Some meetings only call for basic meeting notes or meeting minutes, but others require a full word-for-word transcription. A meeting transcription provides a complete record of everything that was discussed, in a searchable format that you can return to later. It’s more comprehensive than meeting notes and easier to review than a recording.
But if taking meeting notes requires skill and focus, so does creating a meeting transcription. Here’s what you need to know about meeting transcriptions, and how to use AI-powered software to go beyond the basic “transcribe” definition.
What Is a Meeting Transcription?
A meeting transcription, or meeting transcript, is a written record of a conversation that occurs during a meeting. Unlike meeting notes that summarize important points or key takeaways, a meeting transcript includes everything that was said — although ideally, you’ll leave out filler words and unintelligible phrases.
A transcription is usually created from an audio recording, rather than typed up during the meeting in real time. It looks a lot like a movie script, with speaker tags identifying who said what, and spaces between each line to make it easier to follow.
If you use a meeting transcription tool like Anchor AI, you’ll also have timestamps that tell you exactly what time a particular part of the conversation happened.
3 Ways to Create a Meeting Transcription
Turning your audio file or Zoom recording into a transcription requires the right tools and technology. Professional transcriptionists use transcription software to assist them, and the functionality of your tools will determine the accuracy of your transcription.
Here are three ways to create a transcription from your meeting recording:
Do It Manually
The old-fashioned way of creating a meeting or interview transcript is to type it up while playing back the audio recording. Since even the fastest typists can’t keep up with the pace of human speech, you’ll need a playback tool that can slow down or pause the audio to ensure an accurate transcription.
Having a meeting participant transcribe the recording has a few key benefits, including familiarity with the meeting agenda and with the speakers’ voices. But it's a tedious process, and you can expect them to spend up to four hours transcribing each hour of audio.
Hire a Transcription Service
The next option is to hire a professional transcriptionist. Experienced transcriptionists can type up to 90 words per minute, and may have experience in specific industries, such as medical or legal transcription services.
Professional transcriptionists charge anywhere from $50 to $100 per audio hour, and even more if you require specialized services, such as a bilingual transcriptionist who can speak both Spanish and English. Some companies even offer live transcription services in which they caption your presentation or meeting in real time.
Although hiring a professional is more efficient than doing it yourself, they may still struggle with regional accents, speaker identification, or acronyms that they aren’t familiar with, which can result in a less accurate audio transcription.
Use Meeting Transcription Software
The best option is to use meeting transcription software, which can either do the entire job for you or at least give you a powerful head-start. Some video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have built-in live transcription tools, or they support third-party integrations that can transcribe your virtual meetings for you.
For example, Anchor AI is an automated note-taking tool that uses artificial intelligence to transcribe or summarize your meeting. AI transcription tools are more powerful than built-in transcription features, and use natural language processing to assist with word recognition and speaker identification.
Anchor AI can even identify key points and action items and track them for you so you can get them done before the next meeting.
5 Benefits of Meeting Transcription Software
Why bother with a transcription if you already have meeting notes or a recording of your Google Meet or Zoom meeting? Here are a few benefits and use cases for AI-powered transcriptions that can help you get more out of video calls and virtual meetings:
Saves Time and Money
First, AI note-taking and transcription tools can save you time and money compared to the option of hiring a professional transcriptionist or having one of your team members take notes themselves. Although pricing varies, AI transcription tools are significantly cheaper than professional transcription services.
Anchor AI’s free plan includes Focus Mode and unlimited transcriptions, while the Automated Plan includes Topical Summaries, Quick Prep, and additional tools for $15/month. You can also ask Max, your AI project manager, up to 10 questions per month.
The Advanced Plan includes 100 Ask Max questions and detailed meeting minutes for $35/month, helping you save even more time before and after your meeting.
Even the best transcriptionists can struggle to keep up with a fast-paced conversation, especially if it contains a lot of industry jargon. And built-in captioning and transcription tools don’t always offer proper formatting or speaker identification. If you’ve ever used text-to-speech software, you know how finicky basic transcription tools can be.
AI transcription tools use more advanced functionality to produce an accurate transcript. Of course, you’ll still want to proofread your transcript for errors, but it’s more efficient to start with a properly-formatted transcript than to transcribe it from scratch.
Offering a transcript makes your meetings more accessible for team members who are non-native speakers, are hard of hearing, or have trouble staying focused at work. An accurate transcription clearly identifies speakers and transcribes hard-to-understand phrases so it’s easier to look something up or follow along.
AI transcription tools aren’t just for virtual meetings — you can also use them to transcribe podcast episodes or subtitle webinar recordings.
Creates a Searchable Record
Searching through a video or audio recording to review a key point or agenda item is tedious and time-consuming. Having a meeting transcript provides you with a handy digital record that’s easier to search through. Simply search the text by speaker or keyword, or scroll through the transcript to the relevant timestamp.
With Anchor AI, you don’t even have to search through the transcript yourself. You can ask AnchorGPT to find a specific topic or write a follow-up email, the same way you would ask ChatGPT to summarize a complex topic or write a blog post for you.
The more you automate, the less you have to do yourself. By delegating note taking to an AI-powered meeting assistant, your team members will be able to participate in the meeting without distractions and ultimately get more done.
Not only that, but you’ll be able to act on your decisions right away by using Anchor AI to automatically capture actionable items and add them to your action item tracker or task management software. Anchor AI will attach a due date and assign them to a specific team member, all based on information discussed in the meeting.
Automate Meeting Transcriptions With Anchor AI
Creating a meeting transcription is a great way to maintain a searchable, timestamped record of important conversations and decisions. But traditional transcription methods can be costly and time consuming. AI transcription tools like Anchor AI speed up the process with automatic speaker identification and action item tracking.
Anchor AI is an all-in-one AI transcription tool that can take notes, generate meeting summaries, and identify action items for you. Whether you prefer Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams meetings, Anchor AI works with them all. Invite Anchor AI to your meeting or upload a digital recording to streamline your post-meeting workflow.
Get started with free unlimited meeting transcriptions today!