Minute writing: some practical guidance

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People find minute writing difficult. That’s because it is. Producing “good” minutes is hard and time consuming. It’s a skill and must be learned and honed through practice. There is no substitute for this.

Most company secretaries will at some point in their career be required to attend a meeting and take the minutes. This is only half the story though. Actually producing a set of minutes which are fit for purpose as both an accurate record of the meeting and would stand up to external scrutiny, perhaps even in court, is the real challenge.

There is no “right” way to prepare minutes and your judge will be the Chair and the rest of the meeting attendees – your stakeholders. You must tailor your approach to their needs but you can influence and suggest best practice enhancements. A “house style” can work but will depend on the various stakeholders who are the end users. Aim for an 80:20 split to allow flexibility for each separate meeting. You also need to be afforded the opportunity to develop your own style. Feedback won’t always be consistent from different reviewers either and as your confidence and experience grows, you will be able to push back on some of the changes made.

Ideally, minuting is something you build up to and anyone learning the skill must have the support and encouragement to do so effectively. Minute writers should be set up to succeed.

Improving your minuting will increase your turnaround time and allow you time to work on other tasks.

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