The whole world seems to be on a Zoom meeting at the moment. The popular video conferencing app has now racked up a 300 million daily meeting participant volume. This massive amount of users throng the app for its awesome features.
The rise of Zoom has even sparked off an internet troll phenomenon known as Zoombombing. Zoombombers prowl the highways and byways of public Zoom meetings, bombing meeting participants with inappropriate content.
The cloud-based video conferencing tool is very popular with small, large, and medium-sized businesses. On it, users can have a continuity of their daily workflows and keep in touch. All of Zoom’s amazing features are designed for the business meeting.
Through them, work from home employees can have one-on-one meetings on the app’s free plan or host large meetings with 500 participants on paid plans.
Users can also screen share for collaboration and record all Zoom calls as video. It is, therefore, quite unfortunate that most of the app’s users have to use old paper and pen to jot down Zoom meeting notes.
The savvy meeting leader can, however, use AI meeting assistant technology tools like Aira instead. Aira is powered by artificial intelligence technology and can automatically join your meetings, transcribe them, take meeting notes, and share with all meeting participants at the end of the meeting.
Why should extract Zoom meeting minutes with Aira?
Some Zoom meeting leaders do try to take down notes from their laptops or computers while on Zoom meetings. If you have tried this process, you know how arduous a task it is, if you must have your camera on during the meeting.
If your meeting guidelines, however, allow cameras to stay off during the meeting (which is quite rare), you can switch off your laptop’s camera, listen in and type in your notes. Just juggle between listening in, staying engaged, and contributing to the meeting’s deliberations. This is not an easy task, and you will often lose your concentration and become less productive during the meeting.
Some other minute writing option procedures during Zoom meetings include;
Opening a Zoom window and utilizing a note-taking app on the other side of your screen for minute taking. With both apps open at the same time, you can quickly click back and forth between each app as you listen take your notes. You, however, will have the disadvantage of a half-sized Zoom window.
Have access to two monitors and connect them to your computer. Use one monitor to run your Zoom meeting interface. And use the other for your minute taking app. You can also use your tablet, phone, or laptop screens to set this configuration up. Use one screen for the video conferencing app and use the other for minute taking
Learn your keyboard commands and use them to switch between your Zoom app and minute taking window. This option will keep your Zoom app full screen.
These methods might get the job done, but you will have to face the meeting minute taking challenges of a lack of concentration and fatigue.
You will also have to keep fighting off the urge to record every word verbatim and simply summarize the key facts. Meetings do not always follow the agenda and topics, and side issues will often come in distracting the minute-taking process.
How to extract your meeting’s notes with Aira?
Aira, the voice AI platform, is the best Zoom meeting minute taking alternative. She will not only take minutes but will save them on one location for ease of access.
Aira is such a perfect meeting assistant that she can attend your meeting and take notes on your behalf when you are held up elsewhere. She is the perfect complementary tool for Zoom’s recorded video function.
If you have a paid Zoom account and Aira, you can sync all your Zoom cloud recordings into Aira. With this, you’ll get automatic extraction of meeting notes through her robust AI voice transcription feature. Zoom Pro, Business, and Enterprise allow meeting leaders to record their calls as videos.
The meeting host can also enable video recordings of meetings by other members in settings so that anyone can record a Zoom meeting.
All videos will either be saved locally or on the cloud in an MP4 video file format. Aira will transcribe the meeting using her Zoom Synch feature. All that you need to do is to set up Aira’s automatic transcription feature before the meeting starts. Simply;
Virtual meetings are becoming more acceptable. Ever since countries started locking down their borders due to the threat of covid19, companies have had to embrace the idea of conducting their operations digitally. Virtual meetings are now the order of the day, and we have many innovative tools rising to meet this demand. Whether you want to hold a team meeting, pitch a customer, conduct a demo, host a training session, or even run an industry conference, an AI-led tool like Aira is a worthwhile asset to have.
Why virtual meetings?
It is undeniable that face to face meetings introduce the human touch to doing business. Virtual meetings have been evolving towards providing the same experience, and this is evidenced by:
Tools for holding meetings are becoming more advanced; more intuitive
As such, technology is taking over the bulk of the work involved in meeting management. For instance, Aira will attend meetings for you, take meeting notes and email them. In addition, because of Aira’s integrative ability with your CRM, your meeting discussions, files, minutes and action points, become part of your entire team’s workflow.
Benefits of holding virtual meetings include:
Virtual meetings are inexpensive because they eliminate the cost of travel
You save time and energy whenever you hold your meetings virtually because you don’t need to go anywhere. Time spent on the road or up in the air, is then allocated to activities that have more strategic importance.
There is also the added comfort of a virtual meeting; you can hold one from anywhere. In other words, when you go virtual, you give your team the freedom to work from anywhere.
How can you run a great virtual meeting?
Running a successful virtual meeting requires some preparation before, during and after the meeting.
1. Ensure video works
When choosing your conferencing tools, ensure you get one that offers an excellent video experience. Video increases engagement and interaction because participants can observe each other’s responses to discussions. Video also tells you when people start to lose attention. You can then respond appropriately, by for instance calling for a break.
2. Send the meeting agenda in advance
This gives your team time to process what the meeting will mean to them. Participants will also:
Come up with ideas
Note: Before you send a meeting agenda, you need to choose a date that guarantees maximum attendance. As much as a tool like Aira can attend a meeting and send minutes of meeting when a participant is absent, having everyone “present” creates more engagement.
3. Set the meeting tone
Do you want people to respect your meetings and take them seriously? Then set the tone. An agenda is one way to do it, but also drumming up support for key areas of discussion helps people anticipate real value coming out of the meeting.
4. Minimize the number of meetings you hold
A great thing about sending out agenda items is that they help you gauge whether you even need a meeting in the first place. When your team and clients see the meeting agenda, they will comment and based on those comments, you can take the requisite actions.
There is no need to hold meetings if the team doesn’t agree that the issues being discussed do not hold any business value.
