Virtual Meeting Etiquette Rules That You Should Know

Virtual Meeting Etiquette

We’ve all been to a bad business meeting. Whether it be one without a purpose, one that drags on forever or one where nothing seems to be accomplished.

Adhering to proper business etiquette will not only prevent meetings like this from occurring, but it will also build respect among meeting participants, help the meeting start and end on time, and create an atmosphere of cooperation.
We’ve compiled a list of our best netiquette tips for your next Zoom meeting, to help you work productively and impress your colleagues in the process!

What is Meeting Etiquette and Why is it Important?

Good manners never go unnoticed! How you conduct yourself might leave a lasting impression on others. That’s why online meeting etiquette is just as important as it is in person.

With an increase in remote work, a lot of our meetings have been moved online. Working from home may sometimes lead to professional standards slipping. Virtual business etiquette is important because it can create an atmosphere of professionalism and mutual respect and improve communication, helping the workplace become a more efficient place. When people feel respected, they feel better about their work, which translates into better customer relationships.

Online meetings have a different set of etiquette rules than in person meetings due to their remote nature. Certain things, like the smell of food, do not translate through the screen, but the level of distraction it causes remains the same.

Show your peers that you value them by conducting yourself professionally and courteously, even when you’re working from a more relaxed environment, like home.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Participants

Meeting participants and hosts have different roles and responsibilities in a meeting, meaning that different rules will apply to them. As a meeting participant, you want to show that you’re being proactive, contribute to the discussion and know what is expected from you going forward. Set an example to your fellow attendees by following these rules.

Dress Appropriately

One of the best things about working from home is not having to adhere to a strict office dress code. However, dressing appropriately for an occasion is an important rule of proper etiquette.

Maintaining your routine of getting ready puts you in the right headspace to be productive.

While you may be wearing sweatpants, ensure that the upper part of your body, most likely the part visible to other meeting participants, is appropriately dressed in accordance with the kind of meeting you are attending.

This will show the other meeting participants that even though you’re working remotely, you are still adhering to professional standards.

Punctuality is Key

One of the most important rules of proper etiquette, whether online or in person, is respecting other peoples’ time by being punctual. You can never be sure whether potential customers and colleagues will strictly follow the schedule, so it is best to arrive as early as possible when attending business meetings.

By arriving early, you can solve any problems with meeting tools, such as testing video, audio, and background. You can even check your presentation to make sure there are no glitches or errors.

Pay Attention!

There is nothing more unprofessional than being asked about your job and being unable to answer questions about it. Understand your responsibilities and be ready for any questions that people might ask. Compile a list of possible questions ahead of the meeting and be prepared to answer them.

By being proactive and paying proper attention, you will make your colleagues feel valued for the work they’re doing. It is easy to lose interest in meetings and let your mind wander, but it is important to listen to what is happening, as this will prevent things from having to be repeated and will therefore make the meeting run more efficiently. You will be more productive in meetings and provide support to your colleagues in the process.

Remove Distractions

Removing distractions is vital to helping you stay on track and be productive during your online meeting.

Silence your notifications, put your phone on vibrate, turn off any distracting websites or apps. Let the people in your household know when you will be unavailable and put measures in place to make sure there are no interruptions, such as locking the door or leaving a note letting them know. This way, people are unlikely to disturb you!

Remove Distractions Image

Mute Yourself by Default

There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing the background noise of a cafe or cars driving past, from conflicting microphones. Unless you live alone, even households can produce a lot of noise due to pets, family and room-mates.

Mute Yourself by Default ImageKeeping your microphone on mute when not speaking gives other participants the chance to speak and share their thoughts without distraction or frustration. Prevent an awkward situation from happening where someone else will mute you due to your background noise by doing it yourself and minimizing noise levels.

Don’t Interrupt Others

This may seem like an obvious rule but people sometimes get caught up in the moment during a heated discussion and speak without letting another person finish their train of thought.

Everyone in attendance at the meeting has a reason for being there, so make sure that everyone has a say and no one dominates the conversation, limiting the enthusiasm and creativity of others.

Virtual Meeting Image 2

No Eating or Drinking

If you missed lunch, it may seem tempting to snack on something during your meeting. However, unless you are attending a dedicated lunch meeting, eating while participating in a meeting will likely be deemed unprofessional. Not only will it be distracting, but it will also make other members of the team hungry, thereby disrupting the flow of the meeting.

If the meeting is scheduled to be a long one, the organizer will likely arrange to have a break. Have a snack during the break but during the actual meeting, it is best to stick to water or coffee.

Resist the Urge to Multitask

At some point during the meeting you will feel the urge to check your emails, messages and perhaps catch up on some other work. Working on something else during a virtual meeting means that you will not focus on either and both will be affected negatively.

Avoid looking unprofessional by managing your time wisely and getting work done ahead of time when you know you have a meeting coming up. If you work during your lunch break or stay just 30 minutes later than usual the day before, you may complete some tasks without feeling too far behind when you have a meeting to attend.

If you truly have something more important that needs your attention, decline the meeting invitation and give that task your undivided attention.

Ask Questions at the Right Time

Don’t save all your questions for the end. If possible, come to the meeting with questions ready, and ask them as the related topics arise. By asking your question while a topic is still being discussed, you will make things more efficient. If you wait until the meeting is over, everyone’s mind will shift to other topics. This keeps the participants on track and allows the meeting to progress faster than re-discussing multiple topics at the end.

Additionally, this will be a sign that the host is about to change the subject and people can take this opportunity to speak.

Online Meeting Etiquette Rules for Hosts

It is the meeting host’s responsibility to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and productively, and therefore a different set of etiquette rules applies to them. Be the perfect host by following these rules.

Invite Relevant Parties Only

Meetings have a bad reputation for being time wasters. Don’t contribute to this and only invite people that truly have to be there. Unless someone plays an integral part to what is being discussed, there is no need to invite them – you can just include them in a follow up email after the meeting.

Prepare and Distribute an Agenda Beforehand

Time is money, and wasting time on unproductive virtual meetings is a waste of resources for everyone.

As a host, you want to make sure everyone comes prepared, knowing the purpose and plan of the meeting ahead of time. It is your responsibility to prepare and distribute a meeting agenda to all attendees in advance so that everyone knows what to expect from the meeting.

It would be prudent to send this out a few days in advance so that meeting attendees have time to look through it.

Sticking to an agenda during the call will ensure that participants stay on topic and will help the overall flow of the meeting.

Make Introductions

Just as at an in person meeting, you wouldn’t initiate a conversation between two people who haven’t met before without introducing them first.

Do not assume that everyone knows all of the other participants. Especially in these times, with so many of us working remotely, some people may not have had a chance to meet one another before.

Be sure to introduce all parties to create a welcoming environment and inspire teamwork. Proper etiquette rules state that you should do this by starting with the person of the highest rank first.

Use a Note Taking Tool

Preparing concise and organized meeting notes is a real skill. It is difficult to listen, take notes, and participate in meetings at the same time. Usually a person would be assigned to take notes. However, with Notiv, this is a thing of the past!

Notiv uses AI technology to turn your conversations into meaningful outcomes by automatically sliding into your meetings to record, transcribe and summarize your meeting minutes with decisions, highlights and action points. You can also search for a specific word or phrase when looking for something, avoiding having to listen to the whole recording again when trying to remember a detail.
Be courteous and share your meeting notes with the other attendees so they can refer back to what was said at the meeting, word for word.

Weekly Team Meeting Image

Leave Time for Questions

While some questions may be answered in the context of the conversation, leave extra time at the end of the meeting for any additional questions that people may have. As your virtual meeting nears the end, you should make sure that everyone’s had a chance to be heard, leaving no room for confusion or misunderstanding.

End on Time

Just like starting on time, ending on time shows that you respect other peoples’ time and resources and acknowledge that they have other tasks and meetings waiting for them.

There is a theory called Parkinson’s law that states “work will expand to fill the time available for its completion”. Depending on the time constraint you set for something to be done, that is how long it will take. This applies to meetings! If a group of people know they are not obligated to complete the meeting on time, they usually delay the meeting and eventually reach the same conclusion. If people know that the meeting will end on time, they are more likely to concentrate on making a decision.

Follow Up with Deliverables

A consistent follow up is key to the success of any project. Many great ideas were discussed at the meeting. Make sure nothing is lost due to lack of follow-up.

Email the attendees a summary of your meeting, including the meeting recording and transcript, as mentioned above. The best practice is to do so shortly after the meeting, while it is still fresh on everyone’s minds. Remind attendees of what the deliverables are, the desired outcome and who is responsible for what.

Share any relevant documents and let people know they can contact you with any follow up questions they may have.

Stick Around

A general rule of thumb for meeting hosts: Wait until everyone else has left the meeting before hanging up, so participants can leave at their own pace and finish their thoughts before disconnecting. If the original host exits first, Zoom will assign an alternate host, and this won’t look good.

Tips for Online Meetings

We’ve outlined netiquette rules, a lot of which go hand in hand with tips for meeting productivity. Here is a rundown of some additional online meeting tips that will help you Meet Better.

1) Break the Ice
We’ve covered the importance of introductions but that doesn’t automatically make people feel comfortable with one another. Engaging the attendees in an icebreaker game ensures that everyone has had the chance to speak and it is definitely going to make everyone feel more at ease.

2) Keep Your Video On
Non-verbal communication and body language speaks for itself. Of course, what you say is important, but how you say it is also valuable. Keeping your video on helps build rapport, puts a face to name and humanizes the people you’re working with.

3) Use Screen Annotation and Whiteboard
When sharing your screen, not everyone will be able to immediately understand where you are pointing and follow what you are saying. Enable on screen annotation or whiteboard to better present your ideas and thoughts.

Screen Annotation and Whiteboard Image

Conclusion

Like most things, digitization has changed the face of meetings. The appropriate online meeting etiquette for participants is constantly evolving and changes every day. The virtual meeting etiquette exists to make the digital experience run smoothly so that everyone can get the most out of the meeting. Proper online meeting etiquette may not seem like it is important but it is what draws the line between impressing your team and damaging your professional reputation.


To learn more about mastering your note-taking skills in meetings, check out our previous blog.

Virtual Meetings Guide 2021: Best Meeting Management Tools (Free & Paid)

virtual meeting image

A recent survey by Attentiv reveals that Americans attend on average around 1 million meetings every working day. Many of these meetings are virtual meetings, which bring a particular range of challenges. Planning, organizing and tweaking meeting room technology can take between 30-45 mins. 

Despite what many think or experience, a virtual meeting does not have to be ineffective. This article will give you some essential tips for virtual meetings and how to make them far more productive, by following some tactics and using free and affordable meeting management tools.

We first explain some basics about meetings, and give advice on virtual meetings, equipping you with virtual meeting etiquette. Then we have prepared a list of meeting management tools needed for virtual team meetings, before discussing how to effectively take notes and digitally store vital meeting information. 

