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7 Tips to Write an Effective Meeting Recap

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Are you new to writing meeting recaps? Read our 7 tips to learn all you need to know before sending your next meeting recap email!

Raluca Risnoveanu
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5 min read
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What Is a Meeting Recap, and What Does It Look Like?

A meeting recap is the summary of a meeting. This summary includes all the important aspects that were covered during the meeting, along with the decisions that were made.

Your meeting recap should also include any new deadlines or tasks that you assigned to your team members, as well as any newly established goals.

A meeting recap is essentially a reference point for your team to come back to, so they can understand everything happening within the company and feel involved in the process. 

You can send the recap in the form of an email, a chat discussion, or a briefing document. Make sure to use a compatible format for the briefing document, for which you can utilize an online PDF editor.

Why Are Meeting Recaps Important?

A meeting recap mirrors the productivity of the meeting itself. Here is a list of things that meeting recaps — when done right — can help you with:

1. Ensure the meeting wasn’t a waste of time

2. Get the entire team on the same page

3. Save a lot of time

4. Hold the team accountable

5. Help you prepare for your next meeting.

 

Let’s take a closer look at how you can make the most of each of these advantages.

1. Ensure the Meeting Wasn’t a Waste of Time

No matter how well you run your meetings, there are still situations where people leave the conference room feeling confused. Things get even trickier when remote or hybrid teams are involved. 

Meeting recaps encourage attendees to follow through and be proactive about what was discussed. A good meeting means nothing if concrete actions do not follow it.

2. Get the Entire Team on the Same Page

Collaboration is an essential part of any project. A busy schedule, too many meetings, overlapping hours, or even personal problems can get in the way of attendance. If someone misses a discussion, they need to have another call just to catch up.

Meeting recaps are a great solution for keeping up with all the important details and key points addressed during team meetings. A comprehensive meeting summary can also serve as a reminder for the participants who have attended the meeting.

3. Save a Lot of Time

When you need to get up to speed, you don’t have the time to read tens of pages of protocol or browse through a high number of PowerPoint slides. Substantial materials discussed in meetings are not relevant for everyone involved.

By having a good meeting recap, you can find exactly what you need without wasting too many resources. You can read, listen, or watch materials specific to the key moments of the meeting.

4. Hold the Team Accountable

Sharing meeting recaps helps the entire team remember what was discussed and holds you accountable for following up on any action items you assigned during the meeting.

Without a meeting recap, there is a chance that you are going to completely forget the reasoning behind the aspects you agreed upon and the conclusions that you reached.

5. Help you Prepare for Your Next Meeting

We all know that a good meeting depends on having a successful meeting agenda in place. Having the notes and the recap from your previous meeting will help you draft your agenda in no time.

Moreover, a good meeting recap will help you put things into perspective for the entire team, so you’ll always have a bigger picture to look at if you ever get lost in details.

AI meeting minutes

7 Tips to Write an Effective Meeting Recap

When it comes to writing a meeting summary, there are various tips you can use to improve your process. 

Here are some of the best tips you can follow to write an effective meeting recap:

  1. Take notes throughout the meeting
  2. Send the meeting summary email right away 
  3. Determine who should get the email 
  4. Create the introductory email
  5. Outline what was discussed during the meeting
  6. Include a reminder for the next meeting date
  7. Proofread and distribute to recipients

1. Take Notes Throughout the Meeting

A good meeting recap begins during your meeting, aka meeting notes. 

This will not only keep the information as objective as possible but also create a reliable source of truth for the meeting summary.

PRO TIP: It can be hard to take detailed meeting notes, so MeetGeek is coming to your rescue. Our tool was specifically designed to allow you to fully engage in your meetings without compromising on the accuracy of your notes. 

AI note taker
Let our Virtual AI Meeting Assistant do the hard part and record, transcribe, and summarize your meetings! Start using MeetGeek for free and improve your team meetings in no time!

2. Send the Meeting Summary Email Right Away

Send the recap as soon as possible after the meeting. If the meeting is late in the day, and you want to wait until first thing the next morning, that's OK. However, the faster you send it, the more momentum you build. 

Think of the meeting recap as an extension of the meeting, and deliver it when the discussion is still fresh in everyone's minds. Set time aside directly after the meeting to complete this task.

3. Determine Who Should Get The Email 

Think about who you want to send the email to. Besides the meeting attendees, you should also include any employees or clients who were unable to attend. 

