Recording a meeting is the most straightforward, and often easiest, option for those unable to attend. However, regardless of what communications platform and conferencing apps your business uses, every option has its pros and cons, and it’s important to know the limitations of each so you can be prepared to supplement as necessary.
Now that most in-person gatherings have been replaced with virtual meetings, it’s easier than ever to make sure that people who aren’t able to join still have access to the important information communicated to attendees. Recorded and prerecorded presentations, transcripts, and written documentation can help supplement those now ubiquitous and often overlapping Zoom meetings that are overrunning everyone’s calendar. Here are a few tips on recording and documentation that advisors can use for intraoffice use or when creating client-facing content.
RECORDING A MEETING
Recording a meeting is the most straightforward, and often easiest, option for those unable to attend. However, regardless of what communications platform and conferencing apps your business uses, every option has its pros and cons, and it’s important to know the limitations of each so you can be prepared to supplement as necessary. For example, when recording a Teams meeting, Microsoft notes that “whiteboards and shared notes are not currently captured in meeting recordings,” and “when you view a meeting recording, you'll see no more than four peoples' video streams at once.” Webex allows meetings to be saved as MP4 and Webex Recording Format (WRF) files, but do note that “If you record in MP4 format, the panels, such as the Chat panel and Participants panel, and any files that you share using Share File are not included in the recording.”
These constraints can be deal breakers for some, so if recording using one of these services isn’t for you, there are many free and paid recording software options that can address these limitations. One option I use is OBS Studio, a free, open source software that is fairly intuitive and offers more than enough options for effects like easy screen transitions and hotkeys setup to allow users to do things like start or stop recording without having to interact with the OBS window onscreen (therefore eliminating some video editing work). That’s just one of many options—there’s a wide variety of recording software, and with a little bit of digging there’s sure to be one that meets your specific needs.
Alternatively, if discussion and feedback aren’t an essential part of the meeting content, or for advisors creating informational content for clients to view at home, you can prerecord (and edit!) lectures, demonstrations, and other digital presentations for easy download and viewing. You might even find that this is the right time to start that investment 101 podcast or YouTube series you’ve been meaning to work on. It’s especially important to have high quality audio when podcasting or presenting solo, so if it’s part of your regular routine, consider investing in a microphone and boom arm for your home studio. When deciding what recording device is right for you, even if you plan on buying elsewhere, it can be helpful to check Amazon ratings and reviews. Make sure to double-check reviews’ validity using a website like FakeSpot or Review Meta, as plenty of listings have tens of thousands of fake reviews that make a terrible product look like a perfect fit.
After you’ve chosen the perfect microphone and have completed an almost-perfect recording, it’s time to edit. For Mac users, GarageBand is an easy and intuitive audio-only editor; otherwise, there are plenty of free audio and video editors like Blender and OpenShot available, which can save to multiple file formats. To help cut down on the time spent editing, using a script and rehearsing your presentation can save you from having to painstakingly cut out each time you said “um” or flubbed a line. Practice makes perfect, but don’t go overboard—you want to sound natural, not mechanical, and there is such a thing as being over-rehearsed.
Lastly, when creating videos or podcasts, it’s important to make sure the content is accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Captions and transcripts are helpful tools, and some hosting services like YouTube offer automatic captioning services, though they may not be accurate. If possible, it’s best to upload a transcript rather than relying on auto-captions to avoid possible errors and miscommunications and ensure that videos are accessible.
JOT THAT DOWN
Finally, every good demo can be summarized in print and in certain cases, having written documentation can be even better than a video. Clear, concise user guides, site walkthroughs, or meeting minutes are invaluable, and function as easy, quick references; it’s much harder to pinpoint an important piece of information in a 15-minute video.
Regardless of how you supplement your live meetings, just remember to adhere to FINRA regulations on retention. If you’re sending out emails to clients with a link to your new YouTube series, the live Q&A you did last week, or your latest podcast episode, keep in mind that SEA Rule 17a-4(b)(4) “requires that a broker-dealer retain originals of all communications received and copies of all communications sent by the broker-dealer relating to its ‘business as such’ for at least three years, the first two years in an easily accessible place” and that this regulation includes emails.
These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal