BY
Dima Eremin
in
Business
July 4, 2024

How to write a meeting summary

Learn how to write a meeting summary: guide, example, and template ✅ Create effective and comprehensive meeting summaries very easily ▶️

How to write a meeting summary
How to write a meeting summary

Many professionals struggle to capture the key takeaways from meetings, leading to confusion and missed deadlines. Our guide offers solutions to solve your problem. We'll provide a step-by-step approach to crafting clear, concise, and informative way to write a meeting summary.

You can learn how to identify crucial decisions, assign clear action items, and ensure everyone is on the same page. We have included examples and templates, so you'll be well on your way to writing effective meeting summaries that save time, boost productivity, and keep your projects moving forward.

What Is A Meeting Summary?

A meeting summary is a document that captures all the key takeaways from a meeting. It's basically a highlight reel of the important discussions, decisions, and action items.

Here's what meeting summaries typically include:

  • Main decisions: What were the main things decided during the meeting?
  • Action items: Who is responsible for what tasks, and when are they due?
  • Key talking points: What were the most important topics covered in the meeting notes?

The main goal of a meeting summary is to provide a clear and easy-to-understand record of what happened at the meeting. This helps attendees stay on the same page and remember what they need to do next. It can also be useful for people who couldn't attend the meeting to get up to speed on what they missed.

Meeting summaries are generally shorter and less formal than meeting minutes. Meeting minutes usually are more detailed than meeting summaries.

Who is responsible for writing meeting summaries?

The responsibility for writing a good meeting summary typically falls on the meeting's organizer, chairperson, or a designated note-taker or secretary. Here are some common roles that might be responsible for this task:

  1. Meeting organizer: The person who organized the meeting often takes on the responsibility of summarizing it, especially in smaller or less formal meetings.
  2. Chairperson: In formal meetings, the chairperson might ensure that a summary is written, either by doing it themselves or by delegating the task.
  3. Designated note-taker: Sometimes, a specific person is assigned the role of taking notes and writing the summary. This can be a rotating role or assigned to a specific individual for all meetings.
  4. Secretary or administrative assistant: In many organizations, a secretary or administrative assistant is responsible for taking minutes and preparing the summary.

Regardless of who is responsible comprehensive meeting summary, it is important that the person writing the summary is attentive during the meeting and able to capture the key points accurately.

How To Write The Perfect Meeting Notes

Thank everyone for attending

Start your summary by expressing gratitude to all attendees for their participation and contributions. This sets a positive tone and acknowledges their effort and time.

Summarize the key points

Provide a very concise summary and overview of the main discussion points from the meeting. This should include each agenda item and the major points that were covered.

Attach supporting documents

Include any other relevant materials or documents that were discussed or referred to during the meeting. This might include reports, presentations, or handouts that provide additional context or details.

Highlight meeting action items

Clearly list the action items that were agreed upon during the meeting. Specify who is responsible for each task and the deadlines for completion.

Organize items by importance and impact

Arrange the key points and action items in order of their significance and potential impact. This helps prioritize follow-up actions and ensures that critical issues are addressed promptly.

Include a reminder of the next meeting date

If a follow-up meeting is scheduled, include the date, time, and location in person meetings (or virtual meeting details). This keeps everyone informed about the next steps and ensures they can plan accordingly.

Share it with your team

Distribute the meeting summary to all meeting participants and any relevant stakeholders who were not present. Ensure it is easily accessible, whether via email, a shared drive, or a project management tool.

By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive and effective first meeting agenda summary that helps keep your team aligned and informed.

How To Simplify Writing A Meeting Summary

Assign action items

During the meeting, make sure to clearly assign action items as they arise in the meeting summaries. This not only helps in keeping the meeting organized but also makes summarizing key discussions easier later. For each action item, note down:

  • Task description: What needs to be done.
  • Responsible person: Who is responsible for completing the task.
  • Deadline: When the task needs to be completed.