5. Do your homework
A day after sending out the agenda, reach out to individual members to get their opinions. Build on that opinion or use it to bolster your own point of view. When you obtain information in advance,
You “sit” with that information and find the interconnectedness in opinions
You get to define where an idea starts and stops, or where offshoots of new ideas begin to crop up
You get a deeper understanding of team pain points, explore their impact, then craft solutions for them or start a whole new discussion around them
You can create a powerful presentation that will keep everyone gripped during your meeting.
Note: when you reach out to people individually, it shows that you value their opinion. This can only benefit your team.
During the meeting
The meeting has now started. You should have a good turnout if you prepared. So how do you now ensure that your meeting runs successfully?
6. Let the team get comfortable with each other
If you are meeting with few participants, let them introduce themselves.
An introduction session is a great way to set the tone
Introductions also get people to talk about their pain points
7. Encourage collaboration
You have already established the pain points or challenges from individual group members. Form your discussions around these challenges. Give team members an opportunity to brainstorm and generate ideas around those challenges.
Everyone in the team takes ownership of the problem and becomes excited to take part in solving it
It’s easier to gauge level of expertise and figure out how to apportion action points or group people into project teams
8. Establish meeting rules
Turn your phones off, and do not “check out” until the meeting is over.
Do not interrupt when someone is talking
Mind your language and have respect for all meeting attendants
Allow everyone’s input. Every participant should “raise their hand” and contribute their point of view
9. Keep everyone engaged
A great way to keep people engaged during virtual meetings is to call on them and give them tasks to be conducted after the meeting, or occasionally direct questions at them. At certain times during the meetings, stop and randomly ask a member for their input.
After the meeting
10. Send meeting notes
A great meeting tool takes meeting notes for you and thankfully, Aira does just that. After the meeting, Aira will automatically mail the action points or participants can simply log into the tool to access minutes and more.
It’s okay to allow people to disagree. This happens often in physical office settings, and you should also accommodate it in a virtual space. Before you end your meeting, allow people to have an informal discussion session where they express what they would do differently.
Calls for a workplace meeting are often met with a level of murmuring and groaning rather than a “Heck yeah! Let’s do this!” While meetings often bring the best ideas to light, According to a study done by Verizon Conferencing, most heavy meeting goers have at one time or the other attended dysfunctional meetings.
Consequently, 90% of them admit to missing bits of the meeting or daydreaming when in a meeting due to flawed meeting behavior. At least 70% of them admit to bringing other tasks to these gatherings while 40% of them simply go off to the land of nod. Most meetings start very unsoundly, setting a wrong tone for the remainder of the event. Here’s the most right way to start a meeting:
Informing participants of the meeting’s purpose and outcome
Circulate your meeting’s agenda to all participants beforehand via Aira. Aira is an AI meeting assistant that makes meeting notes and shares them with all meeting members. She is an artificial intelligence technology powered tool that can share your meeting’s agenda and past minutes before and after the meeting.
At the beginning of a meeting, your participants have two major concerns in their minds. They will want to understand right off the bat why they are in attendance and why they should care about the meeting’s agenda. Most guides will tell you that the best way to start your meeting is by reviewing your agenda, then heading straight to the agenda’s topics.
This process has its benefits but it will not highlight the benefits of the meeting. It will also not bring to light the reasons why they should count the meeting as of any importance to them. To capture the member’s attention from the word go, and also set your conference up for success, give them the answers to these two questions first.
With Aira by your side, you should, therefore, start your meeting by informing the associates of the purpose and the outcome that they should expect. You can, for instance, start with words such as “At the end of this meeting, you will all walk away with…” You can alternatively kick off the meeting with a “the intention of this meeting is…” Such words will get everyone on the same page and ensure that your meeting is a success.
Empower the meeting participants
When it comes down to it, most employees do not know how to behave in a meeting. Some want to look less weird and normal while others are intimidated by the thought of conversing with the person sitting across the table.
There are also lots of silly rules out there that may hinder the participant’s ability to collaborate with others and to display their value. Meetings provide fantastic opportunities for workers to show leadership and problem-solving skills. You should, therefore, start the meeting by shattering the ceiling of unnecessary interpersonal dynamics and secret corporate etiquette.
Get rid of all veiled social rules and the pressure to perform that makes the members edgy and panicky. Empower the delegates and allow them to understand the power that they have in a meeting room. Give them the authority over their contributions by ensuring that they do understand the level of engagement expected from them.
Empowered partners will be open to discussions and participation. Start your meeting by voicing an empowering statement like” you are our select team, chosen to vet our marketing process because you have a deep understanding of our strengths and weaknesses”.
A study done by MIT research says that the collective intelligence of a team is determined by the equal participation capacity of its members.
Restate your meeting’s ground rules
Every business has as part of its cultures, directives that dictate how its meetings flow. Encouraging engagement is a great way to start a meeting, but you should state the boundaries as well. It is important however not to overdo the law setting at the commencement of your meeting.
You can incorporate this feature by picking one salient to the discourse at hand. As an illustration, you can ward off passive aggression by reinstating that all challenges should be addressed in the course of the meeting only and not before or after it. This will ensure more productivity and unity in collaboration.
If your powwow misses a strong start, its members will quickly get off track or zone out, so you must know the right way to start a meeting. If, you don’t want to chair a disorganized meeting avoid casting shadows by creating the wrong idea about your meeting. Begin your meeting with a positive note to foster efficiency. You can break the ice with a story, poignant quote, or interesting statistic then rope them further using one of the tactics above. Use meeting tools such as Aira to analyze your meeting data to ensure that optimization fosters high engagement.
Online meetings have become more commonplace as more people work from home. Offices are making a transition to the virtual world making video conferencing an integral part of the business environment. The rise of virtual meetings has been a slow but steady journey. They were at first vital to disparate team meetings as employees in multiple geographic locations began to share teams.
This movement has culminated in a global movement towards video conferencing as the global pandemic bites necessitating social distancing between workmates. Consequently, video conferencing platforms like Zoom are now home to over 200 million daily meetings. In late 2019, the platform had a low 10 million meetings.
New meeting tools that enhance productivity are also more readily available online. As an illustration, meeting tools like Aira can dial into an online meeting, take meeting notes, and transcribe all dialogue. Aira is an artificial intelligence-powered bot that frees meeting members from the arduous task of writing minute notes. She ensures that every member stays focused and productive.
