Does this sound familiar?
You need to host a virtual meeting, web conference or conference call. As the host, it’s assumed that you’ll not only keep the conversation relevant, on track and follow an agenda, but that you’ll also take minutes of the meeting, noting your attendees’ agreed actions and queries.
That’s a lot of responsibility.
If you’re tired of scribbling meeting minutes and are interested in trying Gather’s helpful features for yourself, why not sign up for a free account?
Has this happened to you?
The meeting starts on time, and you feel you’re set up for success. You know you’re going to have to pay attention to the moving parts of your conference, so you’ve probably started a Word or Google document, pre-populated with an agenda, which you may or may not have provided to your attendees ahead of time.
The meeting starts well, your participants stay on topic and excitedly brainstorm. The conversation bounces around between participants as you furiously scribble notes, trying to keep up. Typing is too tricky, so you take pages of notes. You are relatively confident that you’ll be able to read your handwriting later.
The meeting has a lot of dependencies and moving parts – action items are assigned to various participants and timelines are agreed. You’ve, hopefully correctly, noted who took what action and are mostly confident that you’ve recorded delivery dates as cited. However, you’re not 100% on that.
After the meeting, as you spend an hour deciphering your notes, you struggle as the context seems lost. You despair that not only are your notes a mess, you’re rarely mentioned in them. You weren’t able to contribute to this meeting as you were too busy taking pages of mostly useless notes.
You attended the meeting, but did you really engage?
Taking notes has long been the default method of recording information during meetings and calls, but research suggests that doing so can actually have a negative impact on memory.
In a recent study, Michelle Eskritt and Sierra Ma of Canada’s Mount Saint Vincent University challenged undergraduates to play Concentration, a memory-based card game, the object of which is to find matching pairs from a sizeable downward-facing deck.
Half of the students were allowed to visually study the cards, while the other half were given the opportunity to do the same but also make notes on paper. After the study period, researchers unexpectedly removed the note-taking group’s scribbles and asked both groups to play the game. Intriguingly, the students who took notes performed much worse than those who merely studied the cards.
We can apply these findings to meetings and calls. Imagine a complex project web conference, where one employee is focused on writing notes at pace, and another is actively engaged in the conversation, listening to every word and contributing thoughts and ideas. It is no surprise that the one listening intently is a step ahead of the note taker. The listener’s thoughts were heard and her attention undiminished. When meeting participants are not required to take notes, they can actively listen and ask the right questions.
Project Managers take a lot of detailed notes
Project Managers (PMs) are a great example of a role where detailed note-taking abilities and proactive meeting leadership skills need to co-exist. PMs are responsible and, ultimately, accountable for the projects they lead and must challenge their teams to ensure that deliverables are on time while mitigating risk.
A PM must pay full attention to what is being said in meetings or, more likely, what is not being said, by project members. They need to understand the risks associated with the project and the likelihood of any deviations from the plan. The role demands in-the-moment attention, which is difficult when you are the facilitator as well as the minute-taker in a meeting.
At Gather, we provide high-definition web and video meetings, conference calling and SIP meeting rooms for reliable global connectivity and collaboration. All calls feature automatic video and voice recording, automated minute transcription and AI-led data collection.
But, how does Gather specifically help me as a Project Manager?
Gather allows Project Managers to say goodbye to taking minutes, so they can be fully present in their own meetings. No more rushed notes or the hour needed to decipher them. Your entire team can have access to a full recording of each meeting. And the cool part? Gather uses an auto-tagging system to record and mark trends in your conversation and all meeting minutes are searchable by term and by participants. That’s a lot of power.
Say you schedule a critical meeting but Susan, an important decision-maker, is unable to attend at the last minute. Before, you may have rescheduled the meeting, delaying progress. But now, with Gather, the meeting can go ahead as planned. Immediately after, you can send Susan an audio or video recording of the meeting, complete with any presentation files and minutes of the meeting that have been auto-tagged. Auto-tagging allows Susan to quickly see the meeting’s keywords and most-discussed topics, which quickly brings her up to speed.
Via Gather’s AI-powered meeting minutes, Susan can gain more detailed insight about what was discussed. If she wants to know exactly what was said about ‘accounts’, she can simply type ‘accounts’ into the search field to see every instance the word was mentioned and skip forward to the relevant section.
Gather’s call features mean that you and your teams can stay in the moment and be present in your own meetings. No more note-taking, no more trying to keep up with the pace of excited conversations. Gather gives you post-meeting peace of mind knowing that your meeting participants have all the information they need to progress and succeed.
How about a free trial?
This week, we are excited to launch Gather and invite you to explore our new website, where you can check out Gather’s unique features, register for a free account and learn more about our launch and upcoming promotions. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
We’d love to hear your feedback on our web conferencing service as we continue to improve Gather, so please drop us a line any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We really mean it when we say: Good things happen when we Gather…