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minutes of meeting

How AI Can Help You Take Minutes of Meeting Easily

minutes of meeting

Sales conversations tell you everything you need to know about your customers.

However, to have the minutes of meeting you have to write notes, collect insights from the recordings, and share them with others in the team.  

And let’s be straightforward.

It is time-consuming to go back to review those call recordings to understand the customer conversations. 

So, how do you overcome these challenges and get everyone in the team to get insights from these calls quickly?

We’ll uncover this and more in this article.

Without further ado, let’s begin.


Why Is It Important to Take Minutes Of Meeting?

Minutes of meeting capture the purpose of the meeting by providing not just a recap but a detailed overview.

It can remind recipients of actions to be taken, deadlines, and other important information. Employees or clients absent during the course of the meeting can also get updated and benefit from them.

These verbatim or summed up representations of the specificities discussed in a meeting can help you record votes, track action items and plan the next steps for future meetings.

They can also act as a measuring stick for progress while providing structure for an effective follow up plan.

Typically, minutes of meeting include details like:

  • Basic information like name, place, date and time. 
  • Central goals and objectives. 
  • Date and time for next meeting.
  • Decisions making on with vote outcomes, further measures, action items to be held over, etc.


What Are the Biggest Challenges In Making Sales Calls?

A sales call is necessary to grow your business and understand what your customers want. However, making sales calls presents a whole new set of challenges if you are unprepared. These include:

1. Taking Notes Can Be Hard

Sales teams, whether remote or in-store, have to take notes during customer conversations that they can refer to later. However, this process does not allow them to fully concentrate on the customer conversation.

This makes it difficult for them to be fully absorbed in the conversation.

Plus, these minutes of meeting are scribbled with all acronyms and simplification, which sales reps later come back to and fill in.

It can all be extremely time-consuming and tedious.

Very often the context of the conversation is forgotten and reps beat their heads over recollecting some specific piece of information.

2. It Can Create a Silo

The sales department calls are a black box for all other team members.

But this shouldn’t be the case, right?

Customer conversations are a goldmine of information that should be used by every department to improve your product or service.

Without any recording, it’s unreachable for anyone who wasn’t listening to the conversation.

3. You Can’t Get Quick Insights

Even when customer conversations are recorded, your team members may not have the time and patience to go through the entire recording to understand the key insights.

Though Salesforce, Google docs, and many such applications allow you to centralize note-taking and sharing with the entire team, understanding the context of the conversation from these is tough.

Plus, different reps have different ways of transcribing. This makes it challenging to get quick insights from the minutes of the meeting.


Why Should You Use AI For Your Sales Calls?

AI for Sales Call

To give the best, you surely need to listen closely to your customers.

Given the challenges mentioned, there’s a dire need for technology that can uncover insights from customer conversations easily.

That’s where AI can come in handy.

By automating the process of taking minutes of meeting, you can remove the stress and work that sales reps are forced to do.

In this section, let’s check out what AI can do for your sales calls.

1. Get Auto-Generated Minutes Of The Meeting

Quite often some very useful insights are lost while jotting down the other important points. The manual system of taking minutes of meeting is time-consuming and inefficient. It doesn’t allow your team to give their undivided attention to your customer during the meeting.

On the other hand, an AI-based system can generate minutes of meeting automatically in a matter of a few seconds. Not only is it quick but also precise. This ensures that your team gathers the most information from every customer interaction.

2. Get a Meeting Recording

Recorded meetings can help you recollect the most important points of the meeting.

Snippets of the recording can be used to train the team about customer interaction. This can help you avoid listening to long interactions with irrelevant details.

A recorded meeting can be the source of a critical insight that can play a pivotal role in shaping your next product or service.

3. Get the Option to Access It Later

The recording and minutes of the meeting must be accessible for every team member at any given time.

It must be easily available for future reference. When customers move from one department to another, they experience consistent behaviour.

The information collected from these interactions can later act as a database which can be used to build future strategies and plans.


Which is the Best AI Tool To Automate Taking Minutes Of Meeting?

That brings us to the question:

Which is the best tool to take minutes of the meeting for your sales calls? Our pick: AIRA.

Its features make taking down key points from the meeting more efficient, accurate and hassle free.

In addition to that, it also has a lot to offer.

Here are the key features:

1. Auto-Sync With Calendar

AIRA automatically synchronizes with your calendar. It then gives you a gentle nudge about your meetings of the day and keeps you updated.

So, you don’t have to worry about forgetting your meetings anymore. Every meeting will be reflected on AIRA beforehand.

2. Join Meetings Automatically

It might happen sometime that you get stuck in some work and get late for a meeting you scheduled.

But you can save yourself from the embarrassment of being late for a meeting.

AIRA automatically joins meetings for you so that you don’t miss them out. It also attends meetings for you when you are not present, creates minutes of meetings and sends them via mail. 

3. Record Meetings

Recording the meeting helps you save some important insights from your customer from being lost forever. Listening to the recordings can help you recollect critical feedback in their exact context.

AIRA also transcribes them accurately using the machine learning process. It then sends the transcribed meeting along with the voice recording to you as a mail.

4. Generate Minutes Of The Meeting Automatically

Automated note taking organises and stores your data at one place and saves you from spending extra time and effort sorting and filtering them.

Minutes of the meeting auto generated by AIRA are accurate and precise. They also have keywords that make sighting important points easy.