The growth of online meetings
Over time, video conferencing might replace conference calls as businesses embrace the cost-effective benefit of virtual meetings. 78% of businesses today are using video conferencing for team meetings, while 58% of them hold these meetings daily. The need for video collaboration software is so high that 83% of large corporations are planning to purchase online meeting software for use.
Meetings can be very valuable when productive and effective. Nevertheless, for all their benefits, the productive virtual meeting is very elusive. It is of critical importance therefore that all stakeholders embrace the connections, technology, and the mix of video and audio to ensure consistency in productivity, as business transit to the online environment.
Below are some online meetings etiquette and best practices for employees and meeting leaders that want to make their online meetings as productive as possible.
1. A meeting leader should prepare for the meeting
An advantage of working from home is that you are free to wear your softest jammies all day. You can attend your Zoom meeting without having to dress up for success, which makes social isolation more bearable. Your meeting will however not meet its objectives if you do not keep its organization as professional as possible.
A meeting that lacks purpose will fall on its face very fast. The meeting leader should, therefore, send a meeting invite beforehand to all participants and attach the agenda. Describe all expectations and have your meeting tools ready. If possible, talk to a technology expert to ensure that all meeting tools are primed and ready for the meeting.
2. Make a meeting schedule and stick to it.
There are a few things as annoying as sitting in an empty virtual room waiting for participants to show. It is not surprising that despite the fact, the online meetings are extremely mobile the tardiest of employees will often have a reason to jump into the meeting room late.
The meeting organizer needs to ensure that every virtual meeting starts promptly. Do not give room to distractions, repetition of discussed items after excuses of “my dog ate my modem”. Such distractions will only inconvenience and annoy the participants that show up on time. Follow the agenda instead and catch all the latecomers up after the call.
3. Minimize distractions
Online meeting participants are easy to distract because they lack the physical and visual stimuli that keep the traditional meeting members engaged. It is crucial therefore that all distractions are kept out of the virtual meeting room. Silence all phones, mute all the mics of inactive members and close all apps that are not in use. Make sure that no member interrupts the meeting flow or the speaker.
4. Begin with introductions
Let the host announce every meeting member to ensure that all participants feel at home with each other. Introductions increase the awareness of each other’s responsibilities and roles and are key to a smooth meeting.
5. Be professional
Since virtual meetings, environments are more relaxed than traditional meetings, some members may be too casual and forward in their words or tone of voice. All participants should maintain their professional appearance and posture to prevent distractions and embarrassment.
6. Keep the meeting engaging
All employees should learn interpersonal dynamics that stimulate collaboration in the absence of face-to-face meetings. Remember that over 55% of human communication is expressed as non-verbal cues. Encourage the participants, therefore, to use file transfer or chat tools for side questions and conversations.
7. Observe privacy for security
Ensure that your online meetings only have the participant that need to attend it. Make your meeting private to avoid unwelcome visitors and other security risks.
Considering the online meetings etiquette, the meeting leader should wrap up the meeting effectively and use meeting tools like Aira to send out meeting notes and arrangements or the next meeting,
Economic uncertainties will always be with us; the thing is, we cannot predict when they will hit us, what shape or form they will come in, or how long they will last. In light of this, the important thing for businesses is to ensure that teams are supported and have the agility to adjust to changing working environments. You need to prepare your team to work remotely, not just now when the world has to grapple with covid19, but in the future as well.
There is a common misconception that remote work is all about conference calls. While video calls and chats are an important part of getting work done remotely, when we talk about finding tools to support remote teams, we have to look beyond conferencing. Supporting remote working is about team empowerment, and to do this, your company needs to create a tech stack that guarantees team efficiency and effectiveness regardless of their location. Your team needs to feel confident that they don’t have to be office-bound to deliver on business objectives.
In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 ai technology tools that will help your team stay organized, increase efficiency and collaborate better while working remotely.
Slack is best known for its “channel” approach to managing communication.
The thinking behind channels is that when running projects, it can be difficult to track communication, attachments, and tasks via email. Slack seeks to solve this problem through channels that bring teams together around a common purpose.
Slack organizes work based on projects, topic, or team. This way, anyone in your organization can find how to best contribute by being a part of a channel that supports their role.
The great thing about slack is that it can also incorporate external teams, fostering collaboration with your partners.
Other features include:
You can communicate with team members directly on the channel and get instant alignment
Save and search messages and files on slack
Save time by getting all people in one place
Achieve business-critical tasks such as: setting budgets, see budget approval, work on projects, etc.
More transparency through public channels, or increased security through private channels
Pin messages or documents that you want to call attention to
Star channels that are important to you
Integrate with other workplace tools like google drive or one drive. You can also connect to CRM tools like JIRA, Salesforce, Zendesk or own software so that you never miss important alerts and notifications
Work on the go with slack on mobile
Enterprise grid: contact the sales team
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft teams help teams to not only communicate instantly while working but also reduce email clutter.
Microsoft Teams is a remote work tool that combines powerful communication capabilities of chat, voice and video, with collaboration capabilities such as document storage and office 365 integration. It can also integrate with third-party software through extensions, making it a must-have for enterprises or large teams.
Record meetings for future reference and to keep absent members in the loop
Pause recordings to answer questions
Allow teams to join from anywhere
For educational institutions, create a virtual classroom and bring all assignments and files in one place, to collaborate virtually in real-time
Have one on one meetings or meet as a group
Keep your team connected in the following ways:
Use the chat, to have “water cooler” talks with colleagues.
Brainstorm on Microsoft whiteboard
Have team building through virtual coffees
Have fun, encourage teamwork and reward performance through teams
Microsoft teams free: $0
Microsoft 365 business basic: $5/user/mo
Microsoft 365 business standard: $12.50/user/mo
Office 365 E3: $20/user/mo
Zoom is a chat, audio and video conferencing app that has become almost synonymous with remote working. It allows people to communicate by joining a zoom meeting or zoom room. Zoom room refers to hardware that allows you to convert your conference rooms to a zoom-meeting.
Despite zoom’s popularity, incidents of “zoom bombing” have raised concerns regarding its level of security particularly for teams that need to safeguard their work. However, as team Zoom maintains that it offers AES 256-bit GCM encryption, you should contact them before purchase, to ensure that their security protocols are aligned to your organization’s requirements.
Zoom has the following features:
You can use chat during meetings without interrupting others
Hold meetings with large groups of people without compromising call quality
Record calls and distributes recordings after your meetings
Integrate with your calendar and CRM. Zoom also integrates with slack
Control your meetings with host options
Stream live on Facebook and YouTube and other proprietary software
Get meeting analytics
Business: $19.99 /mo/host
Enterprise: contact sales
4. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a calendar, task organizer, appointment setting, and meeting scheduling tool all wrapped in one. It simplifies time management by helping individuals and teams to keep busy days organized. To use google calendar, you need a google account (Gmail address).
Google Calendar has the following features:
It allows you to have a remote meeting through google hangouts
If you want to know what you have scheduled on specific days, type, or voice search “what’s my calendar” on google search. The results are private
You can sync your personal and work calendars into google calendar to get a holistic view of your day
Add colleagues’ calendars to your google calendar to enable you to organize meetings with teams. Note: you’ll need to as your colleagues’ permission before you add their calendars.
Share attachments when scheduling events
Set event reminders and notifications
Use drag and drop function to schedule meetings in no time at all
Automatically schedule events straight from your email
Track projects by adding and monitoring tasks and sub-tasks
Send daily agenda via email
Embed your calendar into your website so that your clients can book meetings with you
Google calendar can also integrate with most meeting tools including zoom, Aira, Slack, among others. You can also sync your google calendar into your iPhone calendar by enabling that function in your phone settings.
Meeting management can be quite tricky without an intelligent tool like AIRA. This state of the art AI technology meeting assistant:
Records and transcribes meetings
Highlight keywords in meeting notes to make tracking action items and topics easier. Teams can search for notes and action items based on keywords.
Organizes actions points and automatically emails them
If you have scheduling conflicts, Aira will join meetings for you
AIRA syncs with popular calendars like google calendar
Has intelligent analytics that allows you to improve future meetings and drive organizational performance
Pricing: Contact team Aira for pricing and demo
Internal systems, intranets, and printouts do not work when it comes to managing projects remotely. Remote project management is best accomplished with a tool like Asana, whose features enable teams to stay organized, communicate and get aligned.
The transition to remote work can create silos, but Asana’s design ensures that teams work and collaborate transparently.
Asana has the following capabilities that make remote project management easy and enjoyable:
Get an entire view of project timelines, to keep you on schedule for each task in real-time
Easily identify problems in task scheduling and fix dependency conflicts at project start
Give everyone visibility to get easier buy-in
Adjust aspects of the project as you go and keep everyone appraised of such changes
Import spreadsheets into asana to make project tracking simpler
Manage team workload to ensure everyone remains productive
Manage new project requests through forms, to avoid getting overwhelmed
Enterprise: Contact the team
Trello is also a great project management tool and is a great addition for teams that handle lots of internal projects, such as a software creation company. Agencies that need to work with external clients could also make their work easier with Trello, as they can give visibility of projects to their clients.
One great thing about Trello is its Kanban-based approach to project management, whereby task organization falls under lists, cards and boards.
If you are an agency or run a consultancy, you can create a Trello board, where customers can track progress in areas of interest to them.
Simply create a board and invite a team to collaborate
Add details to Trello cards, such as attachments, comments or due dates
View at a glance, progress on all your tasks
Automate to eliminate tedious tasks
Sync across all devices so your teams work from anywhere
Integrate with the tools that your team already uses
Business-class: $9.99 per user/month
Enterprise: $17.50 per user/month, on a sliding scale.
Remote work can result in diminished support for your customers.
Hubspot is a CRM software that will come in handy when you need to ensure that your customers are being contacted and given the support they need. Through HubSpot, you can create a log of your interactions with customers at different touchpoints, and in this way:
Address any red flags before they become problems
Pursue opportunities that arise during interactions with customers
With HubSpot, you can ensure that customers barely notice a lack of face to face interaction.
But HubSpot isn’t just a tool for customer support. It has powerful marketing capabilities such as lead scoring, email marketing, ad management, etcetera
You can also manage your sales organization from HubSpot by tracking deal pipelines.
In addition to offering a free subscription, HubSpot offers the following paid subscription options:
If your business model is primarily in-person, or if you have a dedicated customer service function, Zendesk will ensure your customer service team continues to offer uninterrupted support through phone, email, chat and social media.
Zendesk is easy to use and tracks customer queries through a ticketing system.
Other features include:
Analytics to track issue response, logging and resolution
A full sales suite to help your teams’ close deals. The sales suite is supported by live chat, voice, SMS, and automated email sequences that make deal closing easier.
You no doubt have a workflow in your company and to achieve your goals, that workflow has to be synergistic. That’s where Unito comes in.
All work processes, including launching a marketing campaign, lead generation, order management, holding meetings, providing customer care, etc., are all one-stop processes. As each of these processes operates within a different function in your organization, you have most likely invested in dedicated tools for each one. This, in itself, could create silos. Silos break down team synergy and transparency.
Unito helps you create complete workflows by interconnecting your various tools. This way, your remote teams can have a smooth flow of information and collaborate transparently with each other.
Business X: $225
Enterprise: Contact the team
Next steps: Explore these ai technology tools
That’s it for now! We urge you to try these tools (some of them have free trial periods that last as long as 2 weeks long), and if you find that they support your way of working, give them a go.
The tools you choose need to support what your company does and how it does it.
Do you, for instance, interact a lot? In that case, you should lean more towards investing in the best communication tools.
Is your company sales oriented? If yes, invest in tools that will empower sales capabilities.
Long before the onset of the ongoing global pandemic, dispersed teams were slowly becoming common in the workplace. The online meeting in the age of the pandemic is now a staple. Unfortunately, some of these virtual meetings are more unproductive than their traditional meeting counterparts.
Collaboration has a great advantage in the workplace, but it is not an easily achievable attribute amongst dispersed teams and their virtual meetings. The speedy chat by the water cooler has evolved into 30-minute video meeting on an online meeting platform.