Complete guide to virtual meetings in 2021

How does a virtual meeting work?

First things first, you need to know how to make a meeting that is virtual, before you can make it successful. What is meeting virtually like? 

A virtual meeting takes place online and allows the participants to communicate and collaborate via video or audio. There is a range of meeting options now, which will get into later on, but generally, it involves real-time communication where the participants call via the internet. There may be features such as screen sharing, to show presentations and other documents.

What are the key types of virtual meetings?

virtual meeting image

There are generally three types of virtual meetings, and then some variations within these categories:

  • Teleconferencing/Audio calls;
  • Video conferencing;
  • Web conferencing.

There is firstly teleconferencing, which is less popular these days due to modern technologies, where participants are present on a shared call line. A more modern version of this would be audio-only calls. 

Then there is video conferencing, which is like Zoom or Skype calls, where participants call via video and communicate remotely. 

Thirdly, is web conferencing, which as well as allowing for the sharing of video, allows the use of presentations, interactive features, one-way streaming or other methods. This may or may not be more like a lecture, where participants can only see one screen and not be seen themselves, combined with pre-recorded videos, or it can be more like a typical video call with all participants visible, but encouraging interactivity. 

How do you start a virtual meeting?

You know now what a virtual meeting is and what key types of online meeting exist, but how to get things started? No matter what software you use (more on that later), whether it’s MS teams or Zoom, meeting tips universally still apply. A silent meeting, with no one taking the initiative, can be disastrous and waste time, rendering the meeting pointless. A good start is the cornerstone of good virtual meetings.  

First of all, what is the meeting idea? The goal determines everything. Importantly, do have an organized plan for the meeting. Make sure it starts correctly and properly and the participants know what to expect. Layout any rules initially, such as cameras on, sound off unless speaking, and any other rules you wish. 

Virtual icebreakers

After starting the meeting, establishing the order and the rules, you need to get people loose, engaged, and happy to be there. This is where ice breakers come in. Having organized virtual meetings doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for fun. So here are some fun ways to start a meeting:

  • Guess who: using information gathered before, such as answers to questions from meeting members, participants are described with various fun facts and the rest have to guess who it is describing. Whoever correctly guesses, proceeds to describe another colleague with the information passed on to them. 
  • Would you rather: ask the group questions where they have to choose between two options. This is great to facilitate discussion and getting the team to know each other better. 
  • Informal coffee breaks: Tell everyone to bring a coffee (or other hot beverage) and attempt to facilitate the small talk we often miss in online environments. This will recreate the essential bonding between the team members of offline work.

The advantages and disadvantages of virtual meetings

Virtual meetings bring a range of benefits with difficulties. The main challenges are as follows:

  • Ineffective and unnecessary meetings

Meetings that have no goals, are not logged or don’t achieve anything waste everyone’s time. When you have online meetings, unfortunately, this can happen, as no one is paying attention, and nothing is remembered after, leading to further pointless meetings. 

  • Miscommunication

Humans rely a lot on body language. When meetings take place online, it is quite common for information to be lost. In addition to the aforementioned tech problems, and that people may just be waiting till they can close their laptop, lots can be lost in virtual meetings.

  • Technological problems 

By relying on software and hardware, which can be prone to going wrong, or using overly complex, incompatible, or user-unfriendly software, meetings can take forever to get started or get interrupted, and time is wasted. 

Despite these problems, when you use proper tools and software, virtual meetings can have the following benefits, overcoming many of the challenges of virtual meetings:

  • Meeting management tools can optimize remote collaborative work and help teams

Using software can make collaborative work happen with ease so that communications are focused, collaboration can get started without lots of unnecessary meetings, and the teams can get on with their tasks. 

  • Eliminate back and forth emails and schedule meetings faster

Good tools, such as Google Calendar, Slack, and many others, can allow for speedy scheduling and communications. You need to ensure Slack integration and other app integration for example with web conferencing tools, so that information about meetings and within them can be easily shared and written. No information is lost, meeting invitations are not buried, and they can be set up easily. Compare this to organizing meetings around an office just using emails, and you can get a sense of the improvement. 

  • Avoid prolonged meeting sessions (share screenshots and videos to communicate)

Long meetings are ineffective meetings. Virtual meetings, with proper software which allow for the sharing of screens and videos, ensured that information is readily displayed, skipping the need for lengthy discussions and making sure people take proper note of the information. 

  • Facilitate unified communication and collaboration

Make sure you integrate any other apps, such as Slack, and use software that puts as much as possible under one roof, this way collaboration is easy to do and communication is logged and clear.  This allows for one place for all work to be done with nothing lost. 

  • Improve productivity

If you streamline the meetings, focus them, communicate outside of meetings and collaborate, you will have productive sessions, and then have fewer meetings as a result, allowing for further productivity. 

  • Store data such as meeting minutes and discussions, and share files

While many programs such as MS Teams and Zoom have recording options, storing in one place can be risky, and also they often simply record, requiring you to sit and rewatch. Also if any meetings took place on a different platform, then this can be lost.  Using recording software, such as Notiv, info from all virtual meetings can easily be kept at hand for you, with key elements extracted and in word form, and stored safely. This information will allow you to readily go back to any meeting, so nothing is missed, as it often is, especially compared to face to face meetings. By storing this information and keeping it accessible, you automate a lengthy process and save immeasurable time in the future. 

  • Organize remote meetings without any technical issues

Remote meetings can be complicated at first, with people losing passcodes, not having the right app and poor internet connections. However, utilizing proper software and programs, and rolling it out for your team, will help overcome these issues, making it simple and quick. 

  • Take meeting notes digitally, disseminating the information quickly, and following up on actions

Meeting notes are easily lost, ignored, and forgotten about. Yet if you take digital notes and store them, this information will be accessible, so, just as with the minutes and dates, nothing is missed that you will need in the future. In addition, with the right software, teams can collaborate with meeting notes, before and after, so that there is consensus on what meetings are about, what was achieved, and therefore meetings are extra productive.

We discussed what virtual meetings are, and the benefits they can bring. Now you can learn how to make your meetings a success!

Tips to take virtual meetings to the next level

Running a good online meeting requires a bit of planning in advance, but it will be worth it. Here’s some tips for your next meetings:

Goals and Agenda

When a meeting has a clear goal, it can be resolved quicker, people will want to engage, and afterwards it will be understood why it took place. No one wants to come to unimportant meetings they don’t remember, or ones which fail to achieve anything. Set a goal before the meeting, and communicate this. The agenda of the meeting should also be laid out, so everyone knows what to expect and the correct amount of time is spent on each area. 

Rules and Moderation

Set rules for how the meeting will work. Make sure people are muted unless speaking, set time limits for speakers and each item of the agenda, to ensure time is not wasted. Have a moderator of the meeting who will lay out the agenda, control participants, and introduce any other presenters of the meeting. 

Share and Collaborate on Notes

Summarize all the progress of the meeting, any unresolved items, and what was achieved after. This should be shared in a chat such as on Slack, so that nothing is lost, people can check what happened, and there is a log of the meeting. 

Top 12 meeting management tools for productive meetings (Features Overview)

Now you know how to help run your meetings. Here’s some different software that will help you get the most out of your virtual meetings, and descriptions of the various platforms to host your meetings on, so you can decide what is best for you and your team. 

Microsoft Teams

Virtual Meeting Screenshot

**Microsoft has announced that it is retiring Skype for Business on 31 July 2021 and replacing it with Microsoft Teams. 

Microsoft Teams is a practical and comprehensive meeting management platform for online discussions, file transfer and storage, with an instant messaging function. It is integrated into the Microsoft Office 365 suite but there is also a free version available.

During 2020, Teams added around 95 million users, making it one of the fastest growing tools. Its growth rate has already surpassed Zoom, according to a recent report from the digital experience management company, Aternity.

Microsoft has integrated Teams and made it a productivity and collaboration hub to help virtual teams achieve more. It has been adding several features recently, such as Multi-Window meetings and calling experiences, live reactions, offline file access, and PowerPoint Live, making it an all-in-one strategic meeting management software for enterprises of all sizes.

Features:

  • Real-time collaboration between virtual teams;
  • Free with Microsoft365 and Office365;
  • Unlimited integration with business applications and services such as Adobe, Evernote and Trello;
  • File sharing, personal and team file storage, and personalized screen sharing.

Advantages:

  • Integration with the Office 365 suite and Microsoft tools, to share and modify Excel, PowerPoint and Word files;
  • Availability of a free version with unlimited conversations, audio and video calls for individual and group meetings; 
  • iOS and Android platform compatibility;
  • Full telephone via Microsoft 365 Business Voice (requires additional licensing);
  • Hosting for large numbers of internal and external users.

Disadvantages:

  • Users without an Office 365 subscription need to download the software to their computer or mobile device;
  • Management of files is a bit complicated, as everything is stored in the channel root folder;
  • No meeting reminder and agenda template features;
  • Channel limits   a user is restricted to 30 private channels and 200 public channels.

Pricing:

  • There are free and paid plans. Prices start at $5.00 per user per month for the Business Basic plan, along with a trial version.

Zoom Meetings

Zoom meeting tips

Zoom is one of the most popular meeting management software in the world. The cloud-based tool offers quality video conferencing sessions with messaging and real-time content sharing and promotes internal and external communication within the company. 

Zoom comes with a variety of useful features such as integrated HD video and audio, recording and transcriptions (English only), and audio-only call capability. It also seamlessly syncs with your calendar so you can manage your schedules easily from any location and device. Zoom’s screen sharing and annotation feature keep team members in the loop during a group discussion.  

Zoom’s usage has ballooned recently, from 10 million users in December 2019 to a massive 300 million participants in March 2020. However, there have been some big problems with its increasing popularity. Zoom was sharing its data with Facebook, and engaging in unfair practices involving fake end-to-end encryption issues. In a few countries such as Canada and Taiwan, organizations like NASA and SpaceX, along with school boards banned its use.

Features:

  • HD video, audio, collaboration & messaging;
  • Fully-featured video webinars;
  • Rooms and Workspaces;
  • Screen sharing and annotation functions;
  • Templates to help schedule future meetings;
  • Meeting recordings with auto-generated transcription feature (English only);
  • Workplace Bot, and integrations with several apps and services;
  • Customizable background picture;
  • Participants engagement features such as voting that supports Firefox, on-demand hand raising and polls.

Advantages:

  • The free version offers unlimited conversations between two participants and up to 45 minutes when you have 3 to 100 participants;
  • Webinars and meetings can be streamed on Facebook;
  • The desktop client and mobile app offers more features than the online version;
  • You can record the conference to make it available for replay;
  • When using the chat feature, you can choose to send your message to everyone or just to the host. 
  • Users can synchronize their conferences with their calendar (Google Calendar etc).
  • There is support for large audiences.
  • Many apps support Zoom integration

Disadvantages:

  • The free version has a 40-minute limit per meeting;
  • A software download is required for use;
  • Sessions are arbitrarily closed when the internet connection is unstable.

