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Minutes are a written record of the transactions and reco-mmendations of a meeting. They are usually taken by a secretary or committee member. The minutes are filed as permanent record of the meeting. Copies are passed to the participants and other interested parties prior to their reconvening. Minutes must be clear, precise, and accurate.
When taking minutes, be sure to bring sufficient pens and note-taking paper. Your company may also want you to record the meeting with dictation equipment. The minutes should contain only major topics and recommendations, not every point that was discussed. Since some speakers may not stick to the subject, you may have to rearrange the material when preparing the minutes. Keep your handwritten notes on file for verification. The typed minutes are an organized and condensed version of the meeting. The tone should be formal and objective, reporting the major points and the names of the persons making them.
After the minutes are completed, they are usually first passed to the chairman or president for approval and then circulated to the participants as well as to absent members. The minutes should be submitted as soon as possible and distributed prior to the next meeting of the group. At the next meeting each member will have a copy of the minutes; as a first order of business, the minutes will be amended or corrected, and approved by vote. The secretary then signs the minutes with the notation, approved.
Each organization follows a house style in minutes. Informal minutes may be a simple chronological summary of what transpired in the meeting. For legal or organizational reasons the minutes may be typed as a formal report, reflecting an agenda or a prearranged plan. Importantly, the minutes should follow a uniform format meeting after meeting.
Parts of Minutes
Several styles are acceptable. A topic heading is direct and easy to read. Type "Minutes" either at the left margin or center of the page. The name of the committee or organization, the type of meeting, date, and place may follow it.
Minutes: Wordsworth Literary Society, Monthly
Meeting, November 23, 2007
Or you may begin with a complete sentence conveying information as to the reason for the meeting, the name of the group, the date and place of the meeting:
The annual meeting of Friends of Northwood
Hospice was held on August 3, 2007, in the
board room of Riverdale Hospital,
The minutes should list the names of those who attended meeting beginning with the presiding officer
Present: Sol Terry Reaper, chair; Lucinda
McAdams, Julie Mendoza, Su Ling, and
Chairperson Lillian Goldblum presided with
forty-two members in attendance.
President Steven Valente welcomed ninety-seven
delegates to the plenary session.
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