Meeting transcriptions are the easiest way to record the words of meeting participants. Although the traditional method was to get the meeting notes manually, technology allows you to automate this process.
Below is the ultimate how-to guide on meeting transcriptions. You’ll learn what they are, why they’re important, and how to get meeting recordings and transcribe your meetings in the future.
What is a meeting transcription?
Meeting transcripts are text records of spoken conversations during a meeting. However, a full meeting transcript should include speakers and timestamps for easier referrals.
There are 3 main types of meeting transcription:
1. What is Edited Transcription
An edited transcription is a complete script that is adjusted for readability. This includes correcting grammar and spelling and removing slang or incomplete words. An edited transcription can be useful for a meeting if you need to formally present the written document in the future.
2. What is Verbatim Transcription
Verbatim transcription is an exact copy of the spoken meeting. It includes pauses and non-verbal sounds (throat clearing, background noise). There isn’t much use for a full verbatim meeting transcription unless it’s in a legal context.
A slight variation is a non-verbatim transcription. This removes pauses and non-verbal sounds while keeping the wording the same.
3. What is Intelligent Verbatim Transcription
Intelligent verbatim transcriptions retain the main speech while editing out filler words, repetition, non-standard words, and pauses. It removes off-topic and run-on sentences.
The purpose of an intelligent verbatim transcript is to keep the speaker’s voice while making the text readable. It’s used in video conferencing and business-related events because it can be quoted or easily converted into other media, such as a script or written article.
Should You Use Edited Transcription or Verbatim Transcription?
The most logical option in most business contexts is the intelligent verbatim transcript. If you might want to use a more heavily edited version, you can do this in the future from the starting document.
Why Should You Transcribe Meetings?
The reason to make meeting dictations is to keep a written record of discussion topics. This feeds into other reasons, including:
To Increase Focus. If participants don’t need to take their own notes during the meeting, they can focus on what’s being discussed. As such, meeting transcripts improve engagement.
To Make Referencing Easier. If someone needs to refer back to the meeting discussions, a transcript is the easiest way to do this. Using someone’s notes could result in mistakes if they’ve written information incorrectly.
To Save Time. Generating meeting transcripts saves participants time because they won’t need to rewatch a recording several times to get the information they need. A written document is much easier to scan through.
To Increase ROI. A meeting with an important speaker can be expensive. Therefore, taking a transcript means people can focus more, and you can use the written document for marketing to improve business connections.
How Can You Use Meeting Transcripts?
A meeting transcript can be a source of information for customer-facing marketing efforts. For example, if a group of employees discusses industry changes or trends, you could then turn the transcript into:
A blog post
A YouTube video script
A podcast episode
Social media captions
Not only will the meeting transcription allow you to get multiple pieces of content from the same document, it’ll also help you show expertise and solidify your business authority.
If you’re creating marketing content anyway, using a meeting transcription for information can save time, particularly as it could be converted into most of these forms with very little editing.
How do I transcribe a meeting?
You can transcribe a meeting yourself, or hire one of the meeting transcription services to do it for you. Depending on your typing speed and ability to retain information, transcribing a meeting doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Here are the steps for how to create a meeting transcription.
1. Record the Meeting
The first step is to get a recording of the meeting. While you could try to take notes as it’s happening, this isn’t an accurate source of information. How you record the meeting will depend on where it’s taking place and how many speakers there are.
Recording options include:
Screen and audio recording software for virtual meetings
Your smartphone for small-scale meetings of a few people
Multi-directional microphones for larger boardroom setups
Software that have both recording and transcription features.
Whatever option you choose, make sure you test the recording environment before the meeting starts. It’s important to have a clear audio quality when converting speech to text.
Finally, make sure you have everyone’s permission to record the meeting.
2. Listen to the Audio
Next, transfer your audio file to a computer if needed. Listen to the file completely without trying to make any notes. This is so you can determine if there are any issues or audio dropouts. You’ll want to be familiar with the file’s content before you start trying to transcribe.
3. Begin Transcribing
Listen to the audio a second time and begin transcribing. The easiest way to do this manually is to just type without worrying too much about punctuation and spelling. When you notice a new speaker, add a line break to distinguish them. This step will help you to add timestamps later.
