How To Record Meetings
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When preparing for an interview or recording any conversation that may be transcribed afterward, being aware of how to record meetings will save you lots of trouble. But to have a clear understanding of what was said largely will depend on the quality of sound recorded.
In a recording, you want the words spoken to be clearly enunciated. If a word is unclear or mumbled for any reason you will have the risk of missing a key point. Typical situations where recordings are affected include the mic being too far away from the speaker, sudden or unaccounted for background noise or when someone else talks at the exact same time.
So knowing how to record meetings will really help you get clear recordings.
HOW TO RECORD MEETINGS
Here are some key tips to remember when recording a meeting:
USE A GOOD RECORDER
Be sure to use a good recorder and place the recording device in the center of the table. The recorder should be at the center of where a meeting is being conducted. Should the recorder be closer to one person than the others (say, for example, it is near the meeting host but not the people down at the further end), then that person’s voice will be very loud and some others quite faint, with that loud voice overriding the more distant voices. Voice volume is best when even and consistent.
START WITH NAMES
Always start a meeting by having all the meeting participants state their names slowly and clearly. It also helps if they say a couple things about themselves. You can then also pause the meeting to quickly sample how your recording is going. For anyone that needs to know how to record meetings, this helps by using the recording afterward to hear each name and be able to associate a voice with each particular speaker. This is particularly important if you need to attribute what people say to who they are.
SET RULES OF TALK
Thirdly, ask meeting participants to avoid speaking at the same time as much as possible. Perhaps put a system in place whereby when a person wishes to interject, he or she must raise a hand slightly and receive a nod from the meeting host. And then as the previous person concludes his sentence or point, this new speaker may begin.
Minimize the distractions. Remove clutter and paperwork from the desk, pens that might be tapped on the table, mute cell phones and ask participants to refrain from making superfluous noises when they don’t have the floor in an effort to reduce distractions and interference noise during the meeting (notice anything wrong with our image banner in this regard? :). Even the closing of the door or the loud hum of an air conditioner can occasionally reduce the clarity of speech. So, assess possible interferences carefully.
If you follow our tips above on how to record meetings, you should have an excellent recording. Importantly, a meeting carefully recorded will allow a transcriber (or you) to produce an excellent transcript afterward.
GET RECORDINGS TRANSCRIBED
Once you have your recording completed, you may also need a transcript. We have a great guide on options to convert your audio to text which includes tips for transcribing the recording yourself, trying out various machine transcription options today or finding a reliable transcription service provider.