Work hours have been lost to awkward video chats with data showing a massive increase in the use of virtual meeting tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. By the end of March, Microsoft teams had accumulated over 2.7 billion minutes of use while Zoom downloads had blown up by 1330%.
It is not unusual to have these gawky meetings go out of hand as familiar sounds of “your screen was frozen for a minute, kindly repeat your point” or “kindly turn on your mic” bring the meeting to a standstill.
Zoom fatigue has now become a new phenomenon, eating away at dispersed team’s sanity and ensuring the meeting productivity stays at an all-time low. Did you know that once distracted, the human brain requires 23 minutes to get its focus mojo back? This data point is a good explanation of why the 30-minute online meeting is often extremely unproductive.
Why you need to have smart meetings
There are nevertheless many advantages to online meetings amongst dispersed teams. When workers in diverse locations, separated by time and space collaborate, they can develop products, services, and information faster, cheaply, and more efficiently.
By distributing employees, businesses become more agile in production and customer requests management. The virtual collaboration will also enhance key stakeholder involvement in a business’s decisions and work processes.
When smart meetings become a norm, both the employee and stakeholder will experience more satisfaction and an improvement in the quality of work.
Ten of the best tips on how to hold smart meetings
1. Have a meeting facilitator
Most normal meetings are not collaborative because most professionals do not have basic meeting management information. In a physical meeting room, however, this shortcoming is surmountable. The meeting’s members will fumble, stumble, and will eventually make the meeting work.
An online meeting is less forgiving. When you have a variety of professionals in diverse time zones and geographies, a few hitches can throw the whole meeting into disarray. You can put an end to awkward silences and sudden bursts of speech with a meeting facilitator.
The facilitator will put an end to the free-for-all environment, ending discussions that hijack and that throw the agenda out of the window. The smart meeting facilitator will develop the meeting’s agenda and ensure that every member has an opportunity to contribute.
They will keep every participant from going off-topic and ensure that all meeting notes are taken, shared, and followed up after the meeting. Aira is a virtual meeting assistant that intelligently takes meeting notes and shares them with meeting participants.
She will turn your normal meetings into smart meetings via her state of the art machine learning and artificial intelligence technology. This virtual meeting assistant will join your online meetings, transcribe the meeting’s dialogue, and highlights the action points discussed.
With Aira at hand, your human facilitator can enjoy sharing and solving problems with other team members. They will not spend their meeting moments on minute writing tasks. Aira integrates with customer relationship management platforms via Zapier, to ensure easy access to meeting documents and analytics.
2. Use participant’s names
According to research done by Wil Schuz, when individuals gather to collaborate they need to feel in control. They also require openness and inclusion. These three needs can be naturally meet in a physical meeting but are harder to meet in a virtual meeting.
The need for inclusion for instance can be met by ensuring that all participants are called by their names. This smart meetings feature will cut down on the fear of being marginalized or ignored. Most online meeting members join meetings with the sneaky suspicion that no one recognizes or knows that they are present.
Use names to foster the feeling of inclusion. Online meeting tools like Zoom will display names automatically during meetings.
3. Poll the participants
Virtual meetings could have cross-cultural elements opening up a wide door for cultural challenges. There also virtual meetings that are held across international airwaves, bringing about language and time differences to the already challenging virtual meeting mix.
Virtual work also has many personal challenges. Humans assimilate 65% of communication via their eyes by translating a speaker’s body language. Non-verbal communication helps to foster a sense of team and trust.
Most online meetings kill most non-verbal communication cues, which encourages a breakdown in the interpretation of dialogue. You can meet the meeting member’s need for inclusion by polling the group. The meeting facilitator can ensure that they speak to each person in the virtual room and ask them whether they have ideas to share or whether they agree to the agreement at the table.
Since the virtual space lacks visual cues, the facilitator needs to cue in members when it is their time to speak. Polling every person in the room will increase the feeling of control and inclusion and cut down on boredom and dozing members.
Use smart tools such as Lean Coffee Table that allow members to vote and suggest on the ongoing discussions. The tool will enhance inclusion, and enhance feelings of influence, competency, and control.
4. Timebox your meetings
Most meetings are too long, a disastrous mistake when it comes to virtual meetings. You need to schedule a meeting time and use it accordingly. Do not extend your meeting time. Try whittling down the time until you have the perfect time schedule fit.
Timeboxing helps in dedicating blocks of time to a specific meeting agenda and topic. This practice keeps the meeting productive, meeting all goals laid. Use smart time management tools such as TickTick Premium to time box your meeting’s schedule.
5. Lay down meeting rules then optimize them
There are many conflicting online meeting facts out there. Some say that members should mute their microphones to reduce distraction. Others say that the use of video enhances concentration, preventing distractions such as selfies or multi-tasking.
Rules are necessary for group management but you will not know how effective they are until you test them. Smart tools such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, can help you test, analyze, and optimize your meeting rules.
6. Use virtual whiteboards
You can create a common visual focus to increase participation. The visual documentation of ideas will increase participation and collaboration. Visual focus can be enhanced via screen projections or virtual whiteboards. WebEx has a smart whiteboard feature that allows its users to sketch their feelings or ideas on it.
7. Allow members to chat
Short online meetings have very little time to spare for adequate inclusion procedures. Tools such as GroupMe helps dispersed teams to chat among themselves on the go. It has a video, picture, and emoji feature as well as location sharing.
8. Have a technology guru at hand
Many businesses are grappling with the implementation of an effective virtual workplace. These companies are holding meetings without a plan in the hope that they will reap the benefits and opportunities of collaboration.
Unfortunately, all that they are gleaning are the pitfalls of unproductive meetings. The online meeting is very dependent on technology. Most employees on the other hand lack the technological know-how required to operate these virtual tools.
Since few users understand how to make the best use of these tools, the technology will ‘go down’ when it is needed the most. It pays to have a technology guru to handle your distracting technology glitches and reduce delays.
9. Inspire joy!
There is never a dull meeting in smart meetings. Eliminate any boredom by marking events to enhance satisfaction amongst participants. Some businesses will for instance call for a virtual candle lighting session to inspire joy and contemplation.