5. Make a List of Actions to Be Taken

Collecting feedback from customers, jotting down their insights are all useless if not acted upon.

AIRA analyses the meeting and makes a list of the actions to be taken. You can edit it according to your need.

AIRA sends this list to everyone who attended the meeting along with the minutes of the meeting and the recording.

6. Integrates With Zoom

Many sales teams are having conversations digitally, over Zoom.

AIRA integrates perfectly with Zoom so that you can join in as a user in your Zoom call and generate minutes of the meeting in an instant as well as:

  • Auto-join a meeting, record the whole conversation and figure out meeting minutes quickly.
  • Turn your conversation into analyzed data by automatically capturing that information and mapping it with other business systems such as the calendar.
  • Negate the chances of distraction and save time by smoothly sharing meeting information in the form of notes, recordings and action items, immediately after the meeting via Email.

Not only that, you can also integrate AIRA with your other favorite meeting platforms like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc


Ready to Automate Taking Sales Call Minutes Of Meeting?

Using AI can prove to be highly beneficial for sales, especially for companies that are data-driven. It helps them streamline, organise, and sort relevant data for future reference.

AIRA uses AI to help you benefit the maximum from every interaction with the customer. From synchronizing with the calendar to making action items list, it has it all.

What are you waiting for?

Get started and sign up for AIRA’s one hour daily free trial and automate taking your minutes of meeting.

What Is AIRA And Why Do You Need It?

what is aira

Meeting management, scheduling, note taking, minute taking are all tasks that until a few years ago, could only be carried out by a human being. Any time you needed to schedule a meeting, you or your PA had to do it. You also needed to assign someone to take minutes during the meeting.

The problem with this system was that meeting management and minute taking are very time consuming tasks. You could easily find your entire day consumed only by scheduling this meeting or that or taking copious amounts of meeting notes. In addition, there are operational challenges that come with conducting meetings manually. Some of them include:

  • Meetings can sometimes drag on forever if the agenda is not properly managed
  • During meetings, people can speak over each other, causing the note taker to miss important points. Even a person experienced at shorthand could find it difficult to keep up in such a situation.  

Today however, there is a solution to this problem. The development of AI as an industry has given rise to applications like Aira, an AI meeting assistant that automates all your meeting-related tasks. You will find that although Aira will help with meeting management and minute taking, it is, on the whole, helping you to improve time management.


What is Aira?

Automatic Meeting Transcriptions

Aira is many things in one: It is a:  

  • Meeting scheduler
  • Meeting management tool
  • Minute taking and note-taking tool
  • Voice recognition app. Aira is a highly accurate conversational AI as it is trained, through machine learning, to recognize human speech.
  • Recording and transcription tool
  • A storehouse for all your important business proceedings

Aira is an important addition to your martech stack as it can integrate to your CRM, email, etcetera. This ensures that anyone from your company can make meeting notes a part of their workflow.

Features of Aira

As mentioned above, Aira is many things in one. Its suite of features are what enable it to perform all these impressive tasks. Those features include:

1. Calendar syncing

When using aira, you don’t have to worry about having to use an additional mail client. This is because Aira will sync into your current email account.

What’s more, you don’t need to do any set up for your calendar to sync. Once you log into Aira for the first time, it will sync all your calendar details. All the meetings you have scheduled will automatically be uploaded to Aira and scheduled there. 

Once your calendar syncs into Aira:

  • You can join meetings without having to log into Aira
  • Meetings scheduled on, will automatically update on your calendar
  • Your teammates can see your availability. You can say goodbye to prolonged consultations about meetings times and questions like, “When is the best time for you to have a quick meeting on XYZ?”

2. Records meetings and shares notes

You will no longer need to drag your PA into every meeting just to have him or her take minutes. Aira will do that for you, as well as provide transcripts once you conclude the meeting.

Aira also generates keywords for every transcript. When you click on a keyword, it automatically highlights in the transcript. This gives you context and also allows for quick skimming in case you are pressed for time.

3. Join meetings virtually

You can autojoin Aira meetings from your calendar. As well, when on the move, you can simply join from your mobile phone or have the Aira attend the meeting for you.  

4. Action items

Aira scans meeting notes and generates a list of action items. You can make it easier for Aira to recognize action items by actually telling it to do so as the recording is going on.

Aira also automatically generates meeting minutes from the recordings.

In addition, with the auto mail function, you can also automatically email notes, minutes, and action items to all concerned parties.

5. Meeting analytics

You can make your meetings more efficient and productive in future by analyzing trends from your meetings.

6. Integrate into Zapier

Integration with CRM helps you to find and tap into new opportunities. It also allows your team members to execute their tasks with speed. For example, if a customer complains about slow customer service, a customer service rep can reach out with an apology or implement a speedier customer support system.


How your business will benefit from using Aira?

Introducing a conversational AI like Aira into your business has the following advantages:

  • You will save time

“67% of workers say spending too much time in meetings distracts them from doing their job” (Source: CNBC). If you are one of the many professionals who echo this sentiment, would you sign up for a demo with Aira if we told you that you can save up to 15% of the time you spend in meetings? I bet you would!

  • Collaborate better

CRM integration makes it easier for everyone to access account-relevant information from one platform.

As well, a shared archive for all meeting notes gives easy access to everyone.

