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Guides for Preparing Meeting Documentation

The Productivity Analysis Committee was formed last month by Alcia Scott, senior
manager, has completed its assignment of reviewing the procedures used to prepare
support documents for meetings. The committee found that the types of support
documents used, the format, and the means of preparation varied widely throughout
the company. The primary documents used were meeting notices, agendas, minutes,
visual aids, and handouts. As a result of its review, the committee has recommended,
and Ms. Scott has approved, the following new procedures for preparing meeting
documentation to be implemented across the company.
The annual company meeting is held within three months of the end of the fiscal year.
The corporate secretary will mail the meeting notice and agenda to all those invited to
attend 30 days before the meeting. The secretary will prepare a verbatim record of the
meeting and will distribute copies of the minutes to each member of the Board of
Directors within two days of the meeting.
The Board of Directors and the appropriate company managers will call all other
meetings at their discretion. The Senior Management Committee requires that an
agenda be distributed before all formal meetings of committees and staff at the
departmental level or higher. Minutes must be prepared and distributed to all
participants within two days of the meeting.
Meeting Notices
Of all the documents the committee reviewed, meeting notices and agendas varied
the most in format. In many instances, these documents provided incomplete
information, which has resulted in follow-up communication to clarify details, mistakes,
and wasted time. As a result, the committee has compiled the following list of items to
be included in all meeting notices:
Purpose and objectives of the meeting
Location, date, and time
A request to let the sender know whether the invitee can attend
Driving and parking directions if needed
Background information
Assigned materials for preparation
The committee has compiled the following list of items to be included in all agendas:
Name of the group, department, or committee
Date and time of the meeting
Location of the meeting
Items to be discussed, in order of presentation
Names of individuals responsible for presenting each agenda item
Background materials (if needed)

The committee has compiled the following list of items to be included in minutes:
The title Minutes and name of the group
Date, time, and place of the meeting
Names of the presiding officer and members present and absent
Reports of committees, officers, or individuals
Motions: the exact wording, who made and seconded them, and whether they
passed or failed
Items on which action needs to be taken and the name of the person responsible
A concise summary of the important points of discussion
The date and time of the next meeting (if one is scheduled)
The name and title of the person who will be signing the minutes (the secretary)
Visual Aids and Handouts
Visual aids can be used to heighten interest, to present information quickly, and to
enhance participants understanding. The committee recommends the use of visual
aids at all meetings. The procedures manual contains guides for preparing and using
effective visual aids, and it should be consulted as needed.
Handouts should be prepared when they will enhance understanding at a meeting or
when participants need a file copy of information presented during a meeting.
Handouts should be produced only when the information justifies the preparation cost.
Formats and Templates
The committee has developed formatting guidelines for meeting notices, agendas, and
minutes and has placed them in the procedures manual. In addition, the committee
has developed templates for these documents, which are available in the Forms
section of the shared network drive. These templates should be used for preparing all
meeting notices, agendas, and minutes. Please report any problems with these
templates to Divya Hanjura.