Since online meetings do not have organic socialization, encourage non-work activity, and catch up sessions after the meeting. Let them introduce their babies or fur babies or sing Baby Shark. They can utilize GroupMe to enhance direct messaging and coordinate private chats across diverse device platforms.
10. Make the meeting proceedings actionable
Use tools such as Aira to share meeting notes afterward and to ensure that all deliberations are followed up on. Aira will share your meeting notes and transcriptions via email to all team members. You can also upload your meeting documents to Google Drive to enhance real-time document sharing and collaboration.
Smart meetings are productive and enjoyable and are a formidable part of a business’s growth strategy. Use these tips above to create smart meetings that enhance collaboration, productivity, and feelings of inclusion amongst members.
Having a productive online sales meeting is vital for generating sales. This is especially so now, where the isolation-related stress wrought on by the COVID19 pandemic can make it is difficult for salespeople to feel excited about work.
In this article, we will discuss how AIRA can help your team remain productive during their online sales meetings. AIRA is an AI-enabled meeting tool that works by making meetings efficient. With prior planning and stress-free preparation, salespeople can begin looking forward to their online sales meetings and also be productive while in attendance. We will show you to make this happen with AIRA.
What are the prerequisites for a productive meeting?
Before we go into how AIRA can help make your online sales meetings productive, let’s first consider the makings of a successful meeting. What do you need to have a productive meeting?
A meeting agenda tells participants what to expect from a meeting. That is:
Why they are meeting. e.g, what will they discuss? You can arrange this in topics, designate speakers and allot them time so that they prepare ahead of time
The expected outcome of the meeting
Always send your meeting invites a few days prior, and call attention to any preparation by key speakers.
A meeting agenda sets the tone of any meeting. The great thing about AIRA is that because it assigns action points after the meeting, it sets the tone for future meetings, ensuring that action-tracking becomes a continuous agenda until goals are accomplished. In addition, AIRA’s keywords feature ensures that future meetings can be grouped around a specific action or task.
A meeting should add value to its participants by:
Prov.iding information that makes goal achievement possible or easier
For instance, market share, competitor activities, market trends, new opportunities
People own the results of a meeting when they participate actively. A high level of participation begins with inviting the relevant people to a meeting.
Meeting recurrence should be kept regularly to ensure that sales performance is analyzed constantly. Recurrences block off certain days or hours of the week. This keeps your team on a routine and gives them a strict timeframe within which to complete tasks.
As Aira is AI, it can quickly analyze people’s calendars and then select a meeting time that suits everyone. This ensures a higher level of attendance.
The benefits of using AIRA for conducting productive online sales meetings
A survey conducted among 1000 workers across 4 European countries found that 90% of employees show signs of stress when faced with new or troublesome technology during meetings.
Employees also waste a lot of time troubleshooting, prior or during the meeting, either:
Trying to fix the problem (66%)
Coordinating with IT support to fix the problem (50%)
Preparing handouts as plan B (50%)
15% of those surveyed even said that they postpone meetings until the technical problem can be resolved.
As remote working became the new normal for everyone, people have had to learn technology almost overnight and use it to run every aspect of the business. In addition to the stress of facing possible job cuts, due to shrining business prospects, having technology that is hard to understand and operate can push workers to the edge.
AIRA is pretty much plugged and play, and this ensures stress-free meetings in the following ways:
It’s easy to set up and use
Anyone can use Aira, even with little to no technical know-how. It’s also very integrative, and most of these processes are automatic and require little to no setup.
Some characteristics that denote AIRA’s ease of use include:
It integrates with your calendar, so you don’t need to do that yourself
Its interface is intuitive, hence user-friendly
It integrates well with meeting room equipment
Salespeople can use Aira while on the move, by dialing in from their mobile phones
Ensuring meeting relevance
One of the biggest time wasters for employees in any organization is attending meetings that aren’t necessary or relevant. Additionally, once in the meeting room, it is easy to get diverted and have meetings that aren’t productive. To ensure meeting relevance, Aira:
Invites the right people
Sets meeting goals and objectives beforehand
Keeps track of meeting time and ensures that you get the most from your allotted time
Records and transcribes meeting action points, which keeps subsequent meetings on the topic
Makes use of keywords so that salespeople and other team members can follow up based on topics that are most relevant to them
Voice AI leaves attendants free to concentrate on meeting agenda
Taking meeting notes can waste time during meetings if people have to pause to accommodate the slower speed of manual note-taking. Participants also have to contend with interruptions when asked to rephrase or restate a point. All these factors can cause meeting participants to lose concentration and deviate from the meeting agenda.
With AIRA, meeting attendants don’t have to worry about missing a point. This is because AIRA automatically records meeting notes, and then transcribes them.
In addition, eliminating note-taking tasks means that meeting participants can concentrate on developing ideas and furthering the meeting agenda.
Reduce monotonous tasks
Imagine if you have to schedule meetings every week and each time, your tools fail. You would then have to spend a lot of time on manual meeting management and this would leave you little time to be productive in other areas.
One study found that an organization can lose up to 47,000 hours of total employee time per year, just on meeting scheduling.
Meeting management can interfere with employee productivity (source: Hubspot)
When meeting organization and management becomes routine, having an AI tool such as Aira to handle such tasks leaves you free to focus on other important matters.
Meeting tools should enhance how you conduct meetings by improving attention, enhancing collaboration and promoting accountability. Aira does this and more, by taking the stress out of meeting management to guarantee productive online sales meetings.
AIRA is a voice AI platform that records meetings and automatically transcribes them.
This saves times spent taking minutes
Opens your time so you can do other things that require your attention currently
Makes it possible for you to go through notes later and action them
The transcriptions are stored in one place so you can access, refer and analyze them easier
Generating precise meeting notes begins with joining the right meeting. The beauty of AIRA in accomplishing precision is in the simple approach on which the app’s workflow is based. The whole process, from app installation to meeting attendance, minute taking, and finally sending out emails, is designed to guide AIRA to give accurate results. For instance:
Calendar auto-sync: Assuming it’s your first time to log into AIRA, it will sync with your calendar and show you all the details of every meeting you have on that day. If you have a meeting or meetings on any day, those meetings reflect within AIRA. This process happens automatically, hence eliminates errors.