  • 2X your Productivity

What happens when your attention is undivided during a meeting? You focus more, you pay more attention, and, ultimately, you increase your productivity.

  • Increase your sales

You can analyze the conversations from sales meetings and make better sales decisions. Aira promises up to 4x more sales.

  • Improve your ROI by up to 100 times more

When there’s 100% visibility into client data and when that data improves team collaboration and improves customer handling, you are bound to experience more revenue growth.

  • Have at your disposal a 100% accurate AI assistant 24/7.

If you need to confirm something, you don’t need to do any guess work or consult yours or teammates’ memories. Simply refer to past meetings. 


Bottom line: Who is Aira for?

As long as you need to schedule or conduct a meeting, you can use Aira regardless of your profession. For instance: 

  • Entrepreneurs running online businesses, small and medium-sized companies, can benefit from using conversational AI
  • HR companies can conduct online interviews and access those files later on.
  • Aira is also without a doubt a great addition for anyone in sales and IT, not to mention marketing and customer service. With Aira, you will get access to customer feedback, queries, and requests. You can use this information to tailor your offering to them.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Demo today and experience the transformation that comes with using conversational AI in your business!

How To Extract Minutes From Google Meet With AIRA

extract minutes from Google Meet

Zoom’s quick rise from obscurity to international stardom has been the talk of the year. A conspicuous move, it has caught the eye of rivals like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Consequently, all virtual meeting apps are responding to Zoom’s meteoritic rise in various ways.

Google is also cashing into the year’s vast online meeting, yoga classes, and birthday party needs. It is tapping into the online get-together space using Google Meet. An enterprise-only product, it is now free to all Google account owners.

This makes Google Meet a perfect meeting tool for businesses. Leverage the power of artificial intelligence meeting tools like Aira for productivity, and you have the perfect meeting setup. Unlike Zoom, Google Meet is free from privacy and security concerns. 

This app will support a free hour of meeting time for a minimum of 100 people. Its view displays sixteen meeting participants. To enhance security, your team members will need to log in to Google to join your meeting.

No Zoom like invite links. This way, the hosts have total control of the meeting’s privacy. Goodbye Zoombombing. Additionally, you can join a Meet meeting via a calendar invite. If you do not have one, the app will take you to a green room, until the host allows you in.

Google Online Meeting might soon become a more popular online meeting app for businesses. This begs the question; can you draw meeting minutes from the meeting platform?


How to extract minutes from Google Meet?

Image credits: unsplash.com

Video conferencing tools have become a critical part of everyday life. For this reason, businesses need to make the content that their employees create within them easily accessible. Schools, on the other hand, have to ensure that students, teachers, parents, and the authorities can review these items at the drop of a hat.

Any person without a video or internet connection should access Meet’s transcriptions. You can put your Meet content in writing by allowing your app’s advanced features to record the meeting. The G Suite or Google Workspace members can record all meetings through the process below:

  1. Start the meeting and go to the screen’s right-hand side. You will see three vertical dots. Click on them.
  2. A few settings features will pop up. Choose “Record Meeting”
  3. The app will ask you to consent to the recording. Follow its instructions and accept.
  4. A “REC” red rectangle will appear on your screen’s top left. This is a sign the Meet is recording your app.
  5. When the meeting is over, go back to the right-hand side and click on the three dots.
  6. Select “Stop Recording” from the menu
  7. The app will save the recorded content to Google Drive
  8. Google Meet will inform all meeting members when a session is recording.
  9. To transcribe your meeting minutes, you can either listen in and type or pay for transcription services.
  10. To reproduce your recordings in writing, upload your files to a transcription app of choice
  11. Set up all the in-app parameters
  12. Check out and wind up the order
  13. Review and download your transcripts

Google Meet
Google Meet


Extract minutes from Google Meet with AIRA

Aira is an intelligent meeting assistant that will manage all your business’s web meeting needs. Powered by AI and machine learning algorithms, Aira will write meeting notes and capture action items. She can intelligently pick up a meeting’s keywords and can join a meeting automatically.

All she needs to arrive on time, every time, is access to your calendar app. Aira also records all the meetings she is in attendance. Need transcription services? No problem, leave it to Aira. She integrates with amongst other tools, Gmail.

Accessing meeting notes via third party transcription services is not a seamless process. Aira can make this process straightforward in both Google Meet and Zoom. Synchronize your Meet’s recordings to Aira and she will automatically extract meeting notes from them.

Aira for online meetings
Aira



Why should you extract meeting minutes from Meets using Aira?

  • To enhance collaboration

If any of your meeting members misses the meeting, they will receive the meeting minutes to keep them up to date. They will not need to scroll through the whole recording for enlightenment.

  • To save time

Minutes are more digestible and allow their readers to quickly zone in on matters that concern them the most.

  • For multipurpose use

You can send the meeting minutes to all stakeholders to keep them up to date. The error-free notes can also work as training or educational content.

  • Accountability

Meeting minutes keeps every meeting member accountable. Aira intelligently highlights action items for review before and during the next meeting.


Conclusion

Google Meet is not a new kid on the block. It has been there for ages, under its old title; Hangouts Meet. In the past, Google only lets in educational and enterprise users. The American multinational tech firm has now made Google Meet free for Google account owners. Use it alongside intelligent meeting assistants to enhance productivity and collaboration.

