How To Take Minutes For Board Meetings

writing at a board meeting

Minute taking is an essential and important part of Board meetings and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is important to ensure board meetings have an accurate set of minutes. There is more to a board meeting than just board discussions. These meetings serve as a legal and official record of a meeting of the Board of Directors for any given organisation or business. The minutes that are recorded are often used for tracking progress and serving as a reference point.

If you’re a secretary, executive assistant or you have been given the role of minute-taker at your next board meeting, there are a few ways you can ensure that you take minutes accurately and professionally.

Prepare For The Meeting

There are a number of different formats for taking minutes and each organisation will have a different method to the next. Have a chat with your CEO or Board Chair about any expected or any current formats to use for your meeting minutes. You can also ask to review the past meeting minutes and use this as a template for your next meeting. You will be provided with a meeting agenda, and this will include the names of all attendees, speakers and any guests. You’ll be able to use this information to prepare your minute taking template and to write your minutes accurately.

Taking Notes At The Board Meeting

Depending on your organisation, you can either type out your notes, write them or record them. You may need to check with your organisation of any requirements to take the meeting minutes but, the most important information the record includes is:

  • Welcome and Apologies
  • Directors Declaration / Register of Conflicts
  • Quorum
  • Minutes of the Previous Meeting
  • Matters Arising
  • Various reports (ie, CEO / Executive)
  • Matters for Decision
  • Matters for Discussion
  • Other Business
  • Meeting close

There is a lot of other information required for meetings such as the time the meeting concludes and any open discussions that may occur during the meeting. You will need to ensure you understand your current organisations’ procedures and requirements and to get this information at the meeting. If there are any extensive arguments throughout the meeting, write a summary of any major arguments to include within your minutes. As with all minutes, ensure you note an unbiased record of what happens throughout the meeting. Any personal observations and remarks that are made throughout the meeting aren’t necessary in your minutes.

Write The Official Record Of Board Meeting Minutes

Once the meeting is over, take a look over the agenda and have a clear look at the full scope of the meeting that occurred. Review any votes, motions, actions and decisions that were made throughout the meeting and add some personal notes so you can clarify anything that you think you may have missed. Once you have all the clarification you need to ensure you have a clear and professional set of minutes, make your minutes clear and easy to read and edit the record ready for your final set of minutes.

Completing Your Meeting Minutes

Now that you have a fully written set of meeting minutes, it is now your responsibility to ensure that they are made official by having a Board Chair sign them.  Each organisation has various protocols for storing minutes so you should follow your organisation’s current procedures and ensure you store the minutes appropriately. If you ever lose your minutes, it’s also a good idea to have a backup copy either on your hard drive or a printed version. Once the minutes are official, the secretary also has responsibility of sharing the minutes with those who need them.

Take A Minute-Taking Masterclass

There are a number of different minute taking courses that you can take, either face-to-face or online. Some may have general information to help you take minutes and others may have a little bit more guidance for certain types of meetings such as Board meetings.  There are certain aspects of board meetings that need proper attention so it’s important you choose a minute taking class that helps you know what is best for your meeting type.

If you’re looking for guidance for boardroom meetings, get in touch with Meetings Into Minutes today. We have a minute taking masterclass held in Sydney that is the perfect workshop for secretaries, executive assistants, personal assistants or anyone that is in charge of taking the minutes for the next board meeting. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our next workshop.

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