Board Meeting Minutes: A How To Guide

Although most of our hearts drop when we get asked to do the minutes for the board meeting, we know deep down that they are in fact incredibly important. Board meetings are a chance for the directors and leaders of an organisation to get together and discuss important issues to do with the business. As an EA, you are a vital player in regards to the organisation and running of these meetings, and will have key responsibilities. Have a look at our Checklist for Meeting Planning to help you with the organisation of the meeting.

When it comes to the minute taking, why are they important? They are an official record of action and provide evidence. They serve a historical purpose, yes, but more so a legal purpose. They prove that the Board is adhering to procedures and bylaws. Bet you didn’t know that!

Seeing as they’re so important, we thought we would provide some tips:

Review part minutes: Whether you are new to the role or not, it’s always a good idea to review previous minutes that have been taken so your aware of how the meetings work, and also if there is a specific template that you should follow.

Information to include in meeting minutes: Due to meeting minutes being part of the legal document, it’s important that you include the following in your notes;

  • Date of the meeting
  • Time the meeting was called to order
  • Names of the meeting participants and absentees
  • Corrections and amendments to previous meeting minutes
  • Additions to the current agenda
  • Whether a quorum is present
  • Motions taken or rejected
  • Voting-that there was a motion and second, and the outcome of the vote
  • Actions taken or agreed to be taken
  • Next steps
  • Items to be held over
  • New business
  • Open discussion or public participation
  • Next meeting date and time
  • Time of adjournment

It may seem daunting to get this about of information however a lot of it can be noted down at the beginning of the meeting before it actually starts. If there’s anything you don’t understand in the discussions don’t be afraid to ask for clarity. No one will mind as it’s essential that the minutes make sense.

Writing the actual minutes: the main tip here is to do them as soon as possible after the meeting to make sure it’s all still fresh in your mind. You can use the board meeting template to make it a little quicker and easier. Also keep it short and sweet, make sure you just take down the main points and keep it basic and simple.

 

To help you making the notes during the meeting, make sure you have a look at our template for ‘100 words to make minute taking a breeze’.