Image credits: Unsplash.com

How to Extract Meeting Minutes from Your Zoom Meetings with AIRA

extract zoom meeting minutes

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?

extract 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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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 for online meetings

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;

  1. Pre-approve Aira in Zoom marketplace
  2. Allow live streaming in Zoom
  3. Connect Aira to Zoom

Start Syncing your Zoom Meetings Today with AIRA


Conclusion

Taking meeting minutes the old school way on Zoom can be a challenge. Use Aira’s proficient voice transcription feature to take extract minutes automatically from Zoom meetings and recordings.

Resolved – 5 Biggest Challenges of Working from Home

challenges of working from home

Amongst the many benefits of the new ‘working from home’ normal is a positive impact on the sustainability of a myriad of initiatives. Economic growth has, in the past, exacted a heavy toll on climate change, sustainable urban living, and responsible consumption.

This drastic reduction of employee and employer carbon footprint has led to a remarkable improvement in intra-city congestion and pollution. Remote work is a sustainable economic growth feature and is the future of the labor landscape. Despite all its benefits, working from home has unique challenges as well. Some of these challenges include:

1. Coordination and communication challenges

According to David Heinemeier and Jason Friend, the founders of Basecamp, communication is foundational to the success of a remote working team.

The authors of REMOTE: Office Not Required, say that bad blood can easily develop between work from home teams when the bulk of their communication takes place through email. This set up will quickly snowball small blunders into full-blown melodramas if they are not quickly nipped in the bud.

Fortunately, a whole industry sprung up around team collaboration tools that make it easier for employees to communicate effectively. Aira, for instance, is a meeting assistant that automatically records and transcribes meeting dialogue.

This robust voice AI platform will save all your meeting notes in one location. She will also help all remote working teams keep track of all online meetings deliberations. Aira doubles team productivity, info sharing efficiency, and multiplies sales increase. Team collaboration tools ensure that no member of the team feels left out of the loop.

2. Distractions

Source
Professor Robert Kelly’s BBC interview that earned him the title of ‘BBC Dad” is a perfect example of how distracting the work from home environment is.

In the 2017 live interview with the British news channel, the professor’s two children made a comical entrance to his home office as he talked about the ouster of Park Geun-Hye of South Korea. Parents working from home watched in amusement as Kelly kept composure during the brief scene, keeping the show running.

Most parents can relate to the live TV blooper because they all struggle to maintain a work and home life balance when they have work near their children. One of the major reasons some employees embrace working from an office is to build a firm barrier between their home and work life. To work successfully from home with fewer distractions, you need a designated work spot, devoid of all disturbances.

Have some noise-canceling headphones to eliminate auditory distractions. Set up firm rules with your family and politely ask them to behave as if you were away at work when you are at work from home.

3. Time management

Employers have the innate fear the remote work employees will slack off in the absence of oversight. Most times, the opposite is the reality.

Most work from home employees will overwork because they find it harder to switch off. Surrounded by all the tools needed to put in extra work, they will have a harder time drawing the line. This challenge becomes even more complex when you are working for yourself.

Every remote worker needs to establish a work schedule that keeps them from overworking or slacking off. This rota will keep you productive and give you ample time to be with family and friends. Use tools such as an AI meeting assistant, Trello,  Asana, and Evernote to schedule, manage time and tasks, and organize your work hours.

4. Lack of social interaction

social interaction

Co-workers are often an employee’s main social circle if they do not have a close family. If you are working from home, isolation can be a challenge if you spend days by yourself. To lessen the feeling of being a hermit, have social breaks in your work schedule.

Go out for lunch with friends or grab yourself a snack from a friendly food shack attendant down the street. Take your computer with you to a co-working space occasionally, or work from a coffee shop and enjoy the social environment. Join local organizations and groups for meet-ups and recreation.

5. Technology hiccups

Challenges such as internet outages can make remote work a problem. You do not want your connection or computer to crash right in the middle of an important zoom meeting. To avoid such inconveniences and for your peace of mind, have a backup plan. You can, for instance, a mobile hotspot device for an alternative internet connection and a backup tablet or laptop at hand.

Conclusion

Ditching the daily commute, working from anywhere in the world, and a flexible work schedule are some advantages of working from home. The challenges above, however, can make remote work unproductive if you do not use them to create structure, routine, and discipline.

The Top 7 Online Meetings Etiquette and Best Practices to Follow

online meetings etiquette

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

meeting preparation

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

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.


Conclusion

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,

Top 10 Effective Tricks to Transform Your Normal Meetings Into Smart Meetings

smart meetings

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

AIRA

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

Participants

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

meeting rules

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!

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.


Conclusion

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.

How AI Machine Learning Helps You to Have Progressive Online Meetings

ai machine learning helps online meetings

Innovations in Artificial intelligence (AI) technology have progressed so fast that it does boggle the mind, what the future holds. In a decade, we have intelligent computers that through neural learning technology can diagnose diseases, transcribe speech, or translate a language. Coupled with AI and machine learning, a computer’s smart capacity can modernize telecoms, financial, management, and healthcare industries.

The AI sector is the new frontier in industry and will be worth over $190 billion by 2025. This technology is critical to virtual assistant, predictions, surveillance, customer support, fraud detection, e-commerce, and social media applications. We use AI for image curation at Yelp and content discovery at Pinterest. Google’s neural matrix Deep Mind, powers amazing machine-learning aspects that include robust speech translation, natural language processing, prediction, and search ranking processes.

