68 Set of Instructions Example

Take a few minutes to compare the following draft and final version of a press release:

DRAFT:

How to Record Official Minutes
Official minutes for any public body are vital to the overall success of the organization. If minutes are not taken properly, vital records will be skewed, which can lead to serious legal problems if contested. Following a series of simple but important steps can ensure that the most accurate minutes will be recorded.
Prior to the meeting, make sure that you have the following items:
  • One notepad
  • Two to three sharpened pencils with functioning erasers
  • Minutes from the previous meeting
  • An up-to-date agenda
  • Any necessary handouts for the body
  • One bottle of water
CAUTION: Make sure you keep the water bottle cap tightly sealed when not taking a drink. Spilling water on any recorded minutes could prove disastrous.
Complete these steps in order; do not stray from the chronological list provided:
1.       Choose a seat that is both close to the chairperson and is facing the audience.
2.       Open the notepad to the first page and place a heading at the top of the page that identifies the organization’s name and the meeting date.
3.       Note the official time when the chair calls the meeting to order. Take a quick tally of the number of members present.
4.       Following the agenda, create headings for each topic to be discussed and then summarize any main points introduced by the chair and the body. Identify each speaker by name.
CAUTION: Do not try to record comments verbatim. This will only lead to disaster when you find you cannot keep up with the spoken word.
5.       Ask speakers to repeat comments if you feel they are worth recording.
6.       Capitalize the names of any members who make motions and the members who second motions. If asked by the chair, count the number of yes and no votes for each motion. If not asked, then simply identify whether the motion passes or fails. If a motion is passed unanimously, say so.
7.       Note the official time when a member moves to adjourn. Note the person’s name.
8.       Transfer written notes to the word processor as quickly as possible following the meeting.
9.       Submit the typed minutes to the body for consideration prior to the next meeting.
It is difficult to take minutes without error, but practice makes the process easier with time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but go into each meeting with confidence that you can do the job successfully.

FINAL VERSION:

How to Record Official Minutes
 
Official minutes for any public body are vital to the overall success of the organization. If minutes are not taken properly, vital records will be skewed, which can lead to serious legal problems if contested. Following a series of simple but important steps can ensure the most accurate minutes are recorded.
Prior to the meeting, make sure you have the following items:
·         One notepad (the size you choose is up to you- whatever you feel comfortable with will work best for you).
·         Two to three sharpened pencils with functioning erasers.
·         Minutes from the previous meeting.
·         An up-to-date agenda (make sure you check with the chair prior to the meeting to ensure it’s the most recent agenda- chairs are notorious for updating at the last minute).
·         Any necessary handouts for the body.
·         One bottle of water (it has been proven that a well-hydrated secretary functions more accurately).
CAUTION: Make sure you keep the water bottle cap tightly sealed when not taking a drink. Spilling water on any recorded minutes could prove disastrous.
Complete these steps in order; do not stray from the chronological list provided:
1.      Choose a seat that is both close to the chairperson and is facing the audience. You need to hear clearly from both directions.
2.      Open the notepad to the first page and place a heading at the top of the page that identifies the organization’s name and the meeting date. You may want to circle the date to ensure proper filing when you finalize the minutes.
3.      Note the official time when the chair calls the meeting to order. Take a quick tally of the number of members present. Do not worry if members arrive after the meeting has been opened.
4.      Following the agenda, create headings for each topic to be discussed and then summarize any main points introduced by the chair and the body. Identify each speaker by name.
CAUTION: Do not try to record comments verbatim. This will only lead to disaster when you find you cannot keep up with the spoken word.
5.      Ask speakers to repeat comments if you feel they are worth recording. They will not mind that you interrupt them to verify accurate minutes.
6.      Capitalize the names of any members who make motions and the members who second motions. If asked by the chair, count the number of yes and no votes for each motion. If not asked, then simply identify whether the motion passes or fails. If a motion is passed unanimously, say so.
7.      Note the official time when a member moves to adjourn. Note the person’s name.
8.      Transfer written notes to the word processor as quickly as possible following the meeting.
9.      Submit the typed minutes to the body for consideration prior to the next meeting.
It is difficult to take minutes without error, but practice makes the process easier with time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but go into each meeting with confidence that you can do the job successfully.

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Technical Writing by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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