Pricing:

  • There are free and paid plans. Prices start at $14.99 per month per license (Pro Package for small teams);
  • Optional Add-on plans include Cloud storage (starting at $40 per month), Premier support, and Large meetings (starting at $50 per month).

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting virtual meeting

ClickMeeting is among the most versatile meeting management tools, assisting business discussions, webinars and multi-channel exchanges. A browser-based software, it does not require installation and works with all the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, FireFox, Edge, Opera, and Yandex. 

ClickMeeting meets the needs of business managers as well as Marketing and Sales professionals, HR managers, educators, coaches, and motivators due to scalable features (in paid versions) such as desktop sharing, webinar on-demand set up, a whiteboard, polling and voting tools, and real-time chat translation.

Users can personalize their meeting rooms/webinars by adding specific colors, their logo, images, to strengthen their brand image. It also supports integration with Google Analytics and similar apps to collect webinar statistics to analyze and improve the performance of webinars.

Users can benefit from several automation-webinar scenarios such as auto-streaming on Youtube or Facebook, auto-publishing of the webinar recording on YouTube or the webinar profile page and automated invites for future webinars. 

Features:

  • Private and group chats;
  • Breakout rooms;
  • Webinar recording and storage;
  • Diverse operating system functionality;
  • Webinar rooms and web conferences;
  • Branding features;
  • Screen sharing;
  • Webinar statistics;
  • Call-to-action;
  • Social media sharing;
  • Tests and surveys to collect audience opinion, comments.

Advantages:

  • Flexible rates, depending on the number of participants;
  • Presentation mode that shows documents/slides to engage the audience;
  • 30-day trial version (up to 25 attendees);
  • Meetings of up to 1000 participants;
  • 20% discount for  annual subscriptions;
  • Live and on-demand webinar;
  • Integration with several external apps and software;
  • Recurrent meeting scheduling feature;
  • Breakout rooms.

Disadvantages:

  • Relatively expensive;
  • Glitches have been reported – screen freezing, loss of audio/video etc.

Pricing:

  • 30 days trial;
  • Pricing depends on the number of attendees, and are charged on a monthly or yearly basis;
  • Plans start from $25 per month billed annually for 10 attendees. 

x.ai

x.ai virtual meeting

x.ai is an intuitive meeting management tool powered by AI to schedule meetings and appointments. Instead of scheduling meetings yourself, you can delegate this task to the tool’s meeting assistants Amy and Andrew who will coordinate with others to find the best time for a meet-up. Just cc or Slack the assistant, and they will take care of the rest.

You can organize all types of meetings with x.ai- private meeting/individual slots, coffee catch-ups, product demos, interviews, and group meetings.

x.ai can integrate with Google Calendar, Outlook, and Office 365. When a user initiates a meeting with x.ai users, the assistants automatically reviews everyone’s calendar to analyze the availability and preferences of all, and schedule meetings accordingly.

The guests only need to enter basic details (name, email, optional notes), and the tool will add the event to everyone’s calendars. Besides, it also offers a copy time option – choose and copy any three days from your calendar, and paste and share them with others via email. 

Features:

  • Automated scheduling;
  • Meeting tracking;
  • Calendar management;
  • Integration with several third-party applications such as WordPress, Stripe, Zapier, Slack, Google Analytics, Zoom, Teams and Notiv;
  • Group scheduling;
  • Branding feature;
  • Conference room booking;
  • Auto-response;
  • Integration with Outlook and Google calendars;
  • Multi-location (coffee shops, work, home, etc.);

Advantages:

  • Automated management of meeting arrangements, reminders, emails;
  • Metrics and reporting features;
  • Task delegation to Amy and Andrew- x.ai AI-based personal assistants;
  • Opportunity tracking (the AI assistants keep in touch with the contacts to set up meetings at the most opportune time);
  • Enterprise-level security;
  • iOS and Android compatibility.

Disadvantages:

  • People may mistake the bot for a human;
  • The automatic scheduling can be problematic if a person is traveling or does not update the calendar regularly.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $8 per user per month with a 14-day trial.

Doodle

Doodle virtual meeting

Doodle is a professional cloud-based meeting management software making scheduling appointments easier through consensus on the best time slot and dates.

Doodle easily synchronizes with your calendars (Google Calendar, Outlook, iCal, Yahoo), to check for available time slots and avoid meeting clashes. 

It also offers several settings such as limiting the number of votes per proposal and number of participants authorized to attend the event, restricting participants to a single vote (in case of only one choice), and an interesting hidden poll feature that hides the name, comments and votes of participants if needed.

Additionally, it simplifies meeting scheduling and allows participants to indicate their preference by selecting Yes/No. You can also establish a voting deadline. 

The Doodle planning template can be customized with a logo, colors, and even a personalized URL (premium feature). You can also request all participants fill in mandatory fields such as email, phone number and address.

Doodle can be integrated with several external apps such as Zoom, Slack, Teams, Google Meet and Zapier to facilitate networking.

Features:

  • Calendar sync;
  • Auto reminders;
  • Meeting invite tracking;
  • Participant visibility;
  • Customized branding and personalized URL;
  • Doodle bot for Slack;
  • Integrations with external apps including calendars to facilitate meeting;
  • Yes/No polling system to avoid scheduling hassles.

Advantages:

  • Eliminates the hassle of sending back and forth emails;
  • Tracks all poll activities from one dashboard;
  • Polling, which makes it easier to decide group meetings;
  • Reporting features;
  • Android and iOS apps.

Disadvantages:

  • Most features are only available with the paid plans;
  • It can be difficult to find an event with too many polls;
  • Does not support audio and video calls.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $6.95 per user per month along with a trial version.

TeamViewer

TeamViewer virtual meeting

TeamViewer is a remote access and tele-assistance tool that you can use to take control of a device temporarily. It is mostly used for computer troubleshooting or installing software while having to travel or make a phone call. Apart from this, TeamViewer is a meeting management tool with useful features such as virtual whiteboard, group chat, audio and video conferences, and file sharing via a secure cloud. 

Its virtual whiteboard feature enables teams and departments to collaborate on joint projects to save time and increase productivity. You can also use TeamViewer’s screen capture feature to take a screenshot of the board. 

The TeamViewer instant messaging and video chat function allows users to connect and communicate with team members and outside users in real-time. All chats within TeamViewer are end-to-end encrypted, and any message, document, or data shared on these chats will be delivered to the intended recipient.   

You can also use TeamViewer to connect to multiple systems and invite team members to work on a project simultaneously. You can even change the viewing direction during a session. 

TeamViewer saves your recent connections to let you reconnect with contacts and devices quickly and saves the time you would have spent on searching for them in your list. 

Features:

  • Encryption for secure file sharing;
  • Control the device from anywhere (requires tools to be installed on both devices);
  • Supports all operating systems, Windows, MAC OS, Android, Chrome OS, iOS, Linux;
  • Flexible settings to reduce latency– enhanced image quality at the expense of speed and vice versa;
  • Video calls;
  • Remote printing;
  • Detailed reporting log that captures all sessions’ activities;

Advantages:

  • Supports remote connection even if devices are running different OS;
  • Offers video and audio conferencing;
  • Virtual whiteboard.

Disadvantages:

  • The free version does not allow multiple sessions to run concurrently from one account.

Pricing:

  • A free version for private and non-commercial use;
  • Pricing starts at $23.90 per user per month with a 14-day trial.

HubSpot Meeting  

HubSpot Meeting  

Hubspot is strategic meeting management software that offers a lot of useful and well-integrated tools, including email marketing and tracking, lead management, social media and sales email automation. All of these tools are included within a single subscription, making HubSpot a full-suite of software supporting the collaboration between marketing, sales, service, and operations teams. 

In this article, we presented various scheduler tools that can be connected to your inbox, but this meeting management tool is different. HubSpot’s free meeting scheduling software is already available in all HubSpot CRM versions (including the free plan), and integrates with your Google or Office 365 calendar to set up meetings with prospects, clients, and leads. 

You can personalize the booking link and share it through email and invite prospects to schedule a meeting. When a meeting is booked, the tool adds it to your calendar and the CRM automatically. 

The calendar link can be easily embedded on your website or included in the email to schedule meetings conveniently. 

Features:

  • Group meeting links;
  • Round-robin meeting link that shows individual availability of selected employees to schedule a meeting with the available rep;
  • Syncing with Office 365 and Google calendars;
  • Transfer meeting ownership to another employee;

Advantages:

  • A free to use meeting scheduling tool included in the HubSpot CRM;
  • Option to customize the meeting link to reflect your branding;
  • Multiple meeting types;
  • Timezone and language customization;
  • Ability to add video conference links with Zoom, Google Meet, or UberConference (if a video conference integration is already set up in HubSpot);
  • A call-in link can be added to the invite;
  • Automated confirmation email sent to attendees.

Disadvantages:

  • Unavailable as stand-alone software.

Pricing: 

  • Included in the HubSpot CRM.                                                        

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex virtual meeting

Webex is an enterprise meeting management tool and part of the Cisco Webex online collaboration platform packaged as a complete meeting solution for businesses of all sizes. It supports all operating systems and virtual meeting platforms.

There is no need to install this video conferencing tool; invitees receive a meeting link in an email and participate through their browsers. Webex allows us to control video conferences by voice command via Google Assistant or Siri.

Webex offers various productivity tools and features such as file sharing to exchange information and documents, digital whiteboards for interactive teamwork, and calendar integration (Google, Outlook). Webex Meetings can also be integrated with external interfaces such as Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Webex lets you schedule meetings with options tailored to your needs – quick scheduling when you are short on time or advanced scheduling to set up future meetings. You can also create email or call reminders to notify the attendees about the meeting. 

Features:

  • Conferencing tools – video and audio conferencing and live chat;
  • Presenter tools – live preview, switch presenter;
  • Share documents or confidential conversations and record meetings for future consultation with a secure password;
  • Cross-platform support;
  • Collaboration tools – whiteboard, participants controls, survey tools, screen sharing 

Advantages:

  • Integration with Facebook live;
  • Transfer and edit documents during the meeting;
  • Cloud recording option;
  • Send meeting invites via email, phone call, and SMS;
  • Integrations with tools such as Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams.

Disadvantages:

  • Meeting points or action items can’t be converted to tasks or projects;
  • No option to set up an agenda of meeting plans;
  • Transfer of only limited file types up to a certain size is supported.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $13.50 per host per month with a trial version.

Join.me

Join.me meeting

Join.me is a suitable meeting tool for startups and small businesses because it allows them to set up a customized background and personalized meetings with a unique URL and send automated invites via email. 

