Why You Need Meeting Minutes and How to Utilize Them

A meeting’s minutes give a summary of the topics covered, the decisions made regarding the next steps, and who would handle each issue by when. In addition, they include an attendance list and excuses for absence.

Why are meeting minutes necessary?

How meeting minutes template serve as both a reminder for those who were there at the meeting and a helpful summary for those who were unable to make it. To ensure the accuracy of the minutes and to avoid any misunderstandings about the decisions made, everyone present should “sign off” on them.

It is best practice to review the prior minutes at the start of a meeting for routine meetings, such as project meetings for an ongoing project, and record whether the activities mentioned have been completed. This is frequently the first item on the schedule.

What is the role of the minute taker?

The person responsible for keeping meeting minutes template will take notes during the meeting, write them up (often in a predetermined format), give them to everyone present for approval, then give a final copy to everyone present as well as anyone who sent an apology. This person will generally be in charge of maintaining copies of the minutes in a file for future use.

Sometimes it’s necessary to hear exactly who said what. On other occasions, minutes might merely include a quick summary of the topics covered and the decisions made.

Crucially, minutes should be published as soon as possible after the meeting, even if for thorough minutes, the writing up process may take as long as the meeting itself. (If the minutes just contain discussion and action points, this won’t be the case.)

Who should take the minutes?

Whilst they shouldn’t be the meeting’s chair, the individual taking the minutes should preferably have some familiarity with the meeting’s topic. Simply put, it is impossible to conduct meetings effectively and record minutes.

The minute taker’s only responsibility is to record the meeting’s proceedings; ideally, they won’t even be there.

Benefits of using a freelance minute taker

A secretarial service or a virtual assistant could be an outsourced minute taker. Although similar, a secretarial service is unlikely to have even a close link with the business. If the meeting’s subject matter is anticipated to be contentious or the chair is worried about bias, this could be advantageous.

With a small business, having the minutes taken by a third party also frees up all meeting participants to focus on contributing to the discussion and making suggestions. A team member who is taking minutes will be completely preoccupied with it and unable to contribute effectively.

Using a contracted minute taker

  • Before of the meeting

Several virtual assistant and secretarial services will need you to sign a contract that contains a confidentiality clause before they will hire you. In the event that they don’t, you can think about having the minute taker sign a confidentiality agreement. An attendance list should ideally be sent in advance to the minute taker. A list of the topics that each member of the meeting will be reporting on should preferably be given to the minute taker if they will all be reporting on different projects or assignments. The agenda might include something on it, but it could just state that. 5. Report on each team member’s projects. If this is the case, more details should be provided. You’ll likely be charged by an external meeting minute taker for both the time spent at the meeting and the time spent preparing the minutes. By properly briefing the minute taker in advance, you can cut down on the time needed to write up the meeting.

  • At the conference

If the meeting is chaired well, a ton of time will be saved. In order to avoid having everyone speak at once, the chair must watch that the participants stick to the items on the agenda. Because the notes are organized according to the agenda, taking notes is simpler and takes less time. The chair should ask the minute taker at the conclusion of the meeting if there are any details that need to be clarified before the meeting is adjourned. This allows the minute taker the chance to immediately clarify any unclear topics with specific meeting participants.