For example:

  • Action item: Update project timeline
    • Responsible person: John Doe
    • Deadline: July 10, 2024

Having this information readily available ensures you can quickly incorporate it into the summary.

Gather critical materials

Before the meeting, gather all necessary materials such as agendas, reports, and presentations. During the meeting, ensure that any additional documents or resources discussed are collected and noted.

For example, if a budget report is discussed, make a note to include it as an attachment or link in the general meeting summary below:

  • Materials to Include:
    • Project Timeline Spreadsheet
    • Presentation Slides from Marketing Team

Take collaborative notes

Encourage participants to take collaborative notes using a shared document or note-taking tool for an effective meeting summary. This allows everyone to contribute to capturing key the key discussion points, and reduces the burden on a single individual. Meeting notes ensure that different perspectives are captured and important details are not missed.

Set up a shared document (e.g., Google Docs) where attendees can add their notes in real time. Assign someone to clean up and organize these notes after the meeting, making it easier to create the final summary.

Record the meeting

Recording the meeting, whether through video or audio, can be immensely helpful. This allows you to revisit the meeting notes if you need to clarify any points or details while writing the summary. Ensure that all participants are aware of and consent to the recording beforehand.

Use a reliable recording tool or software to capture the entire meeting. After the meeting, use the recording to verify the accuracy of your notes and to fill in any gaps. This can be particularly useful for capturing exact quotes or understanding the context of complex discussions.

By implementing these strategies, you can simplify the process of writing a meeting summary, ensuring it is comprehensive, accurate, and efficient.

Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Title: [Title of the Meeting]

Date: [Date of the Meeting]

Time: [Start Time - End Time]

Location: [Meeting Location or Virtual Link]

Attendees:

Agenda:

  1. [Agenda Item 1]
  2. [Etc.]

Summary of key points

Agenda Item 1: [Title/Topic]

  • Discussion: [Summary of the discussion]
  • Conclusion: [Summary of any decisions or agreements]

Agenda Item 2: [Title/Topic]

  • Discussion: [Summary of the discussion]
  • Conclusion: [Summary of any decisions or agreements]

Action items

  1. Action Item: [Description of the task]
    • Responsible Person:
    • Deadline:
  2. Action Item: [Description of the task]
    • Responsible Person:
    • Deadline:
  3. Action Item: [Description of the task]
    • Responsible Person:
    • Deadline:

Supporting documents

  • [Link or Attachment 1]

Next meeting

  • Date:
  • Time:
  • Location:

Additional notes

[Add any additional notes or comments here]

Thank you

Thank you to everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting.

Meeting Agenda Summary Examples

Project kickoff meeting summary template

  • Marketing strategy update meeting summary
Marketing strategy update meeting summary template

  • Product development review meeting summary
Product development review meeting summary template

  • Financial review Q2 meeting summary
Financial review Q2 meeting summary template

  • HR policy update meeting summary
HR policy update meeting summary template

  • Customer feedback session meeting summary
Customer feedback session meeting summary template

Conclusion

To write meeting summaries doesn't have to be a burden. By following the steps outlined above, you can simplify the process and ensure everyone walks away clearly and understands the meeting's key takeaways.

To make creating impactful summaries even easier, consider using a powerful meeting management tool like Bluedot. Bluedot goes beyond simple recording, offering a comprehensive suite of features designed to simplify meeting capture and summary writing.

One of the benefits of Bluedot is its recording capabilities. This is especially valuable when someone is sharing their screen during a meeting.

But Bluedot isn't just about recording. It also provides AI-powered transcriptions to ensure you never miss a detail and offers a library of customizable meeting templates. Bluedot can automatically generate follow-up emails summarizing key details and decisions, saving you valuable time. Finally, Bluedot securely stores your Google Meet recordings for later use, making it easy to revisit AI meeting summary and refresh your memory on important details.

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