Features:

  • Screen sharing;
  • File transfers;
  • Internet calls;
  • Control sharing;
  • Unlimited audio with international conference lines (for Pro users);
  • Recording and cloud storage of meetings;
  • Meeting tools – annotation, presenter exchange;
  • Meeting planner with Outlook plug-in and Google Calendar plug-in;
  • Personalization features – personal URL;
  • Time zone tracking;
  • Enterprise authentication with an easy sign-in option;
  • Stand-alone audio.

Advantages:

  • Swap presenters;
  • Supports 10 video streams at once;
  • Reporting feature;
  • No need to install the software or register an account;
  • Integrates well with other messaging and content management systems;
  • Can accommodate a large number of attendees in a single meeting.

Disadvantages:

  • Screen freezing;
  • Difficult to share the screen if the software is not installed.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $10 per user per month with a trial version.

Magic Minutes

Magic Minutes

Magic Minutes lets you set up meeting agendas, create and share the minutes, and schedule meetings. Its centralized dashboard offers several features such as the ability to review and accept (or reject) requests to join settings and send invites. Users can set up time limits, manage agendas, rearrange sequence, and assign tasks to attendees via the same interface.

The tool allows you to predefine sentences of your choice to be used during the meeting, and these phrases can be shared with other attendees with a single click.

The meeting admins can use the pre-populating fields and descriptions to quickly create agendas for future or follow-up sessions. They can also use the search and filter feature to find details about the earlier meetings from the stored history.

Magic Minutes connects with third-party apps and services via Zapier integration. After the meeting ends, the minutes are downloadable as a single file containing all relevant details such as the agenda and actions to be taken.

Features:

  • Track action items;
  • Agenda, minutes and participant management tools (including post-meeting tools);
  • Task assignment;
  • Automated circulation of minutes;
  • Storage minutes and other documents securely for regulatory compliance;
  • Cloud-based deployment.

Advantages:

  • Puts together all the information before the meetings;
  • Helps document decisions and conversations quickly via the meeting template;
  • Meeting progress feature to keep discussions on track;
  • Import reports through stored history.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not support iOS or Mac OS;
  • Does not support video conferencing;

Pricing:

  • Free and paid plans. Pricing starts at £12 per user per month with a trial version.

Vyte

Vyte meeting

Vyte is a tool to organize meetings according to team members’ preferences as well as according to the organizer’s availability, with easy sharing via an associated link.

Creating a meeting is simple: add a meeting subject, indicate the emails of attendees, and propose different dates and time slots according to your availability, along with a descriptive note. Each attendee will be able to choose the meeting date according to their preferences.

Organizers can group their appointments and statuses through a dashboard (to be confirmed/confirmed) either as a list or calendar view type.

Features:

  • Set up a unique Vyte page for attendees to access with a simple link;
  • Link its Vyte page with external calendars such as Google Calendar, Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, iCloud, CalDAV;
  • Prohibit appointments of a minimum duration;
  • Apply a margin between two meeting sessions;
  • Customize the appointment page via a personal link;
  • Various features for group meetings such as controlling the notifications participants receive, prohibiting attendees from suggesting another time.

Advantages:

  • Syncs with multiple calendars;
  • Allows attendees to propose dates and time slot(s);
  • Automatic coordination across time zones;
  • Book meetings online at a convenient time;
  • Supports group and 1-on-1 meetings.

Disadvantages:

  • No audio/video recording;
  • No video conferencing feature;
  • No screen sharing;
  • Only supports Web, iOS app, mobile website (no Android app support).

Pricing:

  • Free and paid plans. The Pro plan starts at $8 per month with a trial version.

Notiv Notetaker

Notiv virtual meeting

Notiv is more than just a meeting transcription software, it is an AI meeting assistant which makes your meetings extremely productive. It transcribes statements made during a video/audio call, creates bite-sized highlights from important discussions, and lets you circulate the meeting highlights with a single click.

Whether it is an internal team discussion or a sales call, Notiv lets you record, transcribe, and highlight important points through key insights. Its smart AI recognizes action items, important phrases, or follow-up points soon after the meeting is finished. 

Notiv seamlessly integrates with web conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and more! Notiv’s calendar syncing feature means it will auto-join every meeting, hassle-free.

Features:

  • AI-generated topics, agendas, action items, highlights;
  • Accurate and live transcription of videos and phone calls;
  • Meeting recording;
  • Workflow optimization;
  • Integrates with a lot of external apps and services;
  • Sends meeting highlights directly via emails.

Advantages:

  • Easily handles accents, abbreviations, and slang;
  • Auto punctuation;
  • Auto-joins meetings and transcribes them;
  • Allows the adding or editing of key details directly from the meeting notes;
  • Imports/exports video and audio files quickly;
  • Links meeting action items with tasks.

Disadvantages:

  • Currently only supports English. 

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $19 per user per month with a 14-day trial.

How to take meeting notes the smart way?

While we are talking about Notiv, and transcribing meetings, it is worth digging deeper into note-taking. Note-taking is a tricky task, however, in our blog, we’ve described some good tips to follow regarding how to take meeting notes

Generally, good advice is to keep a focus on the important information, don’t write down each and everything. Use visual techniques, such as mind mapping, prepare your notes before the meeting, and use tools like Notiv to type and store the information after. Notiv allows you to store important meeting notes, so you can come back at another time, a major way to improve virtual meetings’ usefulness.

How to record and transcribe a meeting

Taking notes is one thing, but you may want to consider getting the software to record and transcribe meeting notes. Various software can help with recording meetings. Zoom meetings, and meetings from other virtual meeting apps, can be recorded by Notiv, for example, allowing for you to revisit past meetings at any time. Then, you can use software to transcribe meeting minutes and notes. This can be useful to save the considerable time of transcribing. 

However, unlike other apps, rather than a full transcription, Notiv can both record and extract useful information, saving time and effort to find what you need. It can also then send the information to any employee chat, as it can integrate with Slack

Conclusion

There are many benefits and drawbacks to virtual meetings, but with the proper preparation, software and techniques, you can not only overcome the disadvantages but make virtual meetings better than offline ones. This page has hopefully helped you learn how to make these meetings more effective. 

The conferencing, planning, and meeting management tools reviewed in this article have strong and weak points, but they all serve a common purpose – to help conduct a productive virtual meeting.

These strategic meeting management software with pre-built features and simple UI save you a lot of time, with Notiv being our top pick. With Notiv, virtual meetings have fewer issues and are immensely more effective.

How To Record Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, Or Any Online Meeting (For Free)

Blog Post Image

Sales representatives devote lots of time to meetings, with discussions about team coaching, performance, developing sales strategies and pipelines, resolving disputes, and sharing industry trends. Sales is an input-based activity, and the meeting host must disseminate the meeting minutes quickly in order to get the sales executives primed to sell. 

If sales reps spend the bulk of their time making notes, then they are going to be distracted from the main task – building relationships with theirs prospects and closing deals. Knowing how to record a team meeting means sales reps can easily keep track of relevant conversations. 

This article will discuss the various free ways to record meetings and enhance the effectiveness of internal meetings for sales leaders. 

Option 1: Using the Built-in Recording Function

Video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, Go To Meetings and others have built-in record meeting options. These software allow you to record audio and video from your screen without any watermarks or limits. 

Cisco Webex

Record meeting

When you join a Webex meeting, you will see an option to record a Webex meeting at the bottom of the screen. When recording your meeting, you can also change the default destination path, so your finished recording can be found in any document folder that you wish.

Zoom, Google Meet and other video conferencing software have similar recording options: 

Zoom

Blog Post Image 4

Google Meet

Blog Post Image 3

In addition to basic recording capabilities and file size customization features, you can also edit the videos and share them with other attendees. Lastly, you can save the recorded videos in multiple formats.

If you are an attendee and wondering how to record a team meeting without host permission, you can try the following free methods.

Option 2: Best Free Alternatives to Record Team Meetings

ShareX

ShareX is a free and open source video recording tool to capture and record screens. It also offers useful features such as file sharing options for recording conversations. This tool saves, downloads and exports recorded videos in various output formats like MP4, MOV, and AVI without any watermarks. There are no time restrictions and ShareX also offers the possibility to save recordings in GIF format, instead of video. It can be easily integrated with various social media platforms for the sharing of webinar or training videos.

The downside is that ShareX’s interface is not very intuitive. Users receive an interesting set of features, but may need some time to get used to them.

Blog Post Image 5

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

Open Broadcaster Software is another free and open source tool to capture your meetings. It offers many features such as audio mixing, customizations in capture quality, and of course, recording a meeting and broadcasting it live simultaneously. 

Blog Post Image 6

OBS lets you record your screen, voice, and computer sound at the same time. You can also connect this tool with video streaming platforms like YouTube or Twitch if you are streaming a Webinar or live event. Additionally, no watermark is included in the videos, and you can capture video conversations of any length.

Its layout is a bit overwhelming for beginners, and users may encounter problems like low quality of recording, high CPU usage (as it takes a lot of memory space) and overheating. 

4VideoSoft Free Online Screen Capture

This freeware lets you record your screen with external and internal audio (such as your voice via microphone) and save or share the recording files with your team. This screen recording software lets you capture your desktop activity either from a specific window or an entire screen. 

Blog Post Image 7

Edit in real-time while recording your meetings, and perform a scheduled timer recording. You can easily share your recordings (demo, webinars) on streaming sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

The meetings recorded via this software have no watermarks or time restrictions, but this software offers limited free features. To use the video conversion or video enhancement features, you need to upgrade to a paid version.

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

Apowersoft offers a free screen recording feature to capture all meetings and make changes in real time during screen recording. This smart tool is web-based, so simply open the recorder in your browser and record your meetings, training, demos, or webinars. There are no recording time and watermark limitations, and you can also insert your webcam with the screen recording simultaneously to create an instructional video. You can also record your meetings and pair it with audio (your voice or computer sound).

Blog Post Image 8

This software is pretty basic and you will need to upgrade to its paid version, “Screen Recorder Pro”, to use advanced features.

Option 3: Use Notiv to Conduct Meetings in a Smart Way 

We explained how you can use the built-in recording functions of your video conferencing software, or use alternate methods for free. Even though this is an improvement, you still need to go manually through the entire video, or fast forward it to refer to important moments. Transcribing the recording and quickly referring to specific parts is desirable, allowing for greater efficiency. 

Notiv is an AI-based meeting management tool that not only records your meetings on Zoom, Google Meet, Webex and more, but also transcribes them, so you can get to the important stuff quicker. The tool adapts to your needs – it can integrate with your calendar and automatically join your meeting, or record scheduled meetings even if you are not attending.

The free meeting recording options let you capture dialogues from any video conferencing tool, but Notiv goes one step further. Besides note-taking, it helps you derive actionable data, as it automatically creates meeting summaries, highlights important phrases in the conversation, and creates action items and tasks for attendees. 

Blog Post Image 9

When you transcribe your meetings with Notiv, you can quickly benefit from useful insights, extracted automatically!

The Bottom Line

When considering how to record a team meeting, Notiv is definitely the top choice. An efficient and productive meeting recording tool, it also integrates with many external apps. 

