Meetings have become an integral part of our professional lives (I’m sure we can agree, sometimes too much), but what if they do not serve their original purpose? The saying “This meeting could have been an email” did not arise out of nowhere - while meetings serve as a platform for collaboration, decision-making, and information sharing, some just don’t get it right. When not all meetings are created equal, it can be frustrating for participants to join and even hinder their effectiveness and work-life balance. So what can you do? Keep reading to get an in-depth understanding of how to make the most of your meetings, specifically with key takeaways, and how AI can take off significant mental load off your shoulders.
What are Key Takeaways?
Key takeaways serve several crucial purposes, mainly clarifying the main objectives and outcomes, so that participants leave the meeting with an understanding of the next steps and their part in it. They can also help to stay focused on what really matters during a call, for instance, highlighting critical points instead of drifting off into less relevant details. Their action-oriented nature assigns tasks and responsibilities to ensure that the meeting’s outcomes will be put into action.
Ultimately, key-takeaways serve as a documented record of what transpired during the meeting and ensure accountability between employees. Thus, they are an effective means of communicating the meeting's results to those who were not present.
Structuring Key Takeaways
When it comes to structuring key-takeaways, you can consider using a template, for instance including sections for meeting objectives, main discussion points, action items, deadlines, and responsible parties. AI tools, like jamie, provide you with automated meeting notes, including action items and decisions, customizable with templates in just one click - consider hopping on the bandwagon of using AI to save some of your valuable time for other tasks. We’ll talk more about this below, but to give you an insight into what this could look like, see here:
Communicating Key Takeaways
When communicating key-takeaways, make sure to maintain transparency - every meeting participant, even the ones unable to join, should be on the same page and have access to the key-takeaways, whether it is through mail, a collaborative tool or shared document. Using plain language in clear and concise bullet points makes them easy to understand.
Putting Key Takeaways into Action
Assigning responsibilities for action items will ensure that employees clearly understand their task and deadline for what needs to be completed. A simple follow-up from time to time can also support employees in their progress and help to support them with challenges along the way that might arise - so check in with your team from time to time! Follow-Up: Follow up on action items promptly to ensure progress and address any challenges that may arise.
Main Benefits of Key Takeaways
- Efficiency: One of the main benefits of key takeaways is that they streamline the meeting process, making it more efficient. They allow participants to quickly grasp the meeting's content without having to review the entire discussion.
- Accountability: Key takeaways help in holding participants accountable for their tasks - it only makes sense that action items and deadlines are easier to track once defined as key takeaways, ultimately translated into actions.
- Documentation: Key takeaways serve as a documented record of the meeting's outcomes, which can be especially helpful for those who were unable to join the meeting, or to reevaluate certain approaches and strategies implemented during the calls.
Now that we have gained a deeper understanding of key takeaways and their use, let’s take a look at a quick do’s and don'ts list to check before your next meeting:
Do's and Don'ts
✅ Include positive outcomes, action-oriented items, and deadlines in your key takeaways.
✅ Encourage discussion and collaboration when communicating and implementing key takeaways.
✅ Follow up with key-takeaways.
❌ Overcomplicate key takeaways with excessive details or jargon.
❌ Neglect to revisit and update key takeaways as needed, especially for long-term projects.
❌ Hide the key-takeaways in a private document with no access to participants.
Take your meeting to the next level with AI-tools : Introducing Jamie
There are plenty of AI tools out there to make your everyday work life easier, one of them being jamie, which provides you with automated meeting notes in 15+ languages. This bot-free tool seamlessly generates professional meeting summaries in just one click, capturing all the essential details as well as action items and decisions. What does this mean for you? No more hand scribbled notes, and no more structuring your key-takeaways manually. By simply adding templates, you can customize summaries and enjoy the automatic filter of tasks and decisions made during the call. The cherry on top: all your information is securely stored on a server in Frankfurt, in Germany, compliant to GDPR regulation. Ultimately, working with AI instead of closing yourself off to embracing technology will take your meetings to the next level while saving you plenty of hours every week that you would otherwise spend to manually sort through your notes.
- Instant Summaries
Generate business-quality summaries of meetings within seconds using audio from any meeting software or room, including action items, decisions, and the full transcript.
- Multilingual Support
Trained on 170 billion parameters, Jamie can be used across 15+ languages for seamless international communication.
- Customizable Output
Tailor the summaries to be as detailed or concise as desired, catering to individual preferences and needs.
- Secure Hosting
All research-based summaries are securely hosted in Frankfurt, Germany, ensuring data protection.
- Easy Sharing
Share summaries with meeting participants effortlessly with just a click of a button.
If you have made it to this point of the article, you should now be an expert in key-takeaways. Incorporating our do’s and don’ts list and understanding how to structure, communicate and follow through with them will significantly boost your efficiency. If you want to impress your team (or boss) - feel free to use AI tools and integrate them into your workflow. After all, key-takeaways should really make your life easier, and give meetings a sense of purpose instead of having them, just for the sake of saying “that was a productive meeting”. In your next meeting, focus on actionable key takeaways that lead to tangible results and celebrate achievements, and consider using AI-tools, like jamie, as your secret weapon.