How to Summarize a Conversation Quickly

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Whether you're a writer, a marketer, a project manager, or a customer sales representative, you know the importance of sharing ideas on phone calls. As a writer and someone who is always glued to the phone, I know that well. Often, phone calls are something I plan — mainly to talk about detailed subjects. These important phone conversations need to be recorded — and saved for later reference. 

If you're often looking for ways to save all the important information, the best way is conversation summarization. It's a process to condense conversations (e.g., phone calls, meetings, or interviews) — so you don't have to listen to lengthy recordings. Here, I'll show you some true and tested tips and steps to summarize long telephone conversations quickly. 

How to Summarize a Conversation 

Great teams are rarely short on ideas — but executing those ideas is a whole different story. For example, if you and your team have shared some great ideas during the audio or video calls, it is critical to turn those recordings into summaries. 

It can be tempting to skip important points in the name of moving fast. But, more often than not, when a proper structure is put into place, it enables you and your team to move faster and more reliably. Here's how to write a summary of a conversation in a few simple steps. 

Listen to the Recording 

How often have you discussed an important idea with your team on call and then completely forgotten about it? Don't worry; it happens to the best of us. One of the easiest (and most efficient) ways to summarize conversations is by listening to the recording first. 

If you're someone like me who hates listening to the audio or video again and again, there's even an AI (speech-to-text app) that lets you generate transcripts of the recording. Take the Notta AI note-taking tool, for example. Just upload the media file to the Notta Web App — and the AI tool will automatically create the transcript. 

Write the Main Points 

There's still some manual work that needs to be done here, like extracting the key points or main idea from the recording (or transcript). With the help of AI summarizers, you can sort this out automatically, too. 

But if you want to follow the manual method, start noting the main points from the detailed transcript. Here, you can even gather key quotes from the conversation that explains the main topic clearly. Depending on the phone call length, this section can be as short as a few lines or as long as one big paragraph. 

Write the main points from the telephone conversations

Start Writing the Summary in Your Words 

Once you have the highlights and action items ready, the next simple step is to start writing — in your own words. Whether the conversation was about the product launch, lead outreach initiative, or a brand campaign, the main goal of the summary is to help readers understand the entire call just by reading a few points. 

Revise the Draft 

While revising the draft, use actionable and clear language to write the summary. You’ll need to cut the fluff and anything that's not directly related to the core idea. (No unnecessary writing is needed in this section.) If you want to make your summary readable and scannable, information can definitely be written in a few bullet points, bold text, and action items. 

Example of a Conversation Summary 

Just like meetings, sometimes conversations that take place over phone calls are important. The rule of writing an effective conversation summary is to keep it short and sweet. Here is an example of a conversation summary where a project leader discusses the upcoming product launch with the team members. 

Team Member 1: The initial findings about the market and our new product development are positive, and we can expect the launch soon. But there's a loophole in the development phase — and it's the lack of communication between the design and development teams. I'd personally suggest following a set communication method to avoid delays. 

Team Member 2: There are some recurring issues about the current product from the beta users — and I would recommend prioritizing these to improve customer satisfaction. 

Project Manager: Good points; please share the detailed reports by the end of this week so that our product can go live next month. 

Action Items: 

  • Team Member 1 will share a detailed market research report and some recommendations to improve the workflow by the end of this week. 

  • Team Member 2 will create a list of the common product issues along with some solutions that can be used. 

Tips for Summarizing a Conversation

When you work from home, and most of your talks take place on the telephone, the recording list can get busy really quickly. No one can listen to every recording and extract the key points, so you need to be specific and use AI to speed up the process. Here, I'll reveal some of the best tips (that I follow) for efficient conversation summarization

Identify the Purpose 

When writing the telephone call summary, you'll have to ask a few questions before you get started: Who is talking, and what ideas are they sharing? Once you've identified the purpose, it's easy to create a format and complete the conversation summary process. 

Identify the purpose of the phone or video call

Get Direct to the Point 

The next tip is to treat your reader's time as more valuable than yours. Your goal here is to help people find the key points quickly by putting all the main ideas first. You can remove unnecessary content and even add external links (if necessary) for more context. 

Write in Clear Language 

The tone and language of the telephone conversation summary will depend on the audience. For example, if your target audience does not come from a tech background, there's no point in writing a conversation summary filled with tech jargon. 

Use AI Summarizers

I'm a big fan of AI, especially when it comes to speed up things and boost my productivity. With the growth and popularity of AI, it can now summarize articles, documents, notes, and even conversations. Now, AI can read and analyze calls before summarizing the key takeaways and main points. 

One powerful AI note-taker and summarizer is Notta, which can accurately transcribe the audio or video file — and then summarize it into different chapters and action items. The Notta Web App also allows you to share the transcripts and summaries directly with the team — directly via a link or by downloading and saving the summary. 

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FAQs 

What is a Dialogue Summarization? 

A dialogue summarization is the process of condensing the original dialogue into a short version — covering all the important information. The goal is to convey the main idea of the conversation without going into too much detail. It typically includes key highlights, action items, and an overview.

Why is it Important to Summarize a Conversation? 

There are many benefits of conversation summarization: they can help you save time and increase your understanding of the dialogue. A summary can be easily shared with the team members — helping everyone be on the same page and get the important details without listening to the entire call. 

It also includes action items that'll explain the next steps to the readers. For example, if the detailed call was about an upcoming project, the telephone conversation summary will include everything that was discussed, like the project deadline, who is handling which task, and, more importantly, who will perform which tasks. 

Key Takeaways 

Conversation summarization might look like a challenging task, but it can be made easy with the help of AI. There are many AI summary generators that can take the manual process out of summarizing telephone conversations — but not all of them are the same. Some are accurate, while others might fall short in summarizing the key information. 

With Notta, you can automatically transcribe and summarize conversations — and even improve the way you collaborate with team members. From transcribing the speech to text to automatically summarizing it in action items and different chapters, it's like your personal assistant that enhances the way you work.

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