Visit the Notiv integrations page to see how you can simply synchronize Notiv with your work apps and use the insights from your weekly meetings to facilitate your sales strategy.

4 Best Video To Text Converter Apps In 2021 (Overview of Key Features)

Blog Post Image 9

For any team or client meeting, taking notes is an important task; however, it is challenging to record important points quickly as someone speaks. When it comes to meeting notes, many companies prefer to record proceedings to minimize the time and multiple attempts it takes to refine minutes, as well as making sure that exact information can be shared quickly.

While video recordings are engaging, transcription results in better comprehension even when the video is watched in silent mode. An article by Digiday highlights that around 85% of Facebook videos are being viewed in silent mode as people consume them when traveling or at work. 

This article reviews top video to text converter apps to help you transcribe your meeting, or any other recordings. These apps also offer a web-based platform for those who want to use their laptops or desktops to convert mp4 to text.

Say goodbye to manual transcriptions

Transcribing videos is a time-consuming process. Use these video-to-text converters with robust speech recognition capabilities and avoid going through the process yourself, turning your video files into text documents in a few minutes. 

Transcribe your videos for free via YouTube

You have probably seen this audio-captions as you were watching a video, but YouTube also converts video to text in the form of a transcript. The result may not be word-perfect, but it can easily be edited in your preferred text editor.

You can use iOS or Android to open YouTube (via your Chrome browser) and navigate to the three dots (…) under the video to choose more options.

Click on the three dots and this will allow you to open the video transcript, complete with timestamps.

Blog Post Image

Unfortunately, you cannot download the transcript, but you can copy and paste to Google Docs, MS Word or your preferred text editor, as mentioned above.

Key Features

  1. Offers editable transcription with timestamps;
  2. Supports several languages;
  3. Allows you to copy the transcription;
  4. Supports read-along tracking.

Though YouTube is a free video to text converter tool, it may not be the best option if you are looking for accuracy or ease of use. Once you have transcribed a YouTube video to text, you need to format it, which can take considerable time. 

Top 4 video to text converter apps

TranscribeMe

TranscribeMe is a recording and transcription app that allows you to record and convert your videos to text. It offers data annotation, transcription, translation, AI Datasets, and speech recognition services. One of the key features of this app is that it integrates with other apps such as Facebook, Dropbox, and Voice Memos that have stored the recordings for conversion in text formats.

Blog Post Image 2

Key Features:

  1. Uses human transcribers and speech recognition technology to create near perfect transcriptions;
  2. Supports multiple text exporting formats – HTML, Nvivo, PDF, and Word doc;
  3. Transcripts are delivered via email as well, and are available on the customer portal and the app; 
  4. Timestamps;
  5. Speaker identification;
  6. Offers customized pricing plans.

Temi Recorder and Transcriber

With Temi, a transcription service affiliated with Rev, you can convert audio and video files into meaningful texts within a few minutes (depending on the length of the file). The process to submit your transcription order is straightforward – use the Tami iOS or Android app to record your meeting, review it, and submit it. You can also use the web application to import recordings or paste URLs from Vimeo, DropBox, Youtube and Facebook.

After the transcription is completed, you can view it directly from the app, export it in .docx, .pdf, .txt, .srt, and .vtt formats and send/share these docs as email attachments.

Key Features:

  1. Built-in text editor to refine the script;
  2. Offers read-along tracking;
  3. Supports various video and audio file formats;
  4. Relatively affordable (around 25¢ per minute of transcription);
  5. Acceptable accuracy and grammar for video and audio transcription
  6. Supports multiple export options such as PDF, Word, VTT, SR.Blog Post Image 3

Trint

Trint is a web-based transcription platform, also available as an iOS app, which allows users to translate video to text , transcribe recorded phone calls, and create captioned videos. One of the key features of Trint is that its text editor syncs with your audio or video player, letting you search, verify, or edit the transcript. You can also highlight any sentence from the transcript to see the precise time and even length of the selection. To skip an unnecessary sentence or section from the text, you can make use of its strikeout feature. 

Trint also offers video and audio editing features, and supports live recording.

Blog Post Image 4

Key Features:

  1. Processes files quickly;
  2. Creates editable, shareable and searchable text;
  3. Captions video recordings;
  4. Adds time periods for text tracking;
  5. Integrates with Zoom;
  6. Uses AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), and NLP (natural language processing) to convert video to text;
  7. Exports text to multiple formats such as Word, SRT (SubRip Subtitle file);
  8. Offers features such as highlight and strike features that you can use with the text.

Try Notiv Notetaker

When you have a large number of meeting recordings to be translated into text, you have three options:

  1. Record your meetings and assign this task to some of your employees who would spend hours transcribing it;
  2. Record every meeting and use one of the above apps;
  3. Work in a smarter way by using a tool such as Notiv  an AI driven meeting assistant that integrates with your calendars, joins your meetings, and converts conversations into quality text automatically. You can also upload video files, which Notiv will transcribe with ease.

Notiv is much more than a simple video to text converter application; after it transcribes your meetings, it automatically creates a meeting summary, agenda, notes, and actions with editing options. This is in addition to the freedom it gives you to create your own notes, highlight key moments, and mark decisions. 

Blog Post Image 5

Notiv is exceptionally interactive and enhances employee productivity – you can classify a note as a Question, Pin, Highlight or Action. It also saves you the hassle of keeping track of all the final details in the meeting notes by letting you add team members to collaborate with, through quick access to any meeting recording, transcript, or set of notes.

The tool also offers the option to import any recording from your device or record audio directly from your browser (requires microphone permission).

Blog Post Image 6

Notiv can join your meetings as an attendee – simply send a calendar invite at [email protected], and it will join and record them.  

Blog Post Image 7
You can also set-up auto-join rules by changing your “Calendar Settings” in the “Settings” tab, and specify which meeting to attend automatically.

Blog Post Image 8

Notiv integrates with various video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex and many more, with instant sharing capabilities via Slack or email.

After your meetings, you can share the meeting recording, transcript, action items, notes, or decisions directly from your Notiv account. 

Key Features:

  1. Generates summary, highlights, agenda, and action items automatically;
  2. Handles accents and offers near perfect transcription;
  3. Links action items to tasks;
  4. Joins meetings automatically once you set it up in your calendar;
  5. Supports various video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet;
  6. Record phone conversations for transcription;
  7. Stores all recordings for future reference;
  8. Sends meetings updates daily via email;
  9. Recognizes voice commands and triggers.

Conclusion

Compared to human transcriptionists who will take at least a day to deliver text conversion, the apps listed above offer a quick turnaround time. You can also use these apps to transcribe audio to text automatically within a few minutes.

If you are looking for more than a video to text converter app, consider Notiv as your AI assistant. Primarily a meeting tool, it offers an expansion set of features for any occasion, meaning you can use it to convert video to text easily and with a high degree of accuracy. Notiv also ensures that all team members are clear about their tasks and next steps after the meeting.

Want to experience how Notiv helps in creating useful meeting records, sign up for a free trial.

 

10 Easy Steps to Nailing Your Project Kickoff Meeting

Blog Image

Starting a new project can sometimes feel a little intimidating. You have to do a thorough job of explaining the project, making sure everyone is on the same page and be ready to answer any questions that may come at you. And believe us, there is an endless list of questions your colleagues are going to ask you.

The project kickoff meeting is one of the most important meetings you’ll have in your project’s life cycle. There are many benefits to having one, some of which include: getting some background on the project, setting expectations, agreeing on how to work together effectively and establishing what needs to be done. If conducted properly, kickoff meetings can create enthusiasm and inspire the team to do their jobs exceptionally.

Steps to Nailing Your Project Kickoff Meeting

A smooth start ensures a straightforward project execution, so it’s important to get it right! Follow these easy steps to make your kickoff meeting run efficiently.

Step 1: Inviting the Right People

We’ve all heard those jokes about how a meeting could have been an email. Meetings sometimes get a bad reputation for being a waste of time but this is usually when people think the meeting doesn’t relate to them or their work. The best way to combat this is to make sure you only invite the key players in the project.

According to a Harvard Business Review report, large meetings with many attendees are less effective than smaller ones with just a few individuals. Make sure you ask yourself, “how will this person contribute to the project?”, to confirm you’re only bringing in the relevant participants.

Step 2: Introductions

Not everyone is going to know one another so it’s vital that proper introductions are made ensuring there is no ambiguity as to who is responsible for what later down the line.

The best way to start would be to have participants introduce themselves and explain what their role in the company is. This will be helpful for anyone unfamiliar with the team, and this allows them to know who to contact for certain questions or deliverables.

Additionally, you may want to do an icebreaker to ease the tension and make the participants feel a little more relaxed by breaking up the awkwardness of an initial meeting. Our pro tip would be to lead by example and start first!
Icebreakers can help you learn useful things about your project collaborators, and who knows, maybe you’ll find you have something in common with someone!

nailing your project

Step 3: Have An Agenda

We often don’t know what to expect when going into a meeting. It’s good to give participants a structure of what’s going to happen so they can come prepared with a list of questions ready.

Setting a kickoff meeting agenda also holds us accountable so that we stay on track and carry out the meeting productively, without wasting time on conversations that can get us sidetracked. Statistics show that workers define off-topic conversations as their biggest meeting challenge, so get ahead of the problem and make a plan for everything that needs to be accomplished in your kickoff meeting, to avoid wasting time.

Click here to check out one of our other blog posts on creating a meeting agenda that you will actually stick to!

nailing your project 2

Step 4: Project Background

When starting something new, it’s crucial to properly understand and be able to explain what came before now.

Background is important as it sets the scene of everything that’s already been done, what’s expected and what the outcome of the project should be.

Everyone is going to have a lot of different questions, so it’s important to give as much context and information as possible. People will still have questions, of course, but try to explain as much as you can and save the questions for later to avoid getting sidetracked.

Taking the time to carefully explain the background of the project allows for easier communication and gets everyone on the same page.

Step 5: Project Plan

This is the part everyone has been waiting for. Your time to shine!

This is when you will need to get into the real details. Go into the meeting with this information already on hand. You will need to outline the project plan, explain the project scope and discuss what milestones you’re aiming to reach.

Start off by talking about the purpose of this project and why it’s important. Discuss the statement of work that’s been agreed on with the client. This will give more information about what’s expected, laying out a timeline of events for everyone involved and painting a clearer picture of what everyone needs to do.

Step 6: Establish Deliverables and Reporting

The more transparent the deliverables, the easier it will be to project the timeline, budget and scope of work involved.

Have an answer ready for the question, “what does success look like for this project?”. Make sure the answer to this is defined and agreed upon with the client before the kickoff meeting, so that you are able to communicate it clearly to everyone involved. Come into the meeting already knowing what the project milestones are and how reporting will be done.

Know which project management software you will be using and who different project participants will report to.

Discuss and agree on a time for status update meetings to ensure that everyone is staying on top of their work and responsibilities.