Twitter is dependent on bots for its curated timelines, while Facebook Messenger chatbots are taking the world of e-commerce by storm. Gartner estimates that by the end of this year, chatbots will manage over 85% of customer service needs. 


Why office meetings need AI tools support

One business sector that needs AI tools support is office meetings. Workers often associate meetings with time wastage, spending that time sending emails or dozing off. A study by Fortune shows that most employees will send at least three emails during a 30-minute long meeting! They complain that these conclaves are too long and unproductive. 

Most meeting chairpersons also do not prepare for meetings, wasting the participant’s time with an agenda-less gathering. Video chat meetings might be time-limited but they do have their complaints as well. Did you know that 43% of attendees on a conference call spend some of that time on social media? A large 65% of them will spend that time on other work related tasks.

Meetings seem to bring out the worst in workers! Participants of the ongoing global video meeting wave are up in arms over Zoom meetings. They have described them as extremely tiring. Why? Between freezing screens, and staring faces, focus during video calls is a challenge. Processing the tone, pitch, and non-verbal cues during a video call meeting is harder than it is in a traditional meeting setup.

Online meetings are shorter but their attendants have to dispense more energy studying the body language of their meeting partners, which drains them and creates a dissonance of conflicting emotions. Add minute writing to this painful set-up and the person in charge of minute taking will not have any opportunity to make valuable contributions or engage with other meeting attendants.


Reasons why artificial intelligence is an online meetings game changer

1. You can delegate some pre-meeting tasks to the AI meeting tool

AIRA

Meetings are essential to meeting business objectives and promoting positive company culture. They encourage teamwork, and every business owner should encourage mechanics that promote meetings, making them a source of productivity rather than a distraction. In the office set up, you can delegate your minute writing tasks to personal meeting assistants like AIRA.

AIRA will join web conferencing calls, record all the meetings proceedings, and transcribe all data on your behalf. She will keep track of all your online meetings and notes. Your favorite meeting companion will jolt down all meeting records, share them with all the meeting participants, and provide meeting analytics to help you optimize your processes. AI meeting tools can for instance;

  • Handle all the mundane but time-consuming tasks such as joining the online meetings, adding people to video calls, and calling all meeting participants prior to the meeting.
  • Identify meeting participants and usher them to the meeting room. With AI meeting bots at hand, you will have fewer online meetings where participants log in and hardly know half of the faces on their screens.
  • The AI tool will also connect your meetings to your company’s digital knowledge assets, to assist in the setting of an agenda as well as the organization of meeting notes. 


2. The AI tool will also make your meeting more productive

You probably have been in a meeting where one participant forgot to mute their microphone and every participant had to listen in to a transcription of their doctoral thesis. Some meetings also go on for too long as each person gets their stand-up moment to discuss business matters. Such talkfests often go beyond the 90-minute meeting mark. In a disorganized meeting, you will have a large number of presenters going off-track.

Meetings are often unproductive because its convener did not do their homework. Hopping people onto an online conference room, when you have not stated the meeting’s purpose is a recipe for disaster. There should be a detailed and thoughtful agenda that should encompass the subject of the meeting, the subject’s topics, and the people responsible for each topic discussion.

The leader should highlight the time allotment for each presenter, write down each question beforehand, and set down the meeting’s expectations. Knowing when and where to mute sound during online meetings is a grey and highly contentious area. It needs definitive guidance because workers are spending more time than ever before in remote work video meetings.

Consequently, you will have meetings where some participant disrupts the ongoings with a joke (which will be more annoying than funny) or there will be background noises from barking dogs, construction, or happy children.

Some of the attendants may also be interrupted and have to put the meeting on hold to go deal with real-life issues. Often they will do so, and leave the microphone on. According to Zapier, there might not be a need to mute microphones in a small meeting with five or fewer participants. Since video conferencing software can only show a few faces on the screen at the same time, you can only read essential non-verbal cues from the visible faces.

In the absence of these non-verbal cues, an attendant might be tempted to talk out of turn, especially when the video begins to lag. A larger online meetings need to have an automated system that mutes all other sources of sound and leaves the presenter’s sound on.

Can you imagine the cacophony of sounds that can arise from the microphones of 200 or more online meeting participant’s backgrounds? How can AI and machine learning tools fix these challenges and make your meetings distraction less and productive?

  • AI meeting assistants can automatically mute microphones of meeting members and only enable a presenter’s microphone. The AI tool can also perform selective muting by detecting noises such as barking dogs, keyboard tapping, then alerting, and requesting the offending party to mute their mic.
  • AI meeting assistants can also use facial recognition to put names to faces. This feature can be very useful in online meetings that have multiple participants in them, making identification easier.
  • The AI can also supply each participant’s designation, work history, and contact information to any member that requires it, to ensure that all members spend less time asking or digging for information during meetings.
  • These tools are also maturing and acquiring situational context knowledge. Consequently, they will automatically know about the agenda in question and make better and more accurate meeting notes than human minute writers can.
  • They will also table useful documentation such as financial projections or analyst reports at a moment’s notice. AI tools will also supply past meeting notes, deliberations, conclusions, and action points to ensure that your meeting runs smoothly.
  • Since intelligent bots will be taking notes and transcribing all discussions on your behalf, you will have more time on your hands to focus on the meeting and to share your brilliant ideas with the rest of the team.
  • Voice interaction with an AI tool will free your mind and hands, making the tiresome video conferencing sessions less of a hassle. An AI assistant like AIRA will become part of your work team relieving you of mundane and routine team chores and making your meetings better and enhance growth.


