How to Write Minutes
I am responsible for writing the minutes of our weekly teleconferences with our boss in the United States, as well as those with a certain service provider of our company. Actually, this job is the first one that requires me to do this task. I was quite apprehensive initially when my immediate supervisor said it would be part of my job to write the minutes from then on. Good thing she provided me with a template to work on.
Although not considered a specialized form of writing, writing good minutes requires certain skills that are honed over time after being exposed to it a bit. While I don’t claim to be expert at writing minutes, I could say that I have gained enough experience to be able to compose a good minute report as I have come to identify certain qualities that make up such a report.
There are four most important things to remember when writing minutes. These include the following:
Your minutes must cover every pertinent discussion during the meeting. Although you need not record every word spoken, you need to capture all the relevant topics discussed, issues and questions raised, as well as resolutions or plans of actions which have been agreed upon and laid down.
While it is vital that you record everything that has been discussed during the meeting, it is also equally important to make your minutes as brief as possible. You must be able to capture all the important issues discussed in a brief, organized and comprehensive manner. This skill can be acquired after writing several minutes.
It is very important that your minutes reflect accurate information. Always make sure that what you put into your report is correct and valid. If you’re not sure as to the accuracy or validity of a certain issue, do not hesitate to ask those who. During my first few weeks with the company, there were terms and issues I simply had no idea about. So I sought clarification before writing the minutes. Remember that the minutes serve as a record of the meeting so that everyone involved – whether present or absent during the meeting – will have a good grasp of all the important issues that have been discussed.
4) The Structure of the Minutes
The form and structure of your minutes should also be considered carefully. I was fortunate enough to be provided with a template to work on when writing the minutes of our teleconferences. If you are allowed to make your own template, then you can be a little creative in formatting the structure of your minutes. In doing so, you need to bear in mind that minutes must be brief yet organized, comprehensive and accurate.
It would be best to use a columnar structure wherein you have separate columns for topics, issues raised, resolutions and plans of action, as well as for names of the person/s responsible for such actions.
Naturally, a good minute report must also reflect all the key elements such as the date and time, venue, attendees and facilitator, as well as the duration of the meeting. The schedule of the next meeting must also be recorded.
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