Effective Communication: Meeting Summary Letters
Working in the world of IT demands extra effort and attention to make many things shine and make clients shine. Organizing meetings, arranging calls, sending emails — even these tiny tasks need to be as effective as possible to keep THAT connection with people you communicate with. In this article, we’ve come up with recommendations that come in handy in our company.
What does determine a good meeting between a company and a client?
One of the most important parts of the interaction between companies and clients happens after the meeting itself. Thus, a good and understandable meeting summary letter (also known as a follow-up email) after a meeting is the very first sign of effective communication.
The key intention of such an email is to make sure all participants are on the same page. Not only does it help to recall what you were discussing during the meeting, but also track the “history” of ideas discussed, and document the next steps and action points.
Well, now let’s review some tips.
Be prepared before sending the letter
First of all, make notes during the meeting itself. Write down the most important points of the meeting, but not every word.
Make a letter readable
- Title should be self-descriptive, readable, and short. The best practice is to write the essentials only — the topic of the meeting and the date.
- Don’t be afraid to refer to previous meeting summary emails if you are describing a particular point from the discussion.
- Split the whole meeting into smaller parts. Agenda is your best friend here.
- Use plain language, try to be simple.
- Avoid double meanings.
- Context means a lot. Describe each point as a story about what was discussed and what conclusion all of you made.
- Add attachments to the notes. If there is a lot of data, upload it to the drive and add the respective link.
- Describe action list points as well as who exactly will be responsible for implementing each point.
- Include all the recipients for whom meeting notes could be useful, which may not be only those who attended the meeting.
- Write a summary in a way that will be understandable to you even after a few months.
Don’t forget about the Ending
Spend some time and create a custom ending instead of a formal or standard one. People value uniqueness.
- Templatize meeting notes. It will help all stakeholders easily get used to the notes and understand where to pay attention to more (you may write the most important points or the points discussed first — just make sure you use the same technique every time).
- Try to write the notes as soon after the meeting as possible while everything is still fresh in your mind.
- If you want someone to review your notes before sending — add “For review” at the beginning of the title of your meeting notes. It will put more attention on your email and you will understand how to clearly define the draft from the ready email.
- If your meeting notes are too big to put in an ordinary email, prepare a separate document with all the meeting notes, and just send a link to that document. Also, this tip is useful to easily find something in meeting notes and to track the history of developing ideas/concepts or whatever.
To sum up
If you want to build high-level communication, it’s important to reach out afterward to stimulate your relationship, demonstrate engagement and value.
A meeting summary email after a weekly meeting or the very first meeting with a client might differ so you need to make it as valuable and appropriate as possible. Keep in mind, just one email can make an impact.