In managing a company, a manager must take great care in appointing responsible employees to the most important positions. One such fundamental position in any company is the secretary of a meeting. In some cases, this position is permanent, but it is also quite common for a meeting secretary to be chosen during a meeting. What are the main duties of a secretary in a meeting and why he or she plays such an important role in the meeting process – we suggest you learn from our brief overview.
What are the duties of a meeting secretary?
At first glance it may seem that the secretary of a meeting is a routine duty, which does not require too high requirements for experience and qualifications. In practice, however, this is far from the case. During a meeting, the secretary is considered second in command after the chairman and is required to perform a wide range of duties. Specifically, the secretary of an assembly is required to:
- Oversee the preparation process. It is the secretary who is a kind of coordinator of preparations, who makes sure that the necessary documents are collected, that the agenda is created and notices are sent out, and that the software is checked. The meeting secretary can distribute individual tasks to other employees, but he or she is still responsible for the result.
- Manage the meeting process. Although the chairman is the formal head of the meeting, the secretary keeps track of the time, the agenda items, and the general mood of the meeting. The secretary oversees the timing of the meeting and the speakers’ presentations on each item, as well as taking minutes of the meeting.
- Keep track of the creation of documentation. Modern software makes it possible to keep work records automatically, so in fact the secretary’s role is reduced to keeping track of the normal work tools. But then it is the secretary’s responsibility to make sure that meeting minutes and decisions are properly filed and deposited.
Quite often the secretary of a meeting sets the tone for the entire meeting, because he or she checks the number of participants and their attendance at the meeting.
Why is the board meeting agenda the meeting secretary’s main working tool?
In the preparation for a meeting, preparatory documentation and, in particular, the agenda play an important role. It not only presents the topics and plan for the meeting, it also gives the meeting participants a chance to prepare for the meeting. We have already mentioned that the secretary is responsible for preparing the agenda. We can even say that the agenda is the main working document for the secretary of the meeting and there are several reasons for that:
- With the agenda, the meeting secretary notifies all participants of the upcoming event;
- In this document, the secretary identifies the speakers for each specific issue;
- The agenda not only prepares the meeting participants, but also determines the time frame for the meeting.
In preparing the agenda, the secretary should consider not only the complexity of future issues to be discussed, but also carefully select issues that require urgent consideration by the board of directors. In doing so, it is important to be moderate so that the agenda is not too overburdened and time-consuming.
All of this shows that being the secretary of a meeting is not only honorable, but also quite challenging. That’s why you should choose candidates for the position of secretary who have highly developed communication skills, stress tolerance and multitasking. Therefore, the choice of a candidate for this position should not be hasty and spontaneous.