Here we look at another important business English skill, which is taking the minutes of a meeting. The minutes of a meeting are sent after the meeting, and include a record of what was said and decided during the meeting. The minutes contain the date of the meeting,, as well as the initials and names of the people who attended. You can use the term "apologies for absence were received from…" to say which people didn't come to the meeting. Layout of minutes Minutes of meetings usually include: Minutes of the last meeting Matters arising from the last minutes The agenda of the meeting itself Any other business (AOB). Minutes also show who is responsible for carrying out action. In a column on the right-hand side, you can put the person's initials in bold to show that he or she will perform the action. Reporting what was said When you take minutes of a meeting, it is useful to report the ideas, rather than every sentence. To do this, you need to use a variety of speech verbs. Here's a list that you might find useful: suggested = "CA suggested raising the budget." promised = "MB promised to find out more." discussed = "Three issues were discussed." decided = "It was decided to delay action until the next meeting." agreed = "Everyone agreed on the proposal." "LS agreed to get further information." "Everyone agreed with the chairman." brought up = "The issue of pay was brought up." mentioned = "RJ mentioned the possibility of extra funds." reported = "The Sales Manager reported on the results of the trade fair." asked = "The Chairman asked to see a copy of the report." wondered = "DM wondered if there would be extra funding." recommended = "Five strategies were recommended." explained = "SB explained the reason for the delay." emphasised = "TA emphasised the necessity of a new product range." stressed = "RR stressed his commitment to the project." complained = "TM complained about the delays."