Auto join: Once you have turned the auto-join function on, Aira will autojoin each meeting at the appointed time. AIRA then attends meetings on your behalf if you can’t, takes meeting notes for you whether or not you are present for a meeting, and then ensures you get the notes from that meeting via mail.
AIRA keeps both the recording and the transcript of the meeting for your reference, and all this information is saved in one place. In addition, keywords are generated to make it easier to refer to points of interest. This gives you multiple resources to refer to, should you want to fact check something that was said during the meeting.
With that said, to further understand how AIRA generates precise AI meeting notes, we have to dissect how AI apps work.
The machine learning process for ensuring voice AI accuracy for AI meeting notes
AIRA is an AI voice assistant app, meaning that it works by automatically recognizing speech.
AI voice apps are programmed through a machine learning process, whereby they are trained and tested on their ability to recognize phonemes (a unit of human speech measurement).
The training process usually involves using transcripts from earlier recorded speech to better gauge how well the AI links the spoken word and the transcribed text. This process guarantees highly accurate and precise transcriptions.
Some AI applications also use word decoding, whereby full words are used in the training process. However, Automatic speech recognition is the end goal of any voice AI, regardless of the software used.
The training process for AI voice apps follows these general steps:
Audio is captured through a microphone
The waveforms are then put through a 3-step acoustic analysis process, that involves:
Acoustic modeling. This analyzes phonemes and the words formed when those phonemes are complete
Pronunciation modeling. This analyzes pronunciations and other aspects such as accents that cause variabilities in speech
Language modeling. This involves contextual analysis
The data from the acoustic analysis is then decoded into text
This entire analysis is carried out by AI to eliminate errors. Furthermore, as machine learning involves repetitive training processes, any AI voice app that goes through this rigorous creation process guarantees more accurate voice recognition results.
We have already mentioned above that speech to text involves decoding the data from the acoustic analysis. This process as well, needs to be very accurate.
The thinking behind voice apps is speed, convenience and efficiency. But as you strive to bring these qualities to your business, the voice app company you choose to partner with is just as crucially important.
Minutes represent important discussions and decisions for your company. They are how you conduct business. If you cannot trust your AI meeting note-taking app to do a good job, this could cost you your business. A parting note from us, therefore, is that you sign up for a demo of AIRA and experience a whole new easy and efficient way to conduct meetings.
A meeting minutes app is an essential part of running a business efficiently. But though there are many meeting minutes apps out there, not all of them will do what they promise. Testing one app after another to find the right one will waste your valuable time and is therefore not a sustainable approach for finding apps if you are busy running a business.
If you have been searching for the best meeting minutes app, your journey ends here because in this post, we will tell you why we think AIRA, an AI-powered best meeting minutes app, is the best, and why recommend that you sign up for a demo.
Why you should manage your meetings and take minutes with AIRA
AIRA isn’t just a tool for taking minutes, but a complete meeting and calendar management tool. We recommend AIRA simply because it does what it promises, and that promise is backed by its great features which include:
1. Calendar sync
AIRA syncs into your personal organization tools such as google mail and Microsoft 365, allowing you to use those tools more robustly.
Immediately you log into AIRA, it automatically picks up your calendar details. In the image below, notice the dots on the specific days. They represent all the meetings that are scheduled to take place on those days.
The list view on the top right hand corner of the calendar allows you toggle your meetings lists on and off.
While the auto-join function in the list view makes it easy for you to join meetings on AIRA directly from your calendar.
Calendar syncing prevents double booking, because whenever there’s a new meeting scheduled, it is automatically added to your calendar. Calendar sync also ensures that you attend all meetings on time as you will never miss a notification.
If you have indicated your availability times on your calendar but so happen to schedule a meeting during such times, they change to reflect you are busy, allowing others around you to manage their expectations.
2. Note sharing
Aira automatically records and transcribes meetings discussions.
The “Meeting notes” section in AIRA is where all notes are generated and posted at the end of every meeting. If you click on an item in the meeting notes list, it will show the transcript of the meeting discussion.
Next to the transcript is a voice recording and keywords from the meeting. Clicking on a keyword highlights the part in the transcript where that word was discussed. This saves a lot of time and effort that you would otherwise have had to use scanning an entire document to find what you are looking for.
3. Join all meetings: In-person, virtually, on the move
Aira is designed to join all meetings, whether or not you are available. If in transit, you can use your mobile phone to connect. A call to your number automatically allows you to start the meeting.
AIRA has an “auto-mail” function that allows you to send meeting notes (recordings, transcripts, action items and meeting keywords) to attendees. So after every meeting, everyone will receive all discussions from the meeting, regardless of their location.
4. Action items: Edit action items and share instantly with the team
During the meeting, you can actually tell AIRA to take note of action items. Those action items will then appear under the “action items” section under the “meeting notes” tab. This helps everyone who attended or didn’t attend, to update themselves on “next steps”.
If you have enabled the auto-mail function, AIRA will automatically email all the meeting details to attendees. You can also send the email manually from within AIRA.
5. Informative and actionable analytics
Meeting analytics give you a chance to optimize future meetings for maximum benefits to your sales pipeline.
AIRA has an analytics feature that gives you details such as number of meetings per week or month, and number of meeting notes taken.
If you want to refer to a specific meeting, you can look up the details in the “my meetings” section, where you can call up the transcripts from that meeting,
6. Integrates your CRM using Zapier
Zapier allows apps to be integrated into a business, creating automated workflows. Automation saves time, improves visibility, creates transparency and eases the workload.
Integrating a meeting minutes tool like AIRA into your CRM creates endless opportunities for growing your business. For instance, after a meeting, all team members will see meeting notes and execute on their areas.
Marketing teams can activate a campaign based on action points and keywords generated from your meeting
Sales teams can set up a demo with the client, or upsell
IT support can immediately fix user problems
Integration also improves customer perception, as customers will see you as efficient. If you had a meeting with a customer, they will receive minutes and action points immediately, and this boosts their confidence about your efficiency.