3. Handling after-meeting chores

Your artificial intelligence and machine learning meeting tool of choice will automatically gather information on your behalf ensuring that all meeting members stay focused during the meeting. The tools will do away with haphazardly done or hand-scrawled notes. Some of their after-meeting benefits include;

  • Sharing meeting transcripts to all members that highlight all action points
  • Fostering camaraderie, trust, and collaboration, by enabling the sharing of a meme or two, business files, and meeting records.


Conclusion

AI machine learning helps online meetings to be more productive and more efficient in delivering positive results. AI machine learning technology benefits for personal and office use are endless. Virtual personal assistants like Alexa or Google Now can set up your schedule and remind you of items on it on time. Siri is a fantastic personal assistant and is particularly useful during travel.

She can check the weather, your flight information, find your lost luggage, and grab that great parking spot for you. AI meeting assistants like AIRA or Hendrix will also bring your office workers closer allowing focused interactions that enhance productivity during meetings.

Get Ready To Create Automated Meeting Minutes Using A Virtual Assistant

Best Meeting Minutes

Try to imagine life without timekeeping. An impossible task, inst it? Like Mitch Albom wrote in The Timekeeper, man measures time and chimes the hour. We live by our calendars, schedule, and appointments. Time is so important that we equate it to money. If you save on time, then you will save money.

Your time equals money because work or productivity takes time. The average startup owner can find himself or herself in a time management fix when trying to balance their business’s management and operations administration needs. The small business owner is quite often the manager, marketer, human resources director, and accountant.

This entrepreneur barely has any time to breathe let alone grow in their passion. To make better use of time, young business owners need to hire assistants. Unfortunately, a dedicated full-time assistant is a luxury that few small businesses can afford.

Nevertheless, virtual assistants (VA) are available online that can help in business time management. The rise of the VA has gained traction, with countries that have high levels of English literacy like India and the Philippines forming the core of the VA industry.


Who is a virtual assistant?

Source

The virtual assistant can be human or artificial intelligence (AI) technology-based. Both the digital human and AI work in design, marketing, social media management, and other spheres of business, providing easy to access support to businesses in different niches. The VA industry is so crucial to business operations that according to Gartner Research, 25% of all digital workers will need VAs daily by 2021 up from a low of 2% in 2019.

This research shows that virtual employee assistant use is rampant in the financial, insurance, IT, and customer service sectors. Virtual AI assistants like Alexa by Amazon or MIKA from Nokia assist in the delegation of tasks, scheduling, diagnosing problems, or the performance of complex tasks. One area though that any business can apply the time-saving skills of the VA is in the writing of the best meeting minutes.

Digital minute meeting assistants can dial in into your meetings, organize, and perform minute writing tasks that enhance collaboration between meeting attendees and that save on your time as well. Virtual minute writing assistants like AIRA can also step into your meeting, record, and transcribe it to ensure that every precious point stays accessible for your business needs. 

AIRA will save you a lot of time during the pre-meeting, meeting, and post-meeting phases by scheduling meetings on your behalf. She will also inform all your members about the meeting and create specific meeting notes. She will also synchronize your meetings via Google Mail or Microsoft 365, and integrate with customer relationship management platforms like Zapier.

Besides attending all your virtual meetings, AIRA will also provide meeting analytics to help you optimize your meetings and other business processes.


How to write minutes using a virtual assistant

AIRA

A great VA is a fantastic planner. They help businesses to prepare for the unpredictable situation, reducing their client’s distress. A skilled VA will take charge of the tasks that you delegate to them to help you focus on the challenges that need your attention the most. VAs have top-notch communication and listening skills. They are great multi-taskers, mastering the art batching that minimizes repetitive switching of tasks, saves time, and improves focus. The use of VAs in the workplace does not only encourage constructive engagement but increases productivity as well.

A VA’s skills can especially shine in meetings. Like many business owners, you probably have had multiple déjà vu moments during meetings when a meeting’s agenda begins to go south. The attendees are sick of the lack of productivity in the meetings that take too long to wind up! You are perhaps on the verge of giving up on meetings (if only you could) but you cannot because meetings can help uphold and attain your business’s objectives and goals.

A skilled VA that knows how to write minutes can turn this situation around. They can help you solve some of the major problems that make your meetings unproductive and lengthy. If you are prepping for that huge, meeting and you have too much on your hand hire a fantastic virtual assistant and delegate the meeting’s responsibility to them.

The skilled VA will ensure that you have a stress-free meeting and make those painful meeting moments a thing of the past. Below are some of the challenges that hound business meetings and the writing of minutes and ways that your VA can help you to overcome them.


1. Lack of preparation

The biggest challenge that hinders productivity and engagement in meetings is a lack of preparation. There are many instances where invites are sent for attendance, but these notifications do not communicate the reason for the meeting. For this reason, most people attend meetings without a clue as to what their contribution is.

They also do not know what the agenda for discussion is. The result of such poor meeting preparation is commotion during discussions. The attendees will become bored with the inertia and time wastage. You cannot rescue an ill-prepared meeting from going up in smoke, once it has commenced. If you are the chairperson, you will lose control of the meeting and will end up looking incompetent to your employees or subordinates. 

