Creative and  Business Writing

Writing Meeting Minutes

The minutes of a meeting are a meeting report that is sent after the meeting, and include a report of what was said and decided during the meeting. The minutes contain the date of the meeting, as well as the initials and names of the people who attended. You can write the term "apologies for absence were received from…" to say which people didn't come to the meeting.

Meeting minutes layout

Minutes of meetings usually include:

Minutes of the last meeting
Matters arising from the last minutes
The agenda of the meeting itself
Any other business (AOB)

Meeting minutes also show who is responsible for carrying out action. In a column on the right-hand side, you can put the person's initials in bold to show that he or she will perform the action.

Report what was said

When you take minutes of a meeting, it is useful to report the ideas, rather than every sentence. To do this, you need to use a variety of speech verbs.

Here's a list that you might find useful:

suggested = "CA suggested raising the budget."

promised = "MB promised to find out more."

discussed = "Three issues were discussed."

decided = "It was decided to delay action until the next meeting."

agreed = "Everyone agreed on the proposal." "LS agreed to get further information." "Everyone agreed with the chairman."

brought up = "The issue of pay was brought up."

mentioned = "RJ mentioned the possibility of extra funds."

reported = "The Sales Manager reported on the results of the trade fair."

asked = "The Chairman asked to see a copy of the report."

wondered = "DM wondered if there would be extra funding."

recommended = "Five strategies were recommended."

explained = "SB explained the reason for the delay."

emphasised = "TA emphasised the necessity of a new product range."

stressed = "RR stressed his commitment to the project."

complained = "TM complained about the delays."

More help with Writing Meeting Minutes
Even though writing the minutes of a meeting is an important and common business writing task there are surprisingly few guides available. One good guide we recommend is Taking Minutes of Meetings – Write Accurate Minutes. Training and secretarial education expert Joanna Gutmann takes you on a thorough guide to the art of writing minutes. Topics covered include tips for setting up a meeting, guidelines for taking and formatting minutes as well as how to clearly, concisely and accurately record the decisions and actions taken in a meeting.

Taking Minutes of Meetings is also packed with plenty of ready to use samples and formats to help you become a better minute writer.

Clare Whitmell is a qualified business communication trainer & has been coaching individuals and businesses for more than 20 years. She specializes in business & resume / c.v. writing and is the author of English Grammar for Busy People

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