The response to the invention of a technology solution for recording meetings was filled with resounding blankets of gratitude. Like so many other programs, with this new tool, we are being offered opportunities to be more efficient, productive, and organized. And of course, it is how we wield that tool that the software’s utility is truly captured.
Meeting minutes have been a mainstay of administrative support from the beginning of business, period. Some more formal than others, they offer a “Reader’s Digest version” of the topics discussed and intentions for next steps, as outlined by an administrative assistant. Nowadays we can instantly record and share it with attendees, those who were present for the meeting, and even those who couldn’t make it. Forgot the date your colleague mentioned for the rescheduled meeting? What about that person’s name you meant to remember? Scanning back in an audio file is in reach within seconds, allowing you to reference a snippet that contained a much-needed piece of data to make your next move.
But most of these technological offerings don’t stop there. AI and machine learning features now craft an array of keywords for quick reference and key takeaways that are pulled from threads of conversation from 30 or 60 minutes at a time.
And all of a sudden, the assistant has an assistant.
In this article, you’ll read about three key features of various meeting intelligence software, summarized here by an executive assistant herself.
Meeting recording and transcription
Access to a meeting’s audio recording is valuable in and of itself, and the accuracy of the sound is not the real pain point. Needless to say, AI transcriptions are not perfect. The meeting administrator will want to review the transcription and edit the errors prior to sharing the final version with attendees.
Otter.ai and Zoom are two tools that have audio transcription capabilities, and both allow you to edit transcriptions for accuracy.
Zoom is one of the original virtual meeting platforms to come on the market and has that trusted reputation behind it. When using this feature with a Zoom meeting, it appears as a separate VTT file in the list of recorded meetings.
Easy to use and with an array of extensions and apps it connects with, Otter has created a tool that could easily be seen as indispensable.
In an Otter transcription, you’re able to click on any word to pull up that timestamp in the audio file, should you want to hear the exact context from the recording. This is a handy shortcut in identifying that specific part of the conversation you’re looking for.
With the Otter Business Plan, you can use Otter’s Native Zoom Integration for the live notes feature and share with meeting attendees so they can follow along and stay present as the discussion unfolds. Team members can highlight pieces of the conversation that will require a separate meeting to dive deeper or that contain critical action items. A similar, free feature is available for virtual meetings using a Chrome browser extension.
In addition to live participant interaction during the meeting, Otter can generate and email an Automated Summary that offers a quick overview of the main topics addressed in the meeting and reference key information without having to revisit the transcript. This is a free Basic feature and works for meetings containing at least 500 words.
Takeaways and action items
Otter’s Basic plan for individuals provides a good baseline support for your meetings. You have 300 minutes of meetings per month, for 30 minutes at a time, to record in real-time. You are granted 5 free entries to manage the AI vocabulary from your meetings. You are also provided with meeting takeaways in the form of an automated outline.
While Notion does not directly record meetings at this time, its main strength is in the library of sophisticated meeting note templates it offers to subscription members.
Notion has developed a savvy twist to meeting minutes, inviting the meeting administrator to organize pieces like goals, recap, blockers, and action items for post-meeting use. When these targets are prepared prior to the meeting using Notion’s tool, updates can be made during the meeting and action items sent to the right people – everyone is on their way to the next step.
In the end, the goal with any meeting intelligence software is that your meeting ends with a shared sense of accomplishment. After all, not only has the meeting taken place, but attendees have marching orders for next steps and deliverables.
In addition, with any new tool, there will be a learning curve. The team members using it must be willing to learn how to use it, sync it with all the appropriate programs, and integrate it into their workflow in order to harness the tool’s full potential. Maximum efficiency with any program like this will be reached when each team member finds value in having reference to the meeting’s recording, transcript, and summary.
If used to its greatest extent, meeting intelligence software can transform productivity for a team and maintain that special momentum, allowing creativity and efficiency to flourish.