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Meeting Tips

How to Write a Meeting Summary: Guide with Examples and Templates

Published
November 24, 2023
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Last updated
January 4, 2024
Wudpecker.io
How to Write a Meeting Summary: Guide with Examples and Templates
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The importance of a well-written meeting summary cannot be overstated. Knowing how to summarize a meeting helps in keeping a clear record of the key takeaways, action items, and important decisions made during a meeting. Furthermore, meeting attendance is not always guaranteed.

Having a solid recap of a meeting for reviewing summary ensures everyone is aligned. In this article, we will explore effective strategies for capturing essential information and presenting it concisely and professionally.

In this guide, we're not focusing on formal meeting minutes. Instead, we'll look at how to write more concise, easy-to-read meeting summaries.

If you'd like to learn more about what minutes are (compared with notes, which can be very personalized and informal), check out this blog below.

Writing and Summarizing Meeting Content

A comprehensive summary with relevant meeting highlights starts with clear and concise notes during the meeting. Focus on capturing the main points, decisions, and action items. Use bullet points or numbered lists to organize your notes and make them easily readable. Utilize tools for note-taking to streamline the process and ensure consistency.

Notes generated by Wudpecker

After the meeting, review your notes and identify the key takeaways and action items. Highlight important decisions and ensure that every action item is assigned to a responsible party with a deadline. This task list is crucial for maintaining accountability and tracking project progress.


For a concise summary, review the agenda items and note any decisions made and outcomes achieved. Also, capture any changes to the agenda that occurred during the meeting, such as postponed or added items. This helps in providing an accurate representation of the meeting's content.


A meeting moment is a noteworthy quote or anecdote from the meeting that helps illustrate a key point or decision. To capture a meeting moment, jot down any significant statements or insights shared by participants and include them in your summary. This brings life to the meeting summary and engages the reader.


When writing a meeting recap, use clear and concise language, maintain a neutral tone, and avoid jargon or overly technical terms. This ensures that your summary is accessible and easily understood by all attendees, fostering better internal communication.

Quick Meeting Summary and Email Communication

Prioritize Readability and Precision in Your Content

Your audience will thank you for a summary that's easy on the eyes and light on jargon. In today's fast-paced world, digestible content reigns supreme. Let's dive into a quick example to illustrate this.

Example of a Summary with Bad Readability

"Utilizing our proclivity for intricate methodologies, our team conducted an extensive exploration into the viability of project X. We've collated an abundance of pertinent data, analyzed via an array of multifaceted algorithms, which have, subsequently, elucidated the paramount trajectories we ought to pursue moving forward."

Example of a Summary with Good Readability

"Our team researched the feasibility of project X. We gathered important data and, after thorough analysis, identified the best directions to take in the future."

Opt for clear, concise sentences, interspersed with short paragraphs. And a word to the wise? Technical language might showcase expertise, but it can alienate the uninitiated. Finally, never underestimate the power of editing and proofreading. It's not just about catching typos; it's about refining your message to perfection.

Crafting an Engaging Summary

Begin your summary with an engaging introduction that provides context and background information. Briefly mention the purpose of the meeting, the main topics discussed, and how meeting discussions relate to the meeting objectives and overall project progression.


Provide necessary context by mentioning the meeting's date, location, participants, and any relevant background information. This helps readers understand the circumstances surrounding the meeting and its outcomes. Include meeting reminders and acknowledgements to ensure all attendees are well-informed.


Ensure that your summary highlights how the meeting's discussions and decisions relate to its objectives. This helps emphasize the importance and relevance of the meeting's content, as well as the team's alignment with the company's goals.

Remember to share your meeting summary to the relevant people on the most used communication channel in your company.

Below is a great meeting summary sample. Feel free to copy and use this meeting recap template!

The fastest way to create summaries

While building the muscle memory for writing meeting summaries is a great habit, why not save your time and automate this task?

Wudpecker does just that. It lets you fully focus on the conversation and building connections.

It records, transcribes, and summarizes your meetings.

You can also ask it specific questions about a meeting, for example "How could have I conveyed idea X in a more understandable way?" or "Tell me everything person Y said about issue Z."

On top of that, Wudpecker...

  • Automatically joins and records your meetings once you've signed up, so there's no repeated setup
  • Can extract insights despite the meeting length
  • Works for both online (Google Meet, Zoom or Teams) and in-person meetings. You don't even have to attend the meeting yourself.
  • Takes max 10 minutes after the meeting to give you the summary (but usually just a couple)
  • Lets you share the notes to other people
  • Lets you change the structure of the notes
  • Recognizes speakers during the meeting and separates their dialogue in the transcript, making it easy to follow along and attribute comments to the correct person
  • Is able to make transcriptions in 100+ languages

Conclusion

In conclusion, writing an effective meeting summary requires clear and concise note-taking, identifying key takeaways and action items, and presenting the information in a professional and engaging manner. By applying the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can ensure that your meeting summaries accurately capture the essential information and serve as a valuable resource for all attendees.

Remember to always:

1. Take clear and concise notes during the meeting.
2. Identify and highlight key takeaways, decisions, and action items.
3. Summarize the meeting agenda and capture any changes that occurred during the meeting.
4. Include memorable meeting moments to illustrate key points or decisions.
5. Write a quick summary for situations where brevity is essential, such as in email communication.

By following these guidelines, you will create a comprehensive and well-structured meeting summary that keeps everyone informed and aligned, facilitating better meeting follow-ups and accountability.

Effective meeting notes can serve as powerful supporting documents for future reference. You can be sharing meeting summary to the meeting attendees to ensure team alignment. As you continue to practice and refine your summarizing skills, your meeting summaries will become an invaluable tool for ensuring clear communication and driving progress within your organization.

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Meeting Summary Example

Date:
Time:
Purpose of meeting:

Agenda Items

1. [Agenda Item 1]

2. [Agenda Item 2]

3. [Agenda Item 3]

Meeting Summary

1. [Agenda Item 1]

[Summary of discussion for Agenda Item 1]

Action Items:

  • [Action item 1]
  • [Action item 2]
  • [Action item 3]

2. [Agenda Item 2]

[Summary of discussion for Agenda Item 2]

Action Items:

  • [Action item 1]
  • [Action item 2]
  • [Action item 3]

3. [Agenda Item 3]

[Summary of discussion for Agenda Item 3]

Action Items:

  • [Action item 1]
  • [Action item 2]
  • [Action item 3]

Other notes

[Any possible extra reminders, announcements, etc.]

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