How to Write a Meeting Memo
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Meeting memos address the purpose of the meeting, relevant facts and how recipients should respond to the information. Keep the memo as direct and concise as possible and send it electronically or place it in your employees' internal mail boxes. A solid business meeting memo helps managers, team leaders and co-workers share information with employees about upcoming meetings in a timely, effective manner.
Follow standard procedures for written business communication when formatting a meeting memo -- single space and left justify the content, skip a line between paragraphs, put one space after each period and don't indent when you start a new paragraph. Use specific headings, such as "What to Bring to the Meeting" to help recipients identify important information, and provide numbered lists and bullet points so they can quickly locate the information they need, recommends the Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Leave a 1.5-inch margin at the top -- unless you use letterhead and must increase the margin -- and write the word "MEMORANDUM" in boldface capital letters at the top of the page, recommends Loyola University in New Orleans.
Details and Subject Matter
Provide specific information about the meeting. Don't use meeting memos to discuss other issues that aren't relevant to the meeting, recommends the University of Maryland University College. Include the date, time and location of the meeting, the primary topic and who's conducting the meeting in the heading. Address the memo to individual employees, an entire department, a specific team or the entire staff, as needed. Provide a brief summary of what will be discussed at the meeting and include instructions or attachments if you want employees to read or prepare materials before the meeting date. Keep your memo to one page or less.
Use common everyday professional language in your memo and avoid slang, sarcasm or jokes. Clearly state when, where and why you're conducting the meeting, and don't try to impress recipients with frilly vocabulary words. Be direct and specific with your meeting details and instructions, while maintaining a polite and courteous tone. Avoid emotion and stick to basic facts about the meeting, according to Loyola University. Even if you'll be discussing emotionally-charged issues, conflicts or company concerns during the meeting, your meeting memo needs a calm, neutral tone.
Ways to Send a Meeting Memo
Send a meeting memo the same way you would normally communicate with co-workers and staff. For example, an elementary school principal might put a hard copy of the memo in each teacher's internal mail box. Or, she might send memos electronically to teachers' work email addresses. Only send a text message memorandum to your employees if you've already notified them in advance that you plan to correspond that way. Memos are generally too long to submit using text messaging unless you're only supplying the date, time and location. Avoid using employees' personal email accounts for business, but don't hesitate to send meeting memos to work email addresses.
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.