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What do you say before recording a meeting?

When preparing to record an important meeting, there are a few key things you should say beforehand to set the right tone and ensure everyone is on the same page. Here are some tips for what to say before hitting record:

Explain Why You’re Recording

First, clearly explain to all participants why you are recording the meeting. For example: “I’d like to record our discussion today so I can capture all the key points and action items accurately.” This helps get their buy-in and reminds everyone to be extra thoughtful with their comments since it’s being recorded.

Ask Permission

Always ask for permission before recording, even if you are in a one-party consent state. Say something like “Is everyone ok if I record this meeting for our notes?” This ensures they agree to being recorded and don’t feel like you are doing it secretly.

Note It Will Be Shared Internally

For transparency, explain how the recording will be used and shared. For instance, “I’ll be sharing a copy of the recording internally with those who couldn’t attend this meeting, so we’re all aligned on the key takeaways.”

Encourage Candid Feedback

Let participants know you still want candid opinions and feedback, even though you are recording. For example: “Please feel free to share your honest thoughts even though we are recording. I want this to be an open discussion.”

Remind About Confidentiality

If sensitive information will be discussed, remind everyone the recording is confidential and should not be shared externally. You could say something like “I’ll be recording for our internal notes but want to remind everyone that the information discussed today is confidential per our NDA.”

Confirm No Objections

Before formally starting the recording, do one final confirmation to make sure no one objects or has concerns. “If anyone is not comfortable with me recording this meeting, please let me know now.” This allows any participants to voice any issues.

Give Recording Announcements

When you are ready to start recording, give a clear announcement such as “Ok, I am now going to start recording” so everyone is aware. Some also recommend doing a brief intro at the start while recording, stating the meeting name, date, time, and who is present. This helps provide context when listening later.

Wrap Up With Next Steps

Be sure to clearly summarize any next steps and action items at the end while still recording so everyone is aligned. For example: “Ok, to wrap up, here are the key next steps we agreed to today…”

Stop Recording and Confirm

When the meeting is finished, announce that you have stopped recording. “I have stopped the recording. Thank you all again for your participation today.” Send the file to participants as soon as possible so they can review it and confirm it accurately captures the discussion.

Follow Up With Notes

Follow up with meeting notes that summarize the key takeaways, decisions, and next steps from the discussion. Refer back to sections of the transcript so everyone can review audio segments relevant to them.

By clearly communicating up front about your intentions to record, reassuring participants that confidentiality will be maintained, and confirming no one objects, you can help ensure a smooth experience recording an important meeting. Providing plenty of context and follow up after the fact also allows everyone to stay aligned on outcomes.

Key Benefits of Recording Meetings

Here are some of the main benefits of recording important meetings:

  • Captures exactly what was said, word-for-word, for future reference
  • Allows those not present to get up to speed by listening to the discussion
  • Creates a record of key decisions and action items
  • Helps resolve any confusion later about outcomes and next steps
  • Enables deeper analysis of discussion points after the fact
  • Allows meeting organizer to focus on moderating rather than detailed note-taking

When You Should Record Meetings

Here are some examples of important meetings that are good candidates for recording:

  • Strategy or planning sessions
  • Product or project development meetings
  • Status update meetings with multiple stakeholders
  • Brainstorming or creative sessions
  • Interviews with subject matter experts
  • Calls with important clients or vendors
  • Training or onboarding sessions
  • Presentations with Q&A portions

The key is determining whether having a recording would provide value later on, for reference or for those who couldn’t attend live. If the meeting is very informal or just a casual discussion, recording may be less necessary.

How to Record

Here are some tips on how to record meetings:

  • Use a dedicated recording device – Audio will be clearer than computer mics
  • Set device in the center of the room to pick up all voices
  • Use a phone app as a backup in case the primary device fails
  • Test equipment and connections ahead of time
  • Connect device to a power source so it won’t run out of battery
  • Hit record a few minutes before the meeting starts as people arrive
  • Clearly announce when recording is starting and stopping

Creating Transcripts

To make the recording even more usable, consider using software that can generate a transcript from the audio. Here are some tips:

  • Use a service like Trint that has voice-to-text transcription
  • Clean up any transcription errors by listening to the audio
  • Highlight key decisions and action items
  • Add time stamps linking to sections of the audio
  • Include the transcript file with the audio recording

Storing and Sharing

Plan ahead for how you will store the recording and transcript for access later on. Options include:

  • Save files to a shared cloud storage space like Dropbox or SharePoint
  • Upload audio and notes to a project management tool like Asana
  • Add to your company portal if one exists
  • Share via link in follow up emails to participants
  • Distribute through screen sharing during subsequent meetings

Be sure access is limited to only relevant team members if the content is confidential.

Key Takeaways

  • Explain why you are recording the meeting up front
  • Get participant permission before starting to record
  • Reassure participants it will be confidential
  • Clearly announce when recording starts and stops
  • Focus on capturing key decisions and action items
  • Follow up with notes and transcript highlights
  • Store securely and share only with relevant team members

By following these best practices, you can ensure an informative recording that provides value for reference long after the meeting concludes.