4. Tidy up Your Transcription
Go through the audio file again to improve your transcription. During this step, you should check for inaccurate words and aim to have sections broken up by the speaker. While you don’t have to add in names yet, at the very least you should have accurate blocks of text for each.
Once you’ve done this, go through the text file without the audio and begin editing for grammar and spelling. The extent of this step depends on what kind of transcription you want, but words should be spelled correctly, and there should be periods and capital letters where you think sentences change.
5. Add Speakers and Timestamps
Providing you’re happy with the quality of your meeting transcription, you can listen to the audio again and start adding in timestamps and speakers. To do this, pause the video each time a new person starts speaking and add the following details:
[hour:minute:second] [speaker]: (Speech)
After you’ve done this, you should have a complete and accurate meeting transcription.
6. Convert into Short Summary
Meeting transcription is different from meeting minutes. Whereas a transcription is a verbatim file, minutes are a record of the main points. So, if you want minutes instead, go through the text file picking out:
Doing this is much easier once you have an accurate transcription of the meeting, as opposed to working directly from the audio file.
Is it possible to create live Transcriptions of Teams meetings?
Yes, it is possible to transcribe a meeting with a transcription tool or manual transcription. People use tools or agencies to transcribe webinars, Microsoft teams and zoom meetings, interviews, and much more. There are many options to choose from for a transcription service. There are mobile apps both on android and iOS, web apps, and transcription agencies.
When choosing a transcription service, you should look at a few factors like pricing plans, accuracy, and speed. The features of the service are also important. For instance, some services can do real-time transcription, have various tools, integrations, and functionalities.
Is it Possible to Transcribe Meetings Automatically?
Manual audio transcription is a long-winded process and doesn’t always guarantee the levels of accuracy required in meeting transcripts. An alternative is to use automatic transcription software, such as Transkriptor.
Here’s how it works:
Create an audio recording of the meeting.
Upload it into the meeting transcription software and leave it to convert.
Once it’s finished, you’ll be notified and given a list of tasks.
These include checking the text file over and editing for accuracy if required. Complete these before you finalize the file.
After editing, download the text file in your chosen format.
The benefit of using an automatic transcription platform is that it takes away much of the repetitive work of transcribing.
What is a Meeting Transcription Format Example?
Although the length and complexity of your meeting transcript will vary, here is an example of a typical intelligent verbatim transcript.
[00:00:10 Steve]: Welcome, everyone. I hope you all had a good weekend. Now seems a good time to catch up on where we’re at with the new software rollout.
[00:00:40 Becky]: We’re currently on track to roll out at the end of the month, but we’ve encountered a few UI issues. I’ll let Ben explain because he’s been the one dealing with this.
[00:01:04 Ben]: Thanks, Becky. So, the problem we’re having now is that accessing account settings forces the user to log out. We can’t quite-
[00:01:20 Steve]: That seems like a big issue to have this late in development. Is it linked to anything else, or is it an isolated issue?
[00:01:34 Ben]: As far as we can tell, it’s isolated. No other features or menus were bugged during product testing, so we believe this is a relatively new problem since we implemented the latest design update. Why it’s caused a bug is currently unknown, but that’s the joy of software development, right?
[00:02:01 Steve]: Yes, that’s true. Well, Becky, I think this needs to be a top priority for the week, as we shouldn’t look to implement any further changes until this has been resolved. I’ll leave it to you to organize, but I think we should put all available people onto this because it’ll be a major delay. We’ll catch up at the end of the week, OK?
[00:02:43 Becky]: That’s fine, thanks, Steve. I’ll get Ben to coordinate with the other IT guys to see what we can do about this ASAP.
What are the Drawbacks of Using Asynchronous Distant Microphones?
Collating the most accurate audio for each speaker into one file
Using speech recognition to work out who is speaking, can be impacted by microphone quality
Knitting the audio excerpts together would take a long time to do manually or very complex transcription software
In 2019, Microsoft launched a study to look at using asynchronous distant microphones for meeting transcriptions. The researchers had to use a wide range of complex AI and audio algorithms to produce a transcription file with an accuracy of 3% less than directional microphones. The fact that this was a cutting-edge study done by Microsoft should highlight its ease of use in the real world.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Meeting transcription is necessary for accuracy, reference, and content marketing. However, it’s not worth spending hours manually writing out a meeting’s audio file.
If you need meeting transcription, give transcription software a try. They are quick and easy to use, and the first transcription is free.