Reading minutes at an Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Sybille from Queensland has asked the following question:

Do you actually have to read the minutes from the previous year’s AGM at the next AGM so they can get approved?

I assume you mean by read,  “read aloud”.  If you do, then this is a practice that (thankfully) died decades ago. In today’s world of photocopying and email, the minutes can be sent to everyone or a copy can be given to everyone at the meeting.  Then the motion to approve the minutes can be moved and put to the vote.

The essential thing is that people have the opportunity to approve the minutes and to do that they need to know what is contained in them. Reading the minutes aloud is, as I have said, an ancient practice and does not really give people an understanding of what went on because it gets so boring listening  – people switch off.

A much better practice is to send a copy of the minutes to everyone or make them available and then the people at the meeting have a hard copy (or have had the opportunity to see a hard copy) and they can accept them or modify them based on that. Reading the minutes aloud is a very inefficient way to deal with the confirmation of the minutes.

If a well meaning , but “old fashioned” person does start to read the minutes aloud, then anyone can simply interrupt them and move that the minutes be taken as read – this is what a person who is savyy about meetings would do.

In regards to when the minutes should be sent out, you may like to read my previous post at  http://masterofmeetings.com/index2/annual-general-meeting-minutes

Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

5 Comments »

  1. avatar Sybille Says:

    thank you very much for the prompt answer.

    Yes I meant to read the minutes aloud at the AGM and in this case we are going to modernise our society at the next AGM 😉

  2. avatar Peter Gerber Says:

    how do minutes become confirmed if the persons present at the meeting when a decision was adopted are no longer in attendance?

  3. avatar walktall Says:

    This is a tricky one to explain and I know, sounds illogical.
    The confirmation of the minutes is the result of a motion being moved “That the minutes be confirmed, (or signed as an accurate record)”
    The issue the meeting is voting on is THAT motion, and so the people who were at the original meeting do not have to be at the subsequent one in order to agree that the minutes be confirmed.
    They act in “good faith” that the minutes are accurate.
    To confuse even more, neither the mover, nor the seconder of the motion to confirm the minutes needs to have been at the original meeting – they are simply putting forward a suggestion (as a motion) that this meetings confirms the minutes.

  4. avatar Marlys Johnson Says:

    Does Roberts Rules of Order require the minutes be read aloud at the meeting or can they be sent by email ahead of time>

  5. avatar Chris Says:

    Hi, I have a new Pty Ltd company. Is there anywhere I can get a free template of what is required to be included in the AGM?

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