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What is a meeting executive summary?
A meeting executive summary is a kind of minutes of the meeting, or meeting minutes, that is specific for company executives. These executives may include the executive director who manages the operations of the company as a senior operating officer, the chief executive officer who leads people and guides the business, the chief operating officer who sees to it that the daily objectives and tasks are met by different workers or employees, the chief information officer who is responsible for the information dissemination towards the various entities within the company, the chief financial officer who directs the company into making the most optimal decisions regarding their assets, and the chief marketing officer who formulates the marketing strategy towards target audiences. These very important staff have regular meetings, whose agenda are ultimately reflected on the meeting executive summary.
Key Elements of a Meeting Executive Summary
When you are the company secretary, it is essential for you to have a keen eye for the minute details of what executive officers are discussing, or generally for the different updates that concern your company itself. Despite the god-sent gift of having the ability to perceive things very fast and clear, it is still important for you to take note of the key elements of a meeting executive summary for the purpose of making your task easier, and for you to perhaps just prepare an outline before the meeting, in order for it to be easier for you to just fill up the outline while the meeting is ongoing. This part of the article provides you the framework of such a document, thus, allowing you to be more familiarized with its nature, and ultimately enabling you to accomplish your task faster.
How to Write a Meeting Executive Summary
When you’re someone tasked to write a meeting executive summary and are relatively new to the job, it is important for you to know the general flow of how to write one. A meeting executive summary does not mean that you necessarily have to write and transcribe every enunciated word by all of the members of the board of executives, but rather, you have to capture the most important parts that are being discussed, and the different points of agenda that are tackled by each person in the room. These are things that you have to note for future reference, perhaps so the officers can have something to look back on if they have further clarifications about the tasks and the various details that come with it such as the due date, the actionee, and whatnot. Aside from it being a future reference, it is also important for companies to have an array of records regarding meetings that have occurred because these agenda will ultimately affect the company in the long run, which is why tracking its origin and details is an integral part of maintaining a company. This is how you can write a meeting executive summary.
Step 1: Jotting Down Detailed Points
An important thing to note is that your recording process during the meeting does not have to be the most perfect and the most organized. While the meeting proper is taking place, your responsibility as a secretary is to catch the most important points that are being said by the members of the board of executives. While it is common knowledge that your task is not to explicitly transcribe everything you hear, it is also important to keep your notes detailed because you never know which information is vital in the latter formulation of the summary. The details are very important, especially when the members are discussing their agenda. These details can be summed up later in the action item description.
Step 2: Highlight the Key Agenda and Consensus
The most important thing during meetings is the very topic being discussed by members. In the first step, you are to write the different points in detail, and now, you are to deduct these details and group them into the headings or main concepts which they respectively belong to. You can do this by highlighting the key agenda, if the meeting is regarding certain action plans that the company is trying to accomplish, or by highlighting the main consensus of the board of executives, if the meeting is regarding the formulation of solutions for certain problems that the establishment may be facing. This is essentially highlighting the main topics of the discussion for you to be able to organize them better in the latter parts of the process.
Step 3: Additional Details; The Who and When
Aside from taking note of the actions and their general concepts, you are also to write the people or department assigned the specific task being discussed, as well as their respective due dates. These are important parts of your overall summary as stated in the former parts of this article. Note the names of those who are assigned to accomplish certain tasks, as well as the date by which they have to finish the tasks. Information like these are essential for the guaranteeing of the proper dissemination of responsibility, as well as keeping track of when these actions have to be ultimately completed for further use.
Step 4: Attach Documentation
This is an optional step, however, is still one worth taking note of because perhaps you belong to a company that requires it. If there are any additional forms of documentation, such as photographs of the meeting, instance, you are to attach this to the meeting executive summary itself. This crystallizes the legitimacy of your record, and is generally significant in terms of record-keeping by virtue of smoother and better tracking, and to fully confirm those that attended the meeting and took part in the decision-making process.
Who writes the meeting executive summary if the secretary is absent?
If the secretary is not around, it is still required for an executive meeting to have a records due to the agenda and decisions to be discussed being a catalyst to the nature of the company itself. In this case, an interim secretary should be the one taking notes of the meeting. Usually, those who are appointed as interim secretary are meeting coordinators, or the direct assistant of the CEO or the chief executive officer.
What are tips for writing a good meeting summary?
Those assigned as the board of secretary of a company are usually those who have the required skills that are essential in being able to formulate a good and detailed summary. Tips for writing a good meeting summary would be for you to be a careful listener. Listening skills are a priority when taking notes during an executive meeting, and anything the members could say is a potentially vital piece of information. Moreover, you also need to have fast typing or writing skills, depending on your mode of taking down notes. Having this skill allows you to keep up with the pace of oral transaction taking place between the different actors in the meeting.
What other details should I include in the summary?
You may add the duration of the whole meeting through indicating the starting time of the executive meeting, as well as the time when it officially adjourned.
Writing a meeting executive summary is a big task, especially given the gravity of the agenda you are to write in your summary which is going to be used for future references, clarifications, and for record-keeping in courtesy of the company itself. That is why it is important for you to be familiarized with the key elements of a meeting executive summary, know the step-by-step process of how to write one, as well as inculcate the traits a secretary should have for optimal output.