An app can be great and do everything it promises, without customer support, that experience can be greatly diminished. App upgrades are also important when deciding whether to sign up for an app because, without upgrades, app functions will not work.
The team at AIRA is always working to upgrade the meeting app to make it serve you more effectively and productively.
AIRA makes life simpler by taking away the hustle of meeting organization and coordination. So, if you are still running meetings the old fashioned, inefficient way, making AIRA part of your tech stack will improve how you run meetings and take meeting minutes.
Getting started with AIRA is easy using your outlook or google email. AIRA also works with any web conferencing bridge. But before you get started, watch this demo video and also book an appointment with someone from TEAM AIRA.
AI meeting tools are founded on some key premises:
That meeting can and do waste time, but shouldn’t waste time
That meeting can cost less money and take less time to run
From your own experience, you probably agree that meetings can be a headache and they also get in the way of daily work. Your employees or teams probably agree the same thing too. Korn Ferry, a consulting firm, conducted a study on 1945 workers, and only 11% of the study participants said that they had productive meetings.
In some cases, meetings indeed are the answer. In other cases, employees can find themselves sitting in meetings that are neither relevant to their daily responsibilities nor their overarching goals. In addition, even where meetings are scheduled and attended diligently, discussion points can tend to be forgotten and follow up of action items never initiated. Without sufficient follow-up, important ideas, that come out of meetings die.
But there are companies out there that have invested time, money and effort to innovate solutions to turn meetings into the value-add they should be. We will discuss them in this post:
The Top 7 AI Web Conferencing App Companies
1. Testfire Labs
Testfire Labs is an award-winning, Canadian-based company that creates innovative AI solutions that increase business efficiency. Testfire is the company behind CANARI.AI, an AI-powered solution that focusses on plant health, and Hendrix.AI, an AI solution that automates and optimizes meeting outcomes. Hendrix.AI leverages Natural language processing to perform meeting-related tasks such as:
Organizing, recalling and summarizing meeting action items
Analyzes trending topics by going through meeting transcripts
“Meetings are broken”, is the simple maxim on which Testfire labs was founded. The company’s CEO believes that meetings take up a lot of unnecessary time and money investment, a factor that propelled him to create solutions to enable people to achieve more with speed.
Testfire’s target market for its solutions are enterprises with more than 1000 people. Some of its ardent users include companies lie NAIT, that tend to be meeting heavy.
2. Across Labs Inc
Across labs, inc is an AI company based in San Francisco, California. According to Across Labs team, company managers and executives usually have an average of 62 meetings per month. Yet 50% of meetings they attend are failures for reasons such as:
Being involved in meetings that are of no relevance to them
Lack of clear action items
Key discussions points are not captured
Meeting monopolization by certain individuals
Getting sidetracked from main discussion agenda
Across Labs team consider Acrossio the answer to these problems. The company seeks to transform “the future of work” through their “content in context” flagship AI meeting software, Acrossio. Users of Acrossio can accelerate knowledge sharing and learning collaboratively.
Acrossio records discussions that happens during a meeting, including meeting minutes, file shares, etcetera, and stores it to a collective cloud. Users add context to the discussions by appending their comments, bookmarks, and chats to the recorded sessions. The stored collective group knowledge is then transformed into intelligence that can be used by the company.
Capturing opportunities, risks and ideas coming out of discussions is made easier
You can also build up on old knowledge/meetings with points from new discussions
Acrossio can listen, record, transcribe and share content from meeting and discussion sessions
You get to know your team better and learn their strengths in problem solving, idea generation or visionary thinking
You can find out what teams are talking about and their moods and opinions around topics
3. Second Rise LLC
Second Rise LLC is an innovations company that provides services such as research, training, software development and publishing to over 5000 organizations including governments and non-profits.
Based in Portland, Oregon, SecondRise LLC is the brains behind Lucid Meetings, a cutting edge AI tool that improves team reporting and collaboration. Lucid meetings:
Facilitates meeting efficiency before, during and after a meeting
Keeps track of meeting results, through real time action items and keeping records in shareable formats
Distributes meeting items via email
Focusses on training to equip employees with knowledge on how to run efficient meetings
An urgent need to eliminate time wastage during meetings
A need to ensure that every meeting yields value by running efficiently.
An impressive level of collective expertise in communication, technology and collaboration, to make these two needs a reality
Although meeting minutes in MeetingSift are recorded by humans, assignment of note-taking duties is done intelligently to ensure meetings are captured collaboratively and with ease.
MeetingSift team seeks to make meetings more engaging and productive by:
Providing company executives with useful meeting intelligence
Encouraging individual output within groups
Enabling visualizations of what is happening in the group in real time
Integrating content in slide format. This also includes other presentation formats such as keynote and PowerPoint
MeetingSift also uses the Eisenhower quadrant and the effort vs impact quadrant to help teams prioritize what they choose to focus on.
A very important feature of MeetingSift is the “Linked activities”, which allows you discuss your brainstorms within the context of the quadrants, and rank projects by priority levels.
5. Cisco (Voicea + WebEx)
Cisco is a technology giant behind several innovative software products, including WebEx, an AI-powered meeting assistant.
Recently, Voicea, a company whose founders are from FaceBook, Oracle and LinkedIn, became part of Cisco’s WebEx platform.
Voicea are the creators of EVA, an AI meeting assistant that takes notes for you, allowing you to stay focused on your meeting. According to Voicea, 40% of your time is spent following up on meetings. Voicea’s ability to follow up frees up that time for you to use more efficiently.
Webex is a leader in video conferencing and when combined with Voicea’s note-taking and activation feature, it becomes a powerful tool for turning conversations into actions that leave an impact.
LogMeIn is a Boston-based company that enables customer engagement, IT management and team collaboration through its cloud-based and SaaS remote connectivity products.
LogMeIn owns a couple of products and solutions, among them GotoMeeting, an online tool for hosting web, video and audio meetings.
GotoMeeting has many innovative features, some of which include:
Commuter mode for people attending meetings while travelling or just out of the office
Siri voice command for joining meetings
Cloud recording, for seamless on the go meetings
Secure web conferencing that requires you to log in through your company’s page
Admin center for managing user access and monitoring app use