I attended a networking and problem solving day last week. The group was a small intimate one; a safe space to open up.
One lady had a start-up venture in commercial property. She wasn’t a big talker, at least initially. We talked a bit about the Easter weekend, the weather and such like. I’m not great at small talk, and neither was she.
As soon as she started talking about commercial property, everything changed. Suddenly she lit up, and the floodgates opened.
Listening to people get really excited about a topic causes a small bell to go off in my head. From a copywriting perspective it’s like striking a vein of silver. The challenge is to capture both the content and the enthusiasm before it evaporates into the atmosphere.
The only way to do this is to record conversations. If you try to write up the conversation later on, you miss too many of the details, and too many small turns of phrase.
I record conversations in a few different ways. I have a recording app on my phone, called ‘Voice Recorder’. You just tap ‘record’ and leave your phone on the table. The file size of the audio is small, but it does drain your phone battery if you’re recording for a long time. (Take a charger).
I also have a call recorder called ACR for recording telephone conversations. Very reliable, good quality recordings and small file sizes.
For online meetings I use Zoom to record calls, which is reliable.
Once you have the recording, you need to get good at listening through at 2X – 3X speed. Once you have a good volume of material, you need to pick it apart quickly. You don’t have time to listen again at regular speed.
It can help to transcribe important calls (I use rev.com), but you’ll want to listen through again first before you pay for a transcript. I use the free audio editing software Audacity to chop out only the sections I want transcribing.