Meetings are common part of corporate world. Each organization and company has meetings on regular basis. Some of these meetings are very common and part of the day to day business i.e. discussing sales figures with the sales department or implementing new marketing techniques after having discussion with the marketing department. On the other hand, there are some meetings that are more important i.e. annual progress meetings, board members meetings to change or implement new policies or meetings in between the shareholders for a merger or sale of company assets. No matter what the agenda of the meeting is, it’s important to document each part of the meeting effectively for the record keeping purposes. For this reason, meeting minutes are prepared. These are the brief notes taken before, during and after the meeting and these are the key points that summarize the entire meeting in as fewer as possible words.
Uses and Importance of Meeting Minutes:
There can be hundreds of reason for organizing a meeting but one reason is the most important that there is some issue or problem that needs to be discussed in the meeting so members can join their heads to find a solution for the problem. As the meeting secretary, it’s your job to attend the meeting and take notes for the session. Once the meeting is over, you will be asked to prepare meeting minutes and distribute these among all the participants.
It’s very common to miss some important detail discussed in the meeting after a while and that’s the problem that is tackled with preparation of the meeting minutes. Each member of the board and other participants are given the meeting minutes so they understand what was discussed in the meeting, what everyone agreed to, what actions are expected from each member and how much time they have to deliver the decided results.
Another important benefit of preparing meeting minutes is to evaluate the effectiveness of the previous meetings. Usually every meeting starts with discussion on the progress of agendas discussed in the last meeting. If all the required actions were taken in time, board members can move on to next issues and if there is still some tasks pending, effective measures can be taken to evaluate the reasons behind the delays and how to overcome these.
Free Meeting Minutes Templates
Here are several Free Meeting Minutes Templates to prepare your own Meeting Minutes easily.
Here is download link for this Meeting Minutes Template 01,
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Download link for this Meeting Minutes Template 04 in MS Word Format,
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Three Basic Parts of Meeting Minutes:
Filling Before Meeting Details:
Although your only job is to take meeting minutes but that doesn’t mean you should go in the meeting blind folded. You should be well aware of the agenda that will be discussed in the meeting or the important factors that might be discussed between board members. You should understand the purpose of the meeting and understand its basics so during the meeting, you are not just writing but also understanding. This will greatly help you if your notes miss an important part of the meeting.
Including During the Meeting Details:
The common problem that occur with meeting minutes is that the person responsible for taking these is not given enough time after the meeting to finalize all the paper work and distribute complete minutes to each member of the meeting. What you as a professional secretary can do is to differentiate notes from the actions discussed in the meeting. This will allow you to quickly add expected actions in front of each member’s name and then it’s easy for you to instantly transform all the details in a formal layout and share with meeting participants’ right after the meeting.
Adding After the Meeting Details:
When the meeting is over, it’s time to complete the minutes and add other relevant details in the final draft. Here you need to look at the notes you took during the meeting and see what’s important to add in the meeting minute’s sheet and prioritize all the details. At this stage, you should also be able to assign agreed tasks or actions for each participant and add short summary at the end of the final document that states what problems or agendas were discussed during the meeting and what duties were assigned to various members.