Simon Sinek says that a leader has to help people understand how to perform certain actions by themselves and how to succeed beyond their imagination. The work of a leader, Sinek says is not to do all the work for other people.

Consequently, as a leader you should delegate some of the pre-meeting preparation work to your VA and take a supervisory role to ensure that their preparations exceed all expectations. Your virtual assistant can, for instance, perform meeting preparation tasks such as;

  • Scheduling of the meeting
  • Contacting, engaging and coordinating the meeting’s speakers
  • Making travel, catering and accommodation arrangements
  • Researching the agenda
  • Proofreading all meeting documents
  • Preparing all presentations and send out materials

These preparations will ensure that the meeting has a clear purpose. Preparation lifts the fog over the meeting and allows its attendees a glimpse into what the meeting leader, supervisor, group director, or project manager has in mind through the tabling of an agenda.

This phase helps attendees also to determine which tasks or contributions are necessary for the meeting. Your VA should, therefore, communicate the purpose and the expected outcome of the meeting articulately.

2. Too long a meeting

When attendees show up unprepared to a meeting, there will be a lot of time-wasting during the agenda discussion phase. To eliminate this challenge, your VA should ensure that all topics up for discussion have allocated time to for timekeeping purposes. The moment an important topic has been discussed, the meeting should move on to other critical matters.

All questions should be availed before the meeting starts so that answers are prepared beforehand to prevent an occurrence of extra meetings over the same agenda. One of the most important tasks that your VA should perform during meetings writing minutes and recording the meeting.  Your VA should;

  • Write minutes proficiently to ensure that they do communicate with the reader
  • Use speed writing or shorthand for speed. They should have all the abbreviations prepared beforehand
  • Use word processing or templates to categorize and archive all details and action items to save on time and enhance the organization
  • Use recording or transcribing apps to capture each detail of the meeting and upload the information to a secure storage platform as advised
  • Summarize discussions and avoid dictation
  • Listen in carefully, understand the topics to capture clear action items
  • Monitoring topics in discussion and ensuring that all topics are discussed as per schedule
  • Managing the operations of meeting tools and technology

3. Post meeting challenges

The task of a virtual assistant goes beyond preparation and minute writing. These special assistants know how to write minutes and handle other post meeting challenges. Some of their after the meeting tasks include;

  • Proofread the minutes taken and share them with the attendees via the available platforms such as email
  • Manage any other tasks assigned
  • Follow up with meeting correspondence
  • Furnish you with complete expense reports and  reimbursement records


Conclusion

A virtual assistant that knows how to write minutes can do all the tasks above and more. VAs can save a lot of time of money when hired for basic administration tasks such as research, email management, receptionist duties, calendar scheduling, or file organization. These digital humans can create reports, or perform web and technology-based tasks such as blog moderation or monitoring of your business rivals in social and industry channels. 

They will run your social media accounts, webinars, and perform research tasks such as SEO, influencer, and expert search for content marketing strategies. A virtual assistant for your minute writing tasks is also a cheaper alternative to a full-time personal assistant. A VA will change the way your business runs its meetings and ensure that your meetings are objective, rewarding, and engaging.

How to Effectively Write Minutes of Meeting Using a Virtual Assistant

write minutes of meeting

Few office workers love meetings. Most of them believe that their workplaces have too many meetings. Many don’t even know how to write minutes of meeting correctly. Data shows that workers spend 4.1 hours each week in a meeting. A third of this time is wasted due to disorganization, a significant cause of unproductivity.

These same employees spend about 13 hours a week reading emails. Complaints about ‘too many emails’ in the workplace are, however, a rarity. So why do meetings receive such negativity in the workplace? Should emails replace meetings?

Not at all. The conference room is a place of collaboration. It can aid in the creation of healthy and connected business culture. Launch revenue-generating missions here and make fantastic impressions. It is easier to agree to a bad idea in an email than in a meeting. In the flesh, a business owner can easily tell when there is reluctance or disagreement in opinion. Meetings are training grounds for success and a business think tank experience. They can be different and loved if they are well organized.


How virtual assistants can transform your meetings

This is a good age to transform your meeting process and reap all of their benefits. The advancements in internet technology and its high speed of operations have transformed the method of operation of many businesses.

Virtual conferencing, document sharing, and cloud-based project management platforms have allowed many enterprises to leverage remote working and talent. The current business operations environment is very accommodating to virtual work. Consequently, the virtual assistant (VAs) have become a norm for small businesses rather than an exception as it was in the past.

Entrepreneurs such as Tim Ferris of the “4 Hour Workweek” owe their success at business scaling to virtual assistants. Tim says that this virtual support staff allows him to work less while growing his business. To him, VAs are the unsung heroes of growing businesses globally.

VAs handle various aspects of business, such as transcribing documents, files organization, calendar scheduling, and coordination, statement preparation, minute note-taking, and other vital business administrative tasks.  

Data shows that hiring a VA is a very cost-efficient business move. A VA will cost you three times less than what you would have to pay for a full-time personal assistant. The beauty of hiring talent on demand is that you will need to pay for a specific skill set when necessary.

You will not need to spend time and money on a lengthy recruitment process and training of new employees. A virtual assistant’s support can especially shine when it comes to meeting minute writing.