Step 7: Set Responsibilities

Meeting participants will want to know what exact role they will have in the project. Though people typically know what their job consists of and the role they play in the company, they will be wondering what’s expected of them from this particular project.

Make sure to set out responsibilities clearly, so that there is no room for misunderstanding later down the line.

Now that deliverables have already been discussed, you can start assigning responsibilities for tasks. Be ready to explain who is responsible for which deliverables and who they will be reporting to.

This is the point at which it’s useful to have someone taking meeting minutes, so they can note everything that is discussed, leaving no room for confusion. Alternatively, you could use Notiv’s AI assistant to record and transcribe the meeting. This is precisely why we created Notiv –  to save time and resources during meetings! After the kickoff meeting, you can check the notes that were taken and see what was said, word for word.

Click here to get your free trial now!

Step 8: Questions

You may think you’ve covered everything in depth, but there will always be questions, so make sure you leave enough time to answer them.

Questions are going to be one of the most important parts of your kickoff meeting. This is a crucial step when information will be clarified. Make sure everyone has had the chance to ask their questions and encourage them to voice their concerns on the spot, so that you can ease their worries before the work starts.

Effective communication stems from everyone being on the same page and working towards the same goal.

nailing your project

Step 9: Recap

It is absolutely crucial that everyone leaves the meeting feeling like they have a good understanding of what was discussed and what is expected from them.

Don’t leave it up to chance; take the time to quickly recap what was discussed at the kickoff meeting.

Take a few minutes to summarize the background, project objectives, key responsibilities, important milestones and any other key details that you spoke about.

Thank everyone for their time and use this opportunity to say something encouraging that will inspire the team and get them excited to start working on the project.

Step 10: After the Meeting

You’ve said everything you needed to say, you’ve answered all the questions. So what’s next?

Statistics show that after one hour, people retain less than half of the information presented. It would be helpful to send out a follow up email after the kickoff meeting, summarizing everything that’s happened so people can refer to it when they need to remind themselves of the bigger picture.

A quick and easy way to do this would be to send them the meeting notes right from Notiv, where they will be able to listen to the recording or read through the notes. You can even search for a specific word or phrase to save yourself time when trying to remember a piece of information!

This email should be a one stop shop for finding any relevant information that can get forgotten over time. Make sure to open the lines of communication between people, so that they can always refer back to this email when they need to find someone’s contact information.

While you’re at it, include documents, platforms and accesses that participants will need to have when they start working on it so that they’re able to find everything in one place.

Finally, offer to answer any questions that might have come up after the kickoff meeting, or 1:1 meetings with you, if needed.

The Bottom Line

While meetings may seem like a big task at first, they’re really not that daunting once you break them up into small steps with the help of our guide.

These are 10 quick and easy steps to impressing your colleagues and nailing your project kickoff meeting to ensure you set the right tone for the rest of your project.

The most important thing is to come prepared and be ready to inspire the rest of your team!

Interested in More of Our Content?

Check out our article on How To Take Better Meeting Notes: 10 Tips Backed By Meeting Experts

How To Create Your Perfect Sales Meeting Agenda In 7 Steps

Blog Image

It is the sales leader’s responsibility to guide the team on how to market a product to specific client segments by identifying challenges, offering tips and updates, and helping them to improve their sales pitches and interactions.

Regular internal sales meetings help maintain a productive and positive sales culture. They reinforce that sales executives are a team and share a common purpose – to close more deals.

The preparation for a sales meeting begins with agenda development and includes a list of topics for discussion. A sales meeting agenda focuses on the activities that will drive the sales results. It is for internal use only – a personal outline that will help reps stay on track and organized when presenting in front of clients.

Your sales meeting agenda should be both firm and flexible –  allowing you to remain on track while also moving with the conversation’s flow. 

sales meeting agenda

A sales meeting agenda is vital for successful customer conversations

Doodle’s State of Meetings Report 2019 reviewed the meetings scheduled through its platform during 2018, and interviewed more than 6,500 executives, revealing some interesting meeting stats:

  • 72% mentioned that setting clear objectives is important for successful meetings;
  • 67% admitted that having a clear agenda is important for having a good, productive meeting;
  • 26% stated poorly organized meetings negatively affect their client relationships.

Another study from the Wall Street Journal revealed that employees spent more time in meetings, with the average time spent increasing by 8- 10% every year since 2000.

Every minute the sales reps spend during the meeting is precious, and a sales meeting should not be like a boring group therapy session, otherwise sales reps are only wasting their time and energy. Instead, a sales meeting should prepare them for a perfect pitch presentation that impresses clients.

Best practices to create an effective sales meeting agenda

To make your meetings effective and productive, let’s walk through how to plan a weekly sales meeting agenda.

Identify the purpose

The purpose of the meeting defines its direction, the themes to be addressed, and helps prevent overflows and irrelevant content. This activity will likely save the time of attendees in terms of a clear set of sales meeting ideas, time frames, and objectives.

Internal sales meetings can serve different purposes – share or retrieve information, validate and accept a discussion, discuss issues and find solutions, discuss new products/services, or promote communication and improve cohesion within the same team.

Since the whole team/department is coming together, a well-defined purpose will help avoid tardiness, poor attendance, and distractions.

Plan the sales meeting agenda carefully

Sales executives are often juggling many opportunities and priorities, and have a short attention span. Depending on the nature of their dealings, they have multiple sales meeting agenda topics to brief themselves on.

Spending the time to prepare an agenda will help executives remain focused, and include only the relevant discussion items and a key takeaway for each meeting.

Even the preparation of a singular agenda takes effort and time, but really pays off, helping to avoid common meeting issues and enhance efficiency and communication between participants.

sales meeting agenda 3

Create the sales meeting agenda

When it’s time to create a sales meeting agenda, you shouldn’t waste time creating it from scratch. There are many sales meeting agenda templates or internal sample sales meeting agenda docs that you can customize, but save your time and use a meeting management tool to organize and manage your agenda and share it quickly with your peers.

sales meeting agenda 4

Tip: Notiv is an intelligent meeting assistant, and you can connect it to your Zoom, Google Meet or Webex account. Notiv will show all your upcoming meetings and let you add agendas and track decisions, follow-up tasks, and action items. You can share your agenda and notes with your team, clients, or anyone else, and invite them to collaborate.

List the agenda items and set the time

Define how many discussion items you will have on the agenda and set a time for each according to its importance. For instance, some agenda items are interlinked, while some are debatable and require additional time. You can move open-ended topics that require discussion to the end, and keep important items at the start of the meeting.

A weekly sales meeting agenda may include many discussion items like pipeline updates, success stories, insights, obstacles, client feedback, competitor updates, with some time reserved for the sales reps to present their sales pitches.

Tip: It’s a good idea to use Notiv to rehearse your sales pitch during the meeting and share the transcript with everyone for their feedback.

Your team will analyze it, and share examples and ideas to make it better. This way, you can prepare well and present the pitch perfectly to your clients.

Structure and share the sales meeting agenda

Agenda structuring will help achieve the purpose of the meeting, answering questions such as “What needs and pain points am I going to solve for my clients.” Your previous interactions with the client or market research will give you an idea of how your company’s products and services are going to resolve a customer issue, or help in expanding their expertise/achieving a competitive advantage.  The reasons could be many, so it is important to identify the right ones.

Some agendas simply list topics as short sentences, such as “continuing our sales planning.” You can clarify the purpose of every item by phrasing the talking points as open-ended questions. Instead of discussing “miscellaneous updates”, how about “what important details do I have to share with the team this week?’ Think strategically about the agenda and ultimate outcome you want to achieve.

Tip: Use Notiv to share meeting points and invite team members to provide updates regarding what’s working and what’s not. You can add your team members by giving them permission to add/edit notes and collaborate without back and forth emails. This way, everyone can share their quotas and KPIs in the meeting agenda, which will be discussed in detail during the meeting. Besides, your team can bring up important questions or ideas that were omitted from the agenda.

Assign responsibilities against every action item

If there are many speakers, clarify every discussion item and who is responsible for each one. Sales representatives are responsible for following up with their prospects and clients, and they will share any updates during the meeting.

The sales meeting is not organized to pressurize the sales reps to achieve targets but to address issues at hand, share experiences, and motivate each other. At the end of the day, you want focused and energetic sales people to bring in more customers. You should assign a space in your weekly sales meeting agenda to have a sincere discussion.

sales meeting agenda 5

Tip: Clarify which updates you want to discuss during the meeting. If you use messaging platforms such as Slack for internal communication, you can integrate Notiv with it to automatically post all notes and action items on the designated Slack channel.

Make your meetings smarter

To save time on searching and booking meeting rooms, and configuring and plugging various tools, it’s a good idea to organize a remote meeting. Web conferences are a great alternative to in-office meetings, and they are the only option when the sales team is scattered across the country or different regions.

Taking these considerations into account during meetings will help your sales team focus on what matters. The sales executives’ time is money; the sales meeting agenda must ensure the discussion remains on track, and there is adequate time to discuss relevant issues. 

sales meeting agenda 6

You have already discovered how to create a great sales meeting agenda and prepared yourself for how to talk about your company and product. As you are getting ready for your pitch, why not take the help of an intelligent tool- Notiv to have a written record of your sales calls so you can just focus on the conversation. It captures and transcribes all the important moments, so you can focus on the conversation.

Notiv also allows you to add an agenda, record and transcribe the meeting discussion, create action items, and mark important points during the meeting. You can also share the meeting recordings and the scripts with the attendees, through different applications such as Slack, for collaboration and follow-up.

sales meeting agenda 7

Furthermore, you can share meeting recordings and scripts with your clients to validate the discussion items.

Want to know more about Notiv’s features? Visit this link!

How to Create a Great Meeting Agenda That You Will Stick To

Online meeting agenda

Wondering how to write a meeting agenda that you will stick to? In this article, we’ve outlined all the steps you need when creating a great agenda.

When planning to meet, one of the best tips for productivity is to create an agenda. Although an agenda is simply a sequence of topics or tasks that need to be discussed, it helps attendees understand why you are meeting and prepare accurately.

Have you ever been in a meeting that’s run overtime, where people have come unprepared or that was just down-right a waste of your time? Most of us have been in at least one meeting like this and you’re probably still thinking of what a waste of time it was. If we’ve all got this stressor, why haven’t we come up with a solution by now?

meeting agenda

The issue might be as simple as introducing a mandatory agenda. An effective agenda can help you solve some of the most frustrating yet common issues with meetings. For example, when you introduce the concept of an agenda for every meeting, you’ll be able to answer the following questions.

  • Is everyone contributing to the meeting?
  • Have the relevant people been included and are there any unnecessary people involved in the meeting?
  • Will you stay on time and end on time?
  • Have you discussed all the points of interest?
  • Have you efficiently followed-up action items and tasks from the last meeting?

We’ve studied hundreds of hours of meetings to help you write an agenda that you’ll stick to.