If you don't have an attendance sheet, contact the meeting host or your supervisor to get contact information for everyone who was invited to the meeting.

4. Create the Introductory Email

Usually, meeting recaps are delivered via email. Hence, it is essential to come up with a professional introduction for the email. This should include thanking everyone who attended the meeting and actively participated in the conversation.

You can also provide the names of everyone who attended the meeting. A strong introduction email will also notify team members about the meeting's scheduling and purpose. 

To set the correct tone for the meeting recap, keep things formal and respectful, yet friendly and concise.

5. Outline What Was Discussed During the Meeting

Remember to include all relevant information in the summary. Any tasks, deadlines, solutions, ideas, and plans you may have established with your team should be listed in the recap.

 

Keep in mind that the information must be concise and that it should be formulated for the right people. If the person who receives it doesn’t need to know all the topics brought up in the meeting, you can just cover what is relevant for them.

After the introduction, go through the applicable parts of the meeting agenda, point by point. Consider including the following in your meeting recap:

  • People/departments involved
  • Updates
  • Decisions
  • Action items/key points/important details discussed
  • Deadlines
  • Next steps
  • Ideas set aside for future reference
  • Any supporting documents and relevant resources (links, files, materials).

6. Include a Reminder for the Next Meeting Date

At the end of most meetings, the participants get to decide on the time and location for the upcoming meeting. This information should be included in the meeting recap and distributed to the entire team.

Remember to specify the meeting's time and location, as well as the objectives and agenda. This section of the meeting recap should also include the names of the next meeting’s attendees. 

7. Proofread and Distribute to Recipients

After you’re done writing the meeting recap email, make sure to add your signature. Check for any spelling, grammatical, or clarity errors. Keep the meeting recap email short, avoid buzzwords and be concise. 

After you've proofread the document, send it to the meeting organizer for approval — if you’re not the team leader yourself. Once it’s approved, you can distribute the document to the appropriate recipients.

Meeting Recap Template

Depending on the type of meetings you’re hosting, your meeting recaps can vary greatly in structure and tone. However, here is a template that you can use to write your next meeting recap.

_______________________________________

Email Subject: [Date] meeting recap

[Email greeting]

[Thank everyone for attending the meeting and for their contribution to the discussion]

[Summarize the main talking points. Emphasize accomplishments and any important announcements. To increase readability, you should opt for a bullet point structure]:

- [Item #1: key points and decisions]
- [Item #2: key points and decisions]
- [Item #3: key points and decisions]

[Discuss any action items that need to be completed before the next meeting. Include information on responsible people and task deadlines. List the action items using bullet points.]:

- [Action item #1/responsible person/due date]
- [Action item #2/responsible person/due date]
- [Action item #3/responsible person/due date]

[Include information about the next meeting]

[Email sign off],
[Name and Role] 

_______________________________________

Find more meeting follow-up templates in our blog.

Create Your Meeting Recap With The Help Of A Virtual Meeting Assistant

Meeting notes are the baseline of any good meeting recap. But keeping notes manually comes with its challenges. The note-taker must identify the right content that needs to be highlighted.

They spend time interpreting the situation and creating notes. Whenever they misunderstand information or fail to describe it accurately, the meeting notes end up being imprecise.

‍A great way to make your meeting notes accurate is to simply record your conferences with the help of a meeting productivity tool and use the transcript as your main source of information for the entire team. With word-for-word transcripts, you can easily search through the conversation to extract what you need.

Apart from thorough note-taking, a virtual meeting assistant can make your meeting summary more effective by:

  • Identifying tasks
  • Isolating action items mentioned in the conversation
  • Tracking topics from your meetings
  • Immediately after the meeting, receive a summary generated automatically with the highlights of the meeting
  • Customize your generated summary based on your preferences (choose which of the highlights to include in your recap).
meeting recap email that follows the discussion with website developer
If you are ready to keep your colleagues in the loop by writing insightful meeting summaries, we are happy to help. Try our AI assistant for free and discover how this smart technology makes your recaps more efficient.

Meeting Recaps: Are They Worth the Effort?

Whether you work for a small company or a larger corporation, in an office or remotely, it’s likely that a great deal of communication happens through meetings.

Planning projects, deciding on actions, attributing tasks, brainstorming, or any other type of collaborative work becomes much simpler once a live discussion takes place. 

Regardless of how you decide to do meeting summaries, there is no denying that they are indispensable for efficient team collaboration! Try MeetGeek for free to change the way you do meetings. 

Article updated on 
February 20, 2024
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