Why do you need a virtual assistant to write minutes of meeting?

Image credits: Unsplash.com

Many organizations are dependent on VAs for impartial minutes taking during their meetings. They are a top favorite for community and voluntary groups such as the Scouts, Girl Guides or Brownies. Most small-sized businesses only hold meetings a few times each month, so they do not need a personal assistant in the office at all times. 

The need for virtual assistants is, therefore, on the rise since they can join in meetings from any part of the world and at any time and take your meeting’s notes. The VA is, therefore, a smart strategy that helps to manage time and business resources as business activities move a more frenzied pace. Some of the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant to take your meeting minutes to include;

  1. Increasing productivity and preventing burnout for business owners that have to perform different roles in their businesses. The virtual assistant will give you a much-needed break so that you can eliminate distractions and focus on the discussion at hand during meetings.
  2. Improving communication and collaboration between employees. The VA will keep each member updated on any conclusions and alterations.
  3. The meeting assistant can be hired when their skills are needed, meaning that you can hold your meetings past the usual nine to five work periods. As an illustration, a VA in a different time zone can cover your business’s night shift needs, increasing flexibility, and saving your business hefty human resource costs.


How to write minutes of meeting using a virtual assistant

Poorly run meetings are more common that a productive meeting. Most employees would rather tackle their large workloads at their desks than become stuck in a poorly organized and run meeting. This horrible outcome of bad meetings can be mitigated via the use of a virtual assistant.

The minute taking virtual assistant undertakes some pre-meeting and post-meeting tasks that will steer any meeting to the productive meeting zone. With a VA by your side, you can say goodbye to the agenda-less info dumps that kill productivity.

The VA will ensure that each meeting is well planned, the agenda well set, and the outcomes well defined. An office that does not have a trained personal assistant requires the services of virtual assistants to ensure that one participant will not monopolize and derail the conversation.

Here is how to write minutes of meeting with the help of a VA.


Set all pre-meeting arrangements

Your virtual assistant’s organization skills can shine during the pre-meeting phase. With the assistance of your VA, you can set the atmosphere for a stress-free meeting by delegating to them specific meeting preparation tasks such as:

  • Meeting scheduling
  • Travel, food, accommodation arrangements
  • Speaker and team contact and coordination
  • Preparation of presentations and research
  • Sharing of meeting materials and communication with all attendees
  • Proofreading of all documents


Discuss and set the agenda with your VA

One secret of a productive meeting is ensuring that meetings are not be held to convey information that an office email or memo can communicate. This is the reason why the setting of an agenda before a meeting is crucial to a meeting’s success.

Every participant invited to a meeting should receive an agenda that has a clear statement of the outcome expected from the meeting. This agenda ensures that the only people that attend the meeting are those that have something to contribute towards it, which lessens distractions.

A set agenda will also ensure that the VA will have a guideline to work with to ensure that each participant sticks to the designated topic. This aspect will cut off all ramblers and redirect any arising tangents. The agenda should communicate the;

  • Topics to be discussed
  • Topic presenters
  • Topic duration


 Prepare the right meeting technology

AIRA

When the VA is taking minutes, they will need tools such as WebEx, GoToMeetingSkype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or AIRA. These ensure all the meeting’s objectives are met in a timely fashion. The VA should prepare these tools beforehand to eliminate all causes of delays due to tech challenges. 

They will ensure that all participants are prepared to use these tools, and all links and passwords to virtual meetings are provided beforehand. Tools such as AIRA, for instance, will transcribe and summarize meeting notes and organize all official meeting duties.

AIRA can recall your meeting’s action items, clarifying communication, speeding it up as well. This AI meeting assistant will join your virtual calls, take notes, highlight action points, and keep all the meeting’s participants updated.

Tools like AIRA can join different meetings simultaneously, and all you have to do to have their assistance is to make a call to your number. The AI will join your meeting and record your session. At the meeting’s end, AIRA will send you a transcription of your meeting and your minutes as well. She will also share these items with the rest of the participants and provide past analytics of meetings from her dashboard.


Keep the meeting focused on the agenda

One reason why most meetings receive high levels of negative feedback is that they take too long. The human brain has a very short attention span. If you engage it in hours of communication, it will begin to experience a “cognitive backlog”.

This challenge can also arise in a short one-hour meeting if time spent on a single topic is prolonged. Your VA can keep the meeting on track by setting and enforcing meetings rules such as;

  • An 18 minute only talk rule which brings discipline and has a clarifying effect.
  • Muting other microphones when one participant is speaking to eliminate background noise
  • Ensuring that all suggestions, questions, and comments are written down first and discussed when the last participant has made their presentation

Monitoring time and controlling the flow of the meeting are essential elements of a productive meeting. Have rules in place that prevent meetings that go in loops or that form heated debates by paying attention to time.


Post-meeting duties

At the end of the meeting, your virtual assistant will ensure accountability and follow-through by;

  • Write minutes of meeting and sending copies to all attendees as well as those that might have missed it
  • Archive the meeting minutes and store it as requested


Conclusion

Your virtual assistant of the day can also be an automated artificial intelligence technology assistant like AIRA.  The AI virtual assistant knows how to write minutes of meeting using natural language algorithms to interact with your workforce and therefore has a human feel. The AI assistant will, however, not make human errors when taking minutes, is precise, and faster than a human VA. 

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