Blog Image 1

Effective meeting agenda: Purpose

When planning your agenda or deciding on the agenda topics, it’s important to keep the team’s needs and reason for meeting in clear view. From this, you can decide on the format of the agenda. While your agenda outline and format might be different, it’s important to ensure that they serve the same purpose; an agenda informs your participants of the meeting, what tasks need to be done and their importance.

How to write an agenda

It is important to create a well-planned and orderly agenda. A disorderly agenda can cause your discussion to go off track, creating unproductive discussion and leading to poor outcomes, discussions or missed insights. Here’s how to write an agenda template you can use for your next meeting.

Set the objective of the meeting as the main item of the agenda

The objective of the meeting is the main component in an agenda and must be set clearly. The said objective, when communicated to the participants, sets their expectations correctly. We recommend using minimal words and simple language to ensure ease of understanding in no uncertain terms.

Blog Image 3

Inform the participants of the details of the agenda, ahead of time

The time, place, date and details of other participants, items to be discussed, and other important pre-meeting details must be communicated to the people attending the meeting via the meeting agenda. It’s also important to send our your agenda well in advance so that participants have enough time to read, revert and prepare accordingly. Last-minute communication usually results in key members being unable to attend or prep and effectively renders your meeting ineffective before it’s even started! Making sure that you craft and disseminate your agenda in a timely manner greatly increases your chances of having a successful meeting. 

Ask for input from attendees

Every team member or attendee in your meeting will have concerns, questions or points of discussion that must be addressed in the meetings. Including your team in the pre-meeting process will help keep your attendees engaged and focused. This also helps in the creative development process of the project or work you are discussing. Therefore, the next step in creating a great agenda is to allow your attendees  to add items to the agenda. This enriches the overall purpose of your meeting and studies have shown that this involvement motivates participants to engage as their respective concerns will be addressed.

Select important topics for discussion ahead of less important ones

While it’s crucial to get input from other attendees, it’s equally important for the meeting host to curate the flow of the meeting. Meetings take time and you’re taking time out of your busy schedule to attend. Therefore, you want the most value out of that invested time. That’s why you’ll need to review the agenda again and prioritize important topics that are of immediate concern above the unimportant ones. Always use the Parking Lot method for anything that can be dealt with later. Examples of important topics are ones that affect the entire team, decisions that have a deadline and follow-ups of previously discussed topics.

Set it in a questionnaire form

Asking a question enables people to have an insight into the topic and know exactly what is being asked of them. It’s been shown that people are more receptive to questions than direct orders. Therefore, by listing items as questions on your agenda, you’ll be able to prepare the team for a thorough discussion and will be able to track where each member stands on the project/topic of concern.

Set a time limit for each agenda topic

Meetings are notorious for being long, dragged-out time-wasters. This can be because the discussion veers on a tangent, attendees are unprepared or if there are distractions during the meeting. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to set a time limit per topic. When estimating the time limits, you’ll need to take into consideration the length of the entire meeting, scope of the topic, if there are any issues to be resolved and allocate time for solution discussions. By setting a time limit, people are less likely to veer off-topic, attendees stay focused and you’ve created an effective meeting agenda!

Propose a process for addressing each agenda item

There should be a process that you must adopt to address each item on the agenda list. This increases the effectiveness of the meeting. This includes identifying issues, resolving them, coming up with solutions and more.
Blog Post Image 4

Identify who is responsible for leading each topic

It is not always up to the meeting organiser to lead the discussion on each topic. Usually, other participants are also assigned certain agenda topics for discussion. Sharing this load will help your team stick to the agenda because there is a clear delineation between topics and cultivates a meeting culture. This also ensures that competent voices are heard in the meeting and your team can make informed decisions together!

Conclusion

When an agenda is simple, comprehensive and contains the important details, then it becomes very easy to stick to it. The above steps are sure to help you create an effective agenda for your next team meeting!

How to Run a Meeting Like a Leader: Lessons from Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook

how to run a meeting

Meetings are a crucial part of all our workdays. Whether that’s an official team meeting or an impromptu conversation in the hallway, we have important conversations on a daily basis. A study has averaged that we have more than 20 conversations or meetings per day! That’s a lot of time we’re investing in communication, relationships and collaboration. So, how do we run an effective meeting?

In fact, researchers estimate that companies in the US alone waste at least 37 billion every year in lost productivity due to poorly organized meetings.

Today, we’ll look at how the leaders from some of the largest companies in the world like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon or Facebook run a meeting? If you always wanted to know how to run a meeting like leader, it’s time to discover how.

It pays to study and learn from the meeting styles of successful business leaders because they take back-to-back meetings on a daily basis. So, how do they minimize their inefficiency because if they can’t afford it, neither can we!

And there are several reasons for this inefficiency.

Meetings become inefficient when:

  1. The team is unaligned or unsure as to why you are meeting
  2. Without a strong agenda or a reason for meeting, it’s likely that attendees won’t be able to prepare for the meeting, which leads to useless discussion and a risk of going off tangent. This also means that attendees are unable to prioritize the reason for meeting and tend to view the meeting as an interruption to their day rather than as a useful tool.
  3. You don’t keep to time or to topic
  4. While an agenda can help solve this issue, it’s also crucial that each attendee understands the scope and topic being discussed. This ensures that the team is well-aligned, the discussion is relevant and each topic is given due consideration. Nominating a meeting chair or facilitator can also help your meetings start and end on time, and stay on topic.
  5. Your meetings don’t have any ground rules
  6. All meetings need ground rules. The same way you have a dress code at work, there needs to be a code of etiquette when it comes to meetings. These rules don’t have to be extensive. Start small with a rule to “turn up to every meeting at least 5 minutes before kick-off” or make it a rule to ‘parking lot’ any topic or question that’s not immediately relevant to the discussion at hand. You’ll save yourself lots of distractive comments, discussions and useless whiffle-waffle.
  7. Another great rule is to encourage attendees to “make your coffee at least 10 minutes before the meeting” or you could move your coffee machine to your meeting room!
  8. Coffee?
  9. Coffee is whispered with reverence in most workplaces and everyone has their vice, but a recent study on the effects of caffeine on meetings revealed an interesting gender difference. During periods of stress, women who drank coffee performed better than men in the same situation. While we’re not throwing out the coffee just yet, the difference is said to lie in your instinctive response to caffeine. While women on caffeine generally tend to take on a collaborative, teamwork style, which is ideal for the meeting space, whereas men generally react in a practical or active style.
  10. The point of a meeting is not to talk
  11. Perhaps this is where the collaborative, teamwork approach makes the most sense. It’s how we define the point of a meeting. The point of a meeting is to listen and collaborate. The whole reason you’re together in a room is to benefit from one another’s viewpoints and perspectives to drive better outcomes for your team and clients.
  12. It’s about the tasks not the time
  13. If your meeting is set for 60 minutes, you don’t have to discuss for 60 minutes. This is where a strong agenda comes in handy. Focus on the tasks and points at hand rather than the time. Fortune reported that Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg keeps a list of discussion points and action items handy in her meetings so that once she’s done with her points, she can quickly move on to the next meeting and topics at hand!
  14. Disruptions and unengaged team
  15. With a huge multi-national company like Amazon, it’s easy for an unsupervised meeting to grow to exponential hands. You shouldn’t have to rent a convention center just to meet. Amazon’s funky 2-pizza rule is: every meeting should be sufficiently catered by 2 pepperoni pizzas. Only invite the relevant people to your meetings because this will help avoid repeat opinions, it prioritizes the time people dedicate to the meeting, allows for quicker decisions and it’s easier to communicate!

It’s not just how we meet, it’s what comes after that creates inefficiency. A good meeting can save dozens of follow-up emails, prevent major miscommunication, and even give birth to moments of creative magic.

Top workflow management tools from leading entrepreneurs

how to run a meeting

Talk less. Listen more

This is actually 2 of Satya Nadella’s, Microsoft CEO, 3-step meeting method. Apart from being able to listen better when you talk less, this also creates a nurturing atmosphere that encourages collaboration when you run a meeting.

There are several ways to ensure you are listening:

  • Ask specific questions;
  • Be concise and to-the-point;
  • Approach each problem as a team;
  • Give everyone time to share;
  • Keep to the time.

The worst meeting I’ve ever attended was on where a senior member of the team talked for 20 extra minutes at the end of the meeting on a tangential point. The whole team was equally inattentive and just done listening, but nobody had the courage to speak up.

Be decisive

This doesn’t mean that you call for a mutiny, overthrow the facilitator and reclaim the meeting room as new land. Being decisive means that you know when to step into the conversation and if you run a meeting, how to keep things moving forward. While it is important to listen more, at the end of the day, you need to assign tasks, keep the conversation on point and ensure follow through for better outcomes.

Know your game

You’re in the meeting for a reason and hopefully, it’s not a ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ situation. So, if you’re presenting, get passionate about your idea! No one else will champion your views, topics or expertise, so if you want things moving in a certain way, fight for them!

Of course we all want respectful workplaces, but what we mean here is don’t compromise on things you believe in. It’s also not enough to know what’s important, but you have to be able to articulate why it’s important and then convince the rest of your team.

The way Google does this is with data. Every suggestion or point is backed up by numbers so they can validate and quantify everything they do and it’s been working well for them!

When you run a meeting, you’re making meaning.

This means that before you run a meeting the right priorities are defined.

“We’re doing this because we have a passion about it…because we really care about the higher educational process. Not because we want to make a buck.” Steve Jobs

This also means that you don’t need to wait for a meeting to make a decision. Have a mico-meeting to avoid senior decision makers becoming a blocker for the rest of the team.

But it’s not always the ongoing meeting that derives value, how you end your meetings also matter.

At Notiv, we understand how intimidating it can be to visualize the long road ahead of us. That’s why we end our meetings with some inspiration. It’s important to us to take some time to look back at what we’ve accomplished and to use that as motivation for the road ahead. Apple celebrated their 90th day of business, when was the last time you celebrated how far you’ve come?

No slides

While Google backs their decisions up with data, Amazon relies on the power of storytelling instead. While on one-hand this can prompt attendees to craft detailed meeting memos, it can also leave your team directionless before the meeting. Amazon prizes memos because they give the organizers a chance to better communicate the concepts to be discussed. Attendees can also read, collaborate and improve the work ahead of time, creating team alignment and focus.

Review

We’ve all rocked up to that important meeting where, despite your best intentions, you’re simply not well-prepared. Perhaps you just got off a flight, had a big night out or watched the final season of Game of Thrones.

As a meeting organizer, it’s inevitable to have attendees who simply aren’t ready. But instead of punishing these members, or risk them ‘faking it till they make it’, Amazon instead has instated a mandatory review of the meeting memo at the start of the meeting.

This method not only assures the undivided attention of the team, it helps discussion or team leads prepare a final time. It’s also great team practice because it values and places importance on the time, expertise and effort required to put those memos or agendas together.

