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Sep 12, 2016

How To Take Minutes

Minutes can be defined as the official record of the proceedings of a meeting, or the written record of what transpired in a meeting. Minutes are taken in order to prevent confusion and arguments over certain things that have been discussed at a previous meeting. Minutes are written in past tense because they show already discussed agenda of a meeting.

Minutes take the following sequence in terms of structure:

1. The Title
The title contains the name of the group that is meeting, the date of the meeting and the venue of the meeting. For example: Minutes of the Monthly Meeting of the Port Harcourt Youth Forum Held on 20th August, 2016, at The Port Harcourt Civic Centre.

2. Opening
This is where you state the time and how the meeting commences. For example, "The meeting started at 5pm with an opening prayer by Mr Tammy Reuben."

3. Membership/Attendance
The record of the minutes should contain the names of the members who make up the group/organisation whether they are present or not. Thus the attendance takes this format:
  • Names of those present.
  • Names of those absent with apologies.
  • Names of those absent with genuine reasons.
  • Names of absentees.
The attendance also registers those who are not members of the group/organisation but are in attendance.

4. Preamble
This is an open discussion. Any comment or discussion that is not part of the agenda or matters arising is called the Preamble. It contains speeches or remarks that are not part of the new agenda.

5. Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting
It states the fact that the minutes of the previous meeting were read. Having read the minutes, a person adopts it. This happens when the meeting held is actually not the first meeting held by the organisation.

6. Matters ArisingMatters arising are the issues that may arise as a result of the minutes that were read; therefore, issues that are raised as a result of the minutes that were read should be under matters arising. These issues may have to do with decisions that were made in the previous meeting. 

7. Substantive or New AgendaWhy is the meeting called? The substantive or new agenda are usually the new issues that are to be discussed.

8. Any Other Business (AOB)
This comes immediately after the discussion of the substantive agenda. It has to do with issues other than the agenda of meeting, especially those bothering any member of the group.

9. Adjournment/Closing
Adjournment is the breaking of the meeting until later. In the absence of any other business, someone moves for adjournment. This motion is seconded by another person. The secretary then writes when the meeting ends.

10. Endorsement
Endorsement has to with the signature(s) that could be found on the minutes. This is done when all necessary corrections have been made, and the minutes have been rewritten and typed.

Good minutes should follow the aforementioned sequence in terms of structure.


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