Meeting summaries, also known as meeting minutes, can be a highly useful tool in managing work after a meeting that can save a company time and improve its performance.
It is clear that a meeting summary can be extremely helpful. But to serve their purpose, meeting minutes must be created in a proper manner. What does that mean? Let’s take a closer look at the things you must know to create useful meeting minutes.
1. How is a meeting summary different from meeting notes?
Meeting notes can be viewed as the raw material used to produce a meeting summary. While notes are a personal record of the course of the meeting, summaries are highly organized, highlighting clear goals and agreements.
Meeting notes typically include all that was said in the course of a meeting, while a meeting summary only notes what was agreed on.
2. What is not a meeting summary?
As should be clear by now, a summary is not a word-for-word transcript of the entire conversation. Instead, it should bring together the main topics attendees talked about and what action points that they agreed should follow.
This is a simple point, but it is very important to keep it in mind when writing a meeting summary.
3. Why are meeting summaries important?
You may be asking yourself – why bother making a meeting summary? After all, it just seems like a huge expense, possibly even a waste, of time.
It is the opposite of that. Summaries save a lot of time on communication and make the organization of work easier and thus more efficient. They can also help clear up any confusion that can be present after a meeting.
Furthermore, they can harmonize the workplace by ensuring everyone has the same understanding of the conclusions of the meeting and what action ought to follow.
They are also of use for those who were not able to attend the meeting personally, but would still like to be informed of what conclusions were reached.
As can be seen, meeting summaries are important for a wide variety of reasons. With that in mind, we can move on to how a summary should be composed.
4. What is the most efficient way to make a meeting summary?
Because of their topical rather than chronological character, the best meeting summaries are made after, and not during meetings.
As mentioned, meeting notes can be used to create meeting summaries. But the best way to make a meeting summary is to make use of modern tools, such as the AI assistant Aira
Aira records everything said during a meeting and provides the transcript at the end, which can be used to refresh your memory if you need that.
With its AI-driven approach, Aira can also help you by generating meeting minutes and action items that can be incorporated into the summary.
5. What should a meeting summary include?
A summary should include the basic details of a meeting such as its time and date, location, topic and participants.
The most important part of a meeting summary is what was concluded (including points on which no agreement was reached, if there are such).
Next, it should be outlined what action should follow, as well as who is responsible for them and when they should be completed.
6. What to do in a meeting that you will summarize?
Most importantly – listen to what participants are saying. This will help you understand the context and flow of ideas.
Writing as someone is speaking can make things unclear; it is better to wait until the speaker has concluded their point to summarize it.
It may seem daunting to stop scribbling and just listen – what if you forget something? Don’t worry – your AI assistant has your back.
It will record everything that is being said to make sure nothing is missed.
7. How to prepare for writing a meeting summary?
Take your time to familiarize yourself with the agenda so that nothing at the meeting can take you by surprise.
If you are poorly prepared, it is likely you will misunderstand what is being said, and your notes will not be coherent.
Talking to attendees before the meeting is one of the best ways to prepare for it.
Regardless of how much you know about the topic, discussing it with the attendees will be advantageous, as it will allow you to gain a broad understanding of the subject.
This in turn will help you pick out the most important points of the meeting, and thus prepare a useful summary.
8. How should a summary be written?
The shortest answer to this question is: objectively and pragmatically. That means your writing has to be entirely unbiased, presenting a neutral overview of the discussions that took place and the decisions that were made.
A summary should also be easy to use – orderly, and without overcomplicated language.
9. How long should a summary be?
A summary should be concise. A long ‘summary’ would usually not be a summary but meeting notes.
To change your notes into a meeting summary, think about the outcome of the meeting rather than its conduct.
10.How to format a summary?
The answer to this question depends on the nature of the topic covered in the summary.
A short and informal or semi-formal meeting can be summarized in an email, while a more important one would necessitate a PDF document.
It is also important to make sure the formatting of the document supports your message. Use headings and lists to make it clear what points were the most important, and what should be done next.
Using the same template for all your companies’ meeting summaries might be a good idea. A standardized outline allows the reader to jump directly to the section they are interested in, and save them time.
These tips for summary making will set you up for a more efficient meeting management, which can be a huge boost for any business.
With the help of good meeting summaries, the company can move in the right direction. Even better if they are AI-poweredeti