Review is also important after a meeting. What was said, what was discussed and what needs to be followed-up on immediately?

Assigning a note-taker can help with the review process but this is often a major source of inefficiency. With human note-takers, your team is subjecting itself to the biases and limitations of that one person. If they missed a crucial point, the whole team collectively shares in that loss. If everyone is taking their own notes, the team risks misalignment, miscommunication and lots of time spent after the meeting decoding notes and chasing up information.

Why take the L?

By using an AI meeting assistant, you remove that dependency and inefficiency relating to human jobs.

We all have many jobs to be done in our lives:

  • Some are little like making coffee in the morning;
  • Some are big like creating a human being;
  • Some surface unpredictably like a spare outfit at work because you got drenched in the morning;
  • Some regularly like packing healthy school lunches for your kids.

However, the menial post-meeting tasks shouldn’t be something we have to contend with anymore. There are tools, like Notiv, available for the discerning professional. Tasks like taking detailed notes while engaging in the conversation, or organizing and disseminating meeting minutes can take hours, when they should only take minutes.

Tools like Notiv help users:

  • Capture the full conversation, context and rich detail;
  • Transcribe the conversation for clarity;
  • Analyze the meeting to highlight important moments;
  • Segment the data for a quick review of the information;
  • And support collaboration and dissemination of the meeting notes!

If you want to Meet Better, it’s not hard to implement some of these life hacks into your workflow. Head over to our recent article to learn more about the benefits of having AI as your meeting assistant.

Meaningful Conversations: 8 Productivity Hacks to Drive Better Meetings

Better meetings

Team meetings, company-wide meetings, one-on-ones, stand-ups, sprints, retrospectives, workshops, phone calls, teleconferences, coffee catch-ups…. are you exhausted yet? Jumping from one conversation or meeting to the next can be overwhelming and mentally draining! And you haven’t even started the growing list of follow-ups or actions!

Here are some hacks to bring into your conversations so you can have more meaningful & better meetings and get back some of your precious time 🙂

Hacks For Meaningful Conversations & Better Meetings

Use Time limits

Research has shown the most effective meetings are no more than 45 minutes in length. However, many a time, conversations get hijacked or turned around and you’re lost in a sea of idle chatter for hours. Our Notiv team surveyed the general population and found that most people spent at least 9 hours in meeting per week! Additionally, a Harvard Business Review article claims some executives spend up to 23 hours per week in a meeting. That’s a lot of time to waste.

Always set an agenda before the meeting

All your agenda needs to focus on is how long your meeting will be and what topics it will cover. Then all you have to do is stick to it! While you can allow people to add topics or modify the time limit so each person has a voice, it is important to also curate the conversation. For example, points that are not actionable need not be included in the agenda! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

The Parking Lot Method

This productivity method ensures your meeting does not go off topic, while assuring participants that their points of discussion will be addressed. Effective use of the parking lot method means that topics not relating to the point being discussed are identified, recorded, and then discussed after agenda topics have been closed (if time remains). It’s best to have someone in charge of keeping the parking lot list, so if time runs out these items can be discussed at the most ideal time.

Stand up for your time

Many meeting rooms have lush, cushy chairs, coffee, bagels and when you throw in laptops, it’s easy for people to get too comfortable. Having standing meetings can be the best way to make sure people focus on the topic at hand and end the meeting on time. It also stops people from doing unrelated things during a meeting. The result is a focused and attentive team!

Freedom of speech

We’re not talking about saying whatever you want, but considering opposing opinions can lead to more productive conversations. This balance of thoughts can clear up miscommunications, misunderstandings and lead to better long-term outcomes. That said, you need to manage the more vocal people in the room and make sure everyone has their speaking time respected. After all, you’re having a conversation and not a lecture!

Set a weird time for your meeting

No, we are not advocating meeting at 2 am. Instead of setting a meeting for 1030, set it for 1006! Believe it or not, but having a seemingly random start time increases the chance of everyone being on time. That way you’re not wasting time waiting on people and you can start the meeting, dead on time!

Recap

Try as you might, when you have a long meeting, even if it’s one on one, there are going to be points you forget or miss. Therefore, it’s always a good meeting hack to factor in time on the agenda for a debrief. Run through the important decisions made and the action items each member will need to act on.

Take effective notes

Note taking is one of the most crucial aspects of a meeting. It allows you to recap important points, promotes accountability and can keep you on track. However, it is important to take smart notes. To find out how to take smart notes that can help your team effectively take action, here is a guide we’ve created for you!

Don’t worry if you’re not ready to get Notiv in your meetings – although we assure you, with Notiv, you’ll be able to have more meaningful conversations. Because, let’s face it. When you meet better, you can drive better client outcomes.

Tips to Cope With Too Many Meetings and Avoid Burnout

Calendar,Software,Showing,Busy,Schedule,Of,Manager,With,Many,Meetings,

Work meetings have a bad reputation for being time-consuming and inefficient. They are often seen as a chore, and for good reason. Sometimes, you can’t help but think that a simple email would have been enough, and you could have spent that time doing something more productive. However, meetings are still an integral part of our working lives.

According to a Work Management Survey, 34% employees attend around 6 meetings per week on average, and 44% say that too many meetings have sabotaged their productivity.

If you think most meetings are a waste of time, then you are not alone. The Muse conducted a survey about unproductive meetings and found that employees think that more than 67% of their meetings are unproductive. Those surveyed were spending up to 4 hours on average to prepare and present their status updates in meetings (this is in addition to the time spent on attending meetings).

We generally attend many types of meetings in the workplace or remotely — brainstorming sessions, info-sharing/decision-making meetings, briefings, status updates, etc. It gives the illusion that we are working, but in reality they often prevent us from getting to what we need done. Knowing that in business time is money makes this even more frustrating!

Have you been struggling with too many meetings that are extensively long, unnecessary, and ineffective? Keep reading this article to find out more about how to improve the situation and get some real work done!

Corporate Productivity and Meetings

Perceived meeting effectiveness, as reported in the Harvard Business Review, should really worry managers:

  • 71% of the 182 senior managers interviewed defined office meetings as unproductive and inefficient.
  •  65% of them admit that meetings prevented them from finishing their work.
  • The study further showed the ineffectiveness of these meetings as 64% of these managers said they found it hard to focus on work due to frequent meetings.

Finally, Harvard Business Review summarized that the consequence of too many meetings at work is low level of employee involvement. This has a significant impact on a company’s productivity, especially if you calculate the time employees could have dedicated to more strategic activities.

tips to cope with too many-meetings and avoid burnout 2

The following statistics show why unnecessary sessions are a burden, as most employees are already experiencing an overload of meetings.

tips to cope with too many-meetings and avoid burnout

“Acute meetingitis” is a virus that affects many organizations, but what can be done to move towards making work sessions more productive?

Meetings are still a key part of organizational life; they present opportunities to discuss and explain possible solutions to improve business processes.

The benefits of a focused meeting are remarkable — a session as short and dynamic as possible impacts attendees’ sense of satisfaction and gratification and increases the possibility of obtaining creative solutions.

However, too many meetings can also lead to lots of unnecessary wasted time and give rise to conflict. That’s why it is crucial to design them in the best possible way, to optimize work days and get better results in terms of productivity.

the state of meetings 2020

Here are some steps to make office meetings more productive and useful.

Tips to Make Team Meetings Productive

Meetings that do not provide useful information, goals, or actions do not hold value. Here are the tricks for managers to make their meetings more meaningful:

Evaluate the time of the meeting

It is important to assess what time and day of the week would be better to schedule a meeting by considering the factors that can affect the productivity and punctuality of the attendees.

It is also critical to evaluate whether holding a meeting is useful, as many sessions are periodic but not always indispensable. If there are no urgent topics to address, it is better to postpone or cancel the meeting altogether rather than sticking to a routine.

Understand your agenda

A common mistake of “boring” meetings is the lack of direction. If participants have no idea about the meeting’s purpose, it will be challenging to get them engaged, which will turn the session into a monologue. Categorizing and defining the agenda of the meeting helps people realize what needs to be done during the meeting.

For instance, operational meetings are short, used to discuss urgent issues and find solutions. These sessions should be kept brief and concrete, unlike strategic meetings that tend to be longer and open to discussion as they are focused on long-term plans.

Read more: How to write an agenda that you will stick to?

Invite only essential participants

Decide in advance who will be attending the meeting. Corporate meetings with fewer attendees are more effective. The higher the number, the more likely you are to lose control. That’s why only those who can offer a valuable contribution and are related to the discussion should participate.

Appoint a Moderator

If there are many participants, it can be useful to select a moderator who can coordinate the session, keep time, and articulate the objectives and meeting topics. The same person will also keep track of important discussion points and draw up a meeting report to share with other attendees.

Establish Limits

To optimize office meetings, it is recommended to limit the presentation slides as well as the time of each participant’s speeches. Setting up these parameters will be helpful to manage the conduct of a meeting.

Avoid discussions unrelated to the meeting

Discussions unrelated to the meeting lead to wasted time for others. One of the easiest ways to stick to the agenda is to ask the people to resolve their own disputes at another time.

Alternatively, an issue can be too complex and participants might need more time to resolve it than the allotted time, or don’t have access to specific tools to tackle the problem. In this case, it might be practical moving the conversation to another time, or asking relevant attendees to collaborate online after the meeting.

Define the start and end time

Setting time limits prevents meetings from taking longer than necessary. The more time participants spend in meetings, the less time they have to invest in their work. The meeting organizer should review the issues to be discussed and allot time accordingly. Any unresolved matters can be addressed online or in a follow-up meeting.

Summary of Meeting Minutes

After the end of a meeting, key takeaways should be summarized to highlight the event’s value. A quick recap of important points, no matter how brief, helps keep participants’ minds fresh. It should also address the actions needed to be taken to solve an issue. By reminding all attendees about the discussed matters, a short summary ensures that they will take the next steps required.

It would take a lot of time if you are taking minutes manually; with a digital tool like Notiv you can record meetings from start to finish, while focusing on the conversation and people you are dealing with. Notiv is a complete meeting solution with various useful features that cater to all your needs. It automatically records, transcribes, and analyzes your meetings and calls, and delivers highlights, summary suggestions, and action items. It works well even for people with accents and offers accurate meeting transcriptions.

Notiv easily integrates with your calendar and other external apps, joining meetings/calls automatically. It works with the most popular video conferencing software like Google Meet and Zoom, but also connects to other tools.

The Bottom Line

The tips explored above will help employees to prepare in advance and to keep the discussions relevant for a meaningful meeting. Taking note of important action points is important when figuring out next steps. Improving meetings in this way can reduce wasted time and ensure that employees remain focused on their work. Companies also benefit from proper planning and the implementation of a more structured approach to office meetings.

Too many meetings can be detrimental to office culture, but the right amount of meetings done properly can keep a team working in harmony to a shared goal.