Wouldn't it be cool if there was some magical way to keep people accountable for their action items, give feedback on presentation skills, get new team members up to speed and spread your ideas across the organization with the push of a button? Turns out, there is.
Most web meeting and presentation platforms have a feature that is sorely underutilized: the recording function. To be fair, it can be a little tricky to use. Well, actually, it's easy to use (it's usually a little red button marked "record") but setting the output so that the recording is usable is another story.
Why is recording your meetings and presentations a good idea?
There's no better way to get feedback on how you are doing
If you've ever taken a presentation skills course, you know the most valuable part is seeing yourself on video. Let's face it: there's nothing like being horrified at how you come across to whip you into shape. Seriously, watching yourself in action will help you identify what you need to do better.
It helps team and personal accountability
Obviously, when someone denies they knew they had an action item or that something had been discussed, it helps to have evidence.
These tools don't always have to be so heavy-handed, though. In cross functional project teams, people often have conflicting priorities for their time. Rather than insist they make your conference call (or webmeeting) at the cost of something else, you can record them and hold the person responsible for catching up when they can. (this also helps alleviate time zone issues, but don't rely on it too much).
New employee orientation gets a bit easier
When you start a project or put your team together there is a lot of information that you think you can do once and forget about. How often do you need to introduce the members to each other? How many times can you discuss the communication plan and responsibilities?
Truthfully, the answer is more than we do. Still, when someone new comes on the recording can be a great way to speed up orientation, and give them something useful to do during those first couple of days when no one is quite sure how to put them to more useful work.
Your team becomes much more self-taught
Training doesn't have to be a major all-hands-on-deck event. The nice thing is that you can record a coaching session and make it available to everyone.
Maybe they just need a quick refresher in how to look something up in your database? Record very quick demos and make them available on your team site or intranet. Make sure your system allows you to output the recordings in something easily edited (like windows movie files or AVIs) so that you can use cheap and even free software to pull out relevant clips. That way people don't have to sit or scroll through an hour of blather to find the information they need.
There is time invested in learning to make the most of recordings, but they go a long way to help your team learn, keep each other accountable and store knowledge.