Minutes are a summary of what was said and decided in a meeting. The format for this will vary depending on your requirements. But, here, we look at key components for the minutes of a meeting, which include:
The meeting information (i.e., details about the meeting and attendees).
A section where the minutes from the previous meeting are approved.
The review of the agenda, plus any changes made.
A series of action items and decisions taken.
Closing remarks and details of the next meeting.
Let’s take a closer look at how to write up each of these elements. At the end of the post, we’ve also included an example set of minutes.
1. Meeting Information
All minutes begin with the basic information about the meeting:
The name of the company or group holding the meeting.
The date, time, and venue of the meeting.
Who attended the meeting, starting with the person chairing it.
The names of people who were unable to attend.
You should be able to find most of this information on the meeting agenda.
2. Approval of Previous Minutes
In this section, you’ll want to note whether the minutes of the previous meeting were accepted. This means checking everyone agrees that the previous minutes reflect what happened at the meeting.
If anyone raises an issue with the previous minutes, such as an error or incorrect name, it may need correcting. When this happens, make a note of the correction and the name of the person who raised the problem.
3. Review of the Agenda
A meeting agenda is an itemized list of things that will be discussed during the meeting. Typically, this will be circulated before the meeting, so you won’t need to include it in the minutes. And as long as everyone accepts the agenda, you’ll simply need to note that it was approved in this section.
If the agenda needs to be amended (e.g., if someone who was supposed to speak at the meeting on a specific point is unable to attend), though, the review of the agenda should note any changes to the schedule.
4. Action Items
Each topic of discussion listed in the agenda is known as an action item. And the main body of your minutes will cover these actions items, including:
The subject under discussion.
The name of the person who led the discussion.
Any decisions that were reached.
The name(s) of the people responsible for implementing the decision.
The time frame for its implementation.
Focus on these main points to make sure your meetings are clear and concise. Alternatively, if an item has been dropped from the agenda, you can note when it will be addressed instead.
5. Closing Remarks and Next Meeting
After the action points, include a short section for any concluding remarks or requests made at the end of the meeting. Next, note details of the next meeting (e.g., where and when it will take place, proposed agenda items).
Finally, you may want to provide a few administrative details, such as when the meeting ended, who prepared the minutes, and/or a date of distribution.
Example Meeting Minutes
To finish this post, we’ve prepared an example of a set of minutes containing all the sections set out above. Remember that this is just an example, though. If you need to write up the minutes for a meeting at your company, you should adapt this format to match your needs.
Pear Tree Cosmetics – Monthly Sales Team Meeting
August 24, 2020
The Green Room, London House
John Smith (Chairperson), Jane Evans (Financial Director), Oscar Taylor (Procurement), Ella Wilson (Sales Director), Sally Brown (Marketing), Jennifer Black (Secretary to Mr. Smith)
Mary Thomas (Human Resources)
1. Approval of Previous Minutes
The minutes from August 17, 2020 were approved unanimously.
2. Review of Agenda
Item 5 on the agenda dealing with the recruitment drive was deferred until the next meeting when Mary Thomas will be present.
3. Love Your Skin Launch to Market
Oscar Taylor reports a strike has disrupted the import of essential oils from Brazil. His team anticipates a three-month delay.
John Smith requested an itemized breakdown of costs and a revised timeline to launch for presentation at the next meeting.
Action: Jane Evans, Oscar Taylor
4. Development of the 2021 Marketing Strategy
Sally Brown presented the proposed 2021 marketing strategy and distributed copies for review with a request for comments and feedback via email by Friday, August 28.
5. Recruitment Drive
Deferred to next meeting.
6. Second Quarter Sales Report
Ella Wilson provided second-quarter sales figures showing a 9.2% decline, attributed to the economic slump. She then presented revised sales projections for the third and fourth quarters.
The revised sales projections were accepted by all.
John Smith thanked the team for their hard work and said that he believed that “Pear Tree Cosmetics has weathered the worst of the storm, but we are not out of it yet!”
The next meeting will be Monday, August 31 at 10:00 in the Green Room. Proposed agenda items include:
The amended graduate recruitment drive
Revised budgets and the timeline for Love Your Skin launch
Minutes prepared by Jennifer Black and approved by John Smith. Distributed Tuesday, August 25, 2020.
We hope this post has helped you work out what to include in your minutes! If you need a little extra help to ensure they contain no typos, though, why not submit them for proofreading when you’ve written them up?
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