Writing Impressive Minutes of a Meeting (with Sample) Use this sample minutes of a meeting as a template for your formal notification.
If a person is responsible for taking meeting minutes, it’s important that they know how to do it accurately and effectively because the minutes are the legal record of the proceedings and actions of the organization.
Succinct minutes capture the purpose of the meeting, its agreed outcomes and can be used as a reference for follow-up purposes later. Even though they are concise, they should contain all the important information. The official guidelines for meeting minutes come from Robert’s Rules of Order in the section on being a secretary.
When colleagues have disagreements about a course of action, or who is responsible for what, they can refer to the minutes of the last meeting to settle disputes. Minutes are not meant to be an exact recording of a meeting. They are meant to record important information and actions to be taken.
Minutes can also be used as a tangible record when outcomes impact other organizations or collaborative projects or activities within the organization. They can be a reference for members who were not able to attend the meeting.
The person taking the minutes should also learn what type of format the chairman expects the minutes to have. Some organizations have specific formats for meeting minutes. The person taking the minutes should not be a major player in the meeting. If he or she is expected to participate in discussions, neither task will be done well.
It is recommended for the person taking the minutes to make a template of the required format. While waiting for the meeting to start, the known information can be filled in such as the date, name of company and attendees. Then, he or she can just fill in the information during the meeting.
The most common points are: • The date, time and venue of the meeting • The names of the attendees and apologies of absentees • Acceptance or corrections to the previous meeting’s minutes • Decisions made on each agenda item • Actions agreed on • Motions taken or rejected • Old business • New business • Next meeting time and date • Signature of person who took the minutes
The person who takes the minutes should work with the chairman or president to create a clear agenda for the meeting. This will make taking minutes much easier. If it’s not possible to communicate with the chairman, the secretary should request a written agenda of the meeting in advance. If there are committee reports made during the meeting, the person taking the minutes can request a copy of the report after the meeting.
Minutes can be recorded by hand in a notebook and typed later, or they can be typed directly into a laptop. In some cases, the meeting can be recorded, so the person taking the minutes can write them later.
It is recommended to transcribe the official minutes immediately after the meeting while the events can easily be remembered. The person writing the minutes should sit close to the chairman, so he or she can ask for clarification of any points without raising his or her voice.
Some tips for taking professional minutes: • Items in the minutes should be from an objective point of view and not the minute taker’s feelings • The minutes should be written in the same verb tense throughout • The names of people should be put in the minutes only if they made a motion or seconded a motion. Minutes are not a document of who said what • Few adjectives and adverbs should be used. There is no place for personal observation • If other documents are referred to in the meeting, the documents should either be attached to the final minutes or where they can be found should be mentioned. The documents shouldn’t be summarized.
Here is a sample of accurate meeting minutes. After the minutes have been approved, usually at the next meeting, the minutes need to be properly stored. This may be in hard copy, in a backed-up computer file, online or all three.
Minutes of Name of Organization Sample DATE of Meeting
Call to Order: A bi-annual meeting of the school board of Name of School District, was held in Name of City, State, on DATE. The meeting convened at TIME, with the Chairman of the Board, NAME presiding, and the Secretary, NAME.
The attendees were:
Name of Attendee Name of Attendee Nam of Attendee
Approval of minutes: NAME made a motion that the minutes from the meeting on DATE be approved, and NAME seconded the motion. The Motion was carried.
The Following reports were made:
President Vice president Secretary Treasurer Committee reports: If applicable
Unfinished business: Subject Motion by NAME, seconded by NAME Motion carried or failed whichever is applicable
New business: Subject Motion by NAME, seconded by NAME Motion carried or failed whichever is applicable
Announcements: by the chairman Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at TIME.