Style and Format
The style format and content that you use to record the Minutes of Meetings depends on the organisation, its level of formality, its size and culture.
I am offering an informal guide, for less formal meetings and organisations .Please note that it does not cover the fulfilment of any statutory requirements, such as those that cover requirements for the Minutes for a Public Company, for meetings such as the Annual General Meeting, which have to conform to certain regulations.
If you are nominated to take the Minutes at a less formal meeting, you are acting on behalf of the Meeting Chair, and effectively making a record for them, so discuss with them what they expect you to record. They probably have a standard format, or even a form you can use. Make sure you have a copy of the Meeting Agenda, and use it to match in the Minutes the topic titles and numbering used in the agenda.
You can use available tools that will create an Agenda document that then forms the basis of the Minutes.
In fact you can use Google Calendar to arrange the meeting, and you will find there is an Agenda document available there. You can use this as a basis for the minutes which can then be shared with the attendees.
Why do you need to take Minutes.
There are quite a few reasons you would do this; – .
- To create and keep a record of what happened at the meeting (This is important particularly for Public Companies to comply with statutory regulations)
- They act as a record of any decisions that are made, votes that are taken, actions that are agreed, as well as who has responsibility for the action.
- They record who attended the meeting
- They can be useful information for people who are unable to attend a meeting.
- They can be a reminder for people who did attend the meeting.
- They will often be read at the next meeting ( if it is a regular meeting) .This can be an effective way to revisit the points covered last time , and move them along.
- The action points can remind delegates to complete their tasks when the Minutes are circulated.
What should the minutes record?
- The title of the meeting and the date, e.g.
Minutes of Sales Meeting Friday 19 February 2016
- Names of those present at the meeting and their capacity. If someone is only present for part of the meeting, record that .For example
Present John Jones Chair
Asif Kimora Secretary
Mary Smith (part)
- Record absences and apologies from those unable to attend.
- Corrections needed to previous Meeting Minutes
- Note the outcome of discussion on each agenda point. Also record details of a vote if one is taken. Next steps, actions to be taken, who is to take action, and by when. Don’t record what was said, just a summary of the outcome of each agenda point
- Record Motions put to the meeting, as well as noting whether they are accepted or rejected
- Make a note of Items held over till the next meeting. This may be decided because time has run out, the meeting does not have information it needs, or someone is not present who is important to the discussion.
- Note any new business, which is not listed on the agenda, and the relevant details
- Record the date and time of the next meeting if known.