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Anatomy of a Killer Meeting

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Using tools -- and a little creativity -- to drive human connection.


Last Saturday, I had the refreshing opportunity to participate in a meeting with @ Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA). The meeting spanned three hours, with around 50-60 attendees. Going into morning, I was unsure of what to expect.


WOW. What a pleasant surprise. One of the most engaging meetings I've experienced. Period. For context, during my 17 years at Adobe, I attended +/- 40,000 meetings (Yikes). The BAIPA meeting ranks near the top. Becky Parker Geist, Pres BAIPA, deserves a shout out for showing that an engaging experience doesn't require a big budget or fancy technologies.


On to the specifics.


► Open Q&A: The 3-hour journey began with an open Q&A among all members

► Active Polling: Becky conducted multiple online polls using Zoom's tools, making it interactive and ensuring live data guided the conversation.

► Introductions: Each attendee had strictly limited 20 seconds to introduce themselves, fostering a sense of community and keeping everyone engaged.

► Breakout Sessions: Becky managed five simultaneous breakout sessions for more focused discussions and networking opportunities. The absence of an official moderator didn’t hinder the productive, engaging nature of these sessions.

► Guest Speaker: This was my role. (I presented on the impact of AI on the world of writing & publishing). Beautiful.ai was an amazing AI-presentation tool.


I also got to try some new things:


► AI Jockey: When not presenting, I played AI Jockey. I was on the chatbots providing data and insights from the chatbot in the Zoom chat.

► Post-meeting, I used Fathom, a meeting recording and note-taking app that integrates with Zoom, for a transcript where each speaker was identified by name. Coupled with Anthropic's Claude2 & OpenAI's ChatGPT4, this paved the way for fascinating analysis.


Here’s what I produced with Fathom:

✺ An interactive transcript tagged by each speaker (pulled from Zoom)

✺ AI-generated meeting summary.

✺ Automatically extracted questions categorized and responded to with the help of ChatGPT.

✺ Analysis of each participant's speaking time - useful for encouraging balanced participation.

✺ Extraction of company and product names, accompanied by brief descriptions. Great for show notes

✺ If a follow-up survey is conducted, I plan to use AI tools for sentiment analysis to understand what worked and what didn’t. Liking Typeform for surveys.


I don't know about you but, the more time I spent in AI, the more I crave in-person connection.



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