What Are Narrative Minutes?

Narrative minutes are a form of minutes taken during a business meeting that records the discussions that take place in detail. They can also serve as a legal document. The minutes also attach names to motions and provide context and background information to discussions that might not have appeared during the meeting.

Other than the minutes of narration, there are two other styles for meeting notes. Minutes of resolution are more sparse, but they are also a legal document. They are limited to recording the resolutions and motions passed without attaching names. On the other end of the spectrum are verbatim minutes that provide a transcript of the meeting, including the names of every speaker, the motions they propose and the motions passed. Like the minutes of narration, these are written in a narrative format.

When taking minutes for a meeting, prepare in advance by printing out a copy of the minutes for the last meeting and the agenda for the current meeting. Ideally, the chairperson or a subordinate should provide a copy of any relevant background information for the minutes-taker’s reference. Use a tape recorder as a backup to prevent distractions from interfering with writing accurate and comprehensive minutes.