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4 Most Corporate Meeting Minutes Mistakes

Business management
meeting minutes mistakes

Board meeting minutes are, in essence, a recording of the meeting’s key points and an account of what went on in a meeting. Why would you want to record meeting minutes? And how to take minutes at a board meeting?

For historic reference, to update those who were absent, and to provide an accurate description of what was said as proof or evidence.

Today, the coronavirus outbreak is causing businesses to switch to remote work. And the process of recording corporate meetings minutes helps businesses to stay flexible and resilient. It helps in conditions of quarantine and helps to face of fast-changing circumstances.

Just image. You’re holding a meeting with an attorney, and you may want to keep a detailed account of every point you’ve discussed for further reference.

The difficulties of your agreement may have a crucial impact on your business or personal matters. That`s why it is essential to keep track of everything. 

In a corporate environment, effective minute meetings are very important. Why? Because our capacity to remember details is usually limited. Omissions may lead to mistakes and wrong business decisions. That’s why taking board meeting minutes requires an advanced ability to focus. And also an excellent ear for detail. As a rule, and is trusted to a secretary or an assistant. 

Unfortunately, it’s easy to mess things up while recording meetings minutes.  

In this article, we will discuss the most common meeting minute’s mistakes and the solutions that may help you to avoid them. So, let`s get started!

Corporate Meeting Minutes Mistakes To Avoid

To ensure transparency, the US legislation requires specific rule. Corporate boards of directors need to take meetings minutes and distribute them among workers.

Recording board meeting minutes also helps members prove they are acting with the best interests. Also, it helps to understand the business at heart, and for tax, liability, and fiduciary purposes. 

Without the correct approach, though, meetings tend to become lengthy and boring. When most attendees start to treat meetings as a waste of time, you know you’re on the wrong track.

As far as the meeting minutes are concerned, the most common mistakes are as follows: 

Not Setting Up The Agenda For The Meeting

An agenda defines the structure of a meeting. It is an outline of topics you are going to discuss with the list of speakers and the time that you are going to allocate for each topic. A board meeting agenda may look like this:

1. Q1 financial report (Chief financial officer, 20 minutes)
2. Implementation of a new data security system (CTO, 20 minutes)
3. Getting ready for an upcoming product launch press conference (Press secretary, 20 minutes)

A clearly defined agenda gives the meeting direction by setting limits and boundaries. Even if it’s a regular weekly meeting, it helps members stick to the point and keep their minds (and speech) from wandering. 

For effective corporate meetings minutes, lack of agenda is detrimental. Taking meeting minutes requires preparation. Without a clear agenda, the person responsible for recording minutes doesn’t know what to focus on.

Solution: Always set up an agenda before the meeting. If for some reason, you have failed to do so, transcription software will help you capture what was said. Structuring your meeting minutes, though, will take some time. 

Not Sticking Up To Timing And Content While Taking Meeting Minutes

Once you have set up an agenda for the meeting, you must follow it. Sticking up to timing and topics on the agenda requires discipline. And serves an important purpose: to prevent meetings from turning into meaningless discussions.

What happens to the board meeting minutes if you fail to keep the meeting within its boundaries? They become lengthy and lacking in structure, and, as a result, can’t be used for reference or deemed trustworthy. Even if a person responsible for meeting minutes has large attention spans, you can’t stretch their ability to focus endlessly. 

How to take minutes at a board meeting - prepare timing and agenda
How to take minutes at a board meeting

Solution: In this situation, meeting ownership is the best remedy. Assign a person responsible for supervising the connection. And make sure everyone follows the pre-established rules and agenda. Timing may make or break a meeting, so don’t leave it unattended. 

Having No Agreed Meetings Minutes Format 

Without a pre-established format, board meeting minutes may become unreadable or inaccessible. If you don’t agree on a format, your colleagues who don’t have the software for reading these file types may be unable to access them. 

Meeting minutes are meant to be at your disposal instantly, whenever you need them for reference. In a critical situation, you don’t want to waste precious time on converting files into readable formats.

It is also important to decide on a repository for meeting minutes files. Cloud repository accessible from multiple devices. And it is often the best choice for storing meeting minutes transcripts.

Solution: Audext automatically converts recordings into .doc or .txt file formats. On top of that, it supports most of the popular audio and video formats: MP3, M4A, WAV. Transcription software will also upload your meeting minutes files to the cloud. Then it will eliminate the accessibility issues.

Not Paying Attention To Detail While Recording Meetings Minutes

No one likes meeting minutes that are too detailed. After all, they are meant for quick reference and should provide a brief account of what was said. 

Not paying attention to details, on the other hand, may result in some grave omissions. And it may play a bad trick when you’re in dire need of well-backed proof or evidence.

It’s the focus on the most important topics and details that makes minute meetings effective. Above all, those connections should reflect the core issues and the decisions that the participants agreed on. 

The minutes must not miss anything essential: for example, when the board votes on a decision, minutes have to include a note on who voted on each side.

Solution: Have a corporate meeting minutes template. It will help you indicate the meeting type, timing, participants, items on the agenda, the list of key decisions, and the meeting’s summary. This template should help you avoid grave omissions and stay focused.

Most Importantly: Prepare In Advance And Make Board Meeting Recap

Taking meeting minutes requires your undivided attention. Important to separate topics from one another, define the essential from the non-essential. It is a difficult thing to do without relevant practice. So, it is capturing the decisions that the board made during the meeting, recording them, or putting them down on paper. 

The recap of the meeting is really important. Make a small check-out with questions that are going to sum-up everything that was said.

Fortunately, modern transcription software provides you with toolsets for taking effective meeting minutes even with entry level transcription jobs. And it helps to get rid of meticulous manual work. For example, the Audext smart speaker identification feature automatically identifies who speaks. This is important for taking meeting minutes. 

Audext is automatically converting audio recordings into text. With tools like Audext, you can save time and focus on what’s really important. 

Keep those tips in mind and make your corporate meeting minutes more effective. Stay tuned for more!

Katrin Deres 03/20/2020
Katrin runs her own podcast show and is interested in the best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.
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