the venue.
  • Note if attendees acknowledged minutes from the previous meeting.
  • Reports presented
  • Decisions made and by whom (motions passed, votes, etc.)

Minutes are tangible documentation of a meeting and an information source for members who did not attend. Also, the minutes of a meeting are a reference point:

  • When aftermaths of a meeting influence other collaborative projects.
  • Minutes can acquaint or remind persons of the tasks assigned and timelines set.

Minutes writing format may include:

  • A heading comprising the title of a meeting, venue, time, and date
  • Members present – list all the members who attended the meeting.
  • Members absent with apologies: list absent members who sent apologies.
  • Members absent without apologies: list absent members but did not ask for permission to be away.
  • In attendance – list names of guests.
  • Agenda – consists of numbered items for discussion in a meeting.
  • Minutes: Each minute presents a topic e.g. Min. 1/06: Salary raise for ICT staff.
  • Announcements
  • Adjournment

Essentials of minutes writing

One can take minutes in real-time or make notes after each topic.

  • Be concise. Document the happenings at the meeting. Though one needs not a word-for-word accounting of everything said. Precision in minutes writing not only allows for easy understanding but also provides perspective for future reference.
  • Note the facts but not personal observations when writing minutes of a meeting:  a factual record of the discussion.
  • Provide extensive but clear notes on significant items discussed.
  • One can use a template for the right minute writing format, especially formal meetings. With informal meetings, one is flexible.
  • Present the draft minutes of a meeting for review following the company’s policy.


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