How to Write Effective Minutes of a Meeting
The term minutes of a meeting is derived from a Latin phrase ‘Minuta Scriptura meaning ‘ small notes’. Minutes of a meeting is a written and informative record of what was said in a meeting, decisions and proposals that were made during the meeting. It is a written record which captures the proceedings of a meeting. Effective minutes captures the essence of the meeting. Effective minutes of any meeting are vital as they help to put a team or company in order.
Minutes helps to update the members of the team who are absent during the meeting. It is crucial to capture the most relevant information and details in the recorded document.
Effective minutes need to capture the following:
- The name and venue of the meeting
- Date and time the meeting was held.
- List of the members present starting with the chairman, secretary and treasurer.
- List of absent members with apologies. These are members who had permissions to be absent prior to the time the meeting is taking place.
- List of absent members without apologies. These are members who failed to attend the meeting and failed to give valid reasons for their absentia.
- List of the invited guests in attendance if any.
- The purpose of the meeting.
- The agendas of the meeting.
- Proposed date, time and venue for the next consecutive meeting.
Effective minutes are based on facts. In case of any unclear detail, it is advisable to seek clarification from the speaker. This will help to avoid misconception of information. The template of the minutes is guided by the type of meeting being recorded. The meeting can either be professional or information.
Example 1 of a Professional Meeting Minutes
Board of Directors Meeting
Water and Sanitation Department
Date: Friday, 28th March 2021
Time: 11.00 Am
Venue: Nairobi Water Company Boardroom, room B207
Members Present: Jane Rose Halima
Member Absent: Danice Nyakundi
Absent without Apology: Peterson James
Min 1: The meeting was called to order at 11.00 am by the chairperson Jane Rose Halima.
Min 2: Reading and approval of previous minutes: Minutes of the meeting held on January 16, 2021 were read and confirmed to be true.
Min 3: Treasure’s Report: The treasurer presented the audited annual report for the previous year. The members present were satisfied with the current financial situation of the company except that they unanimously agreed to employ more sophisticated methods of funds accumulations from their clients with an aim of raising more funds.
Min 4: The next meeting was scheduled on May 12, 2021.
Example 2 of a Professional Meeting Minutes
EVERLASTING CHURCH NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HELD ON 16TH JUNE 2019 AT EASTPATH HOTEL, ROOM 12 A.
Bishop Ezekiel Juma
Rev. Jack Kirwa
Rev. Peter Lisu
Rev. Rita Rakelli
Rev. Elisha Panda
Rev. Elikana Were
The meeting started with a word of prayer from Rev. Rita.
- The minutes of the previous meetings were read by the secretary. They were confirmed by Rev. Elisha Panda. He was seconded by Rev. Rita.
- Bank Accounts: The members authorized the opening of Transmara and Mombasa regions with Cooperative Bank of Africa.
AOB: Rev Peter requested for a water borehole to be drilled in his regions. Members directed him to liase with the Water and Borehole Drilling Department source for the expected budget for the task. He is to give his finding in the next meeting.
There being no other business the meeting adjourned with a word of prayer at 4.00Pm
Minutes of Informal Meetings
In a formal setting, Informal meetings include brainstorming and updates sessions. Informal meetings do not require to have outlined agenda. Not all informal meetings that require minutes to be taken, though it’s always a brilliant idea to take notes for future reference. Minutes in an informal meeting does not require the use of the formal language. Its structure does not have to be official. Inspire of the structure used, the minutes need to be helpful.
Characteristics of Effective Minutes
- They should be clear and to the point. Avoid irrelevant information.
- They should capture important and relevant information.
- They should be a clear guide to the proceeding of the consecutive meeting.