A meeting transcription is a written record of everything that was said during a meeting. This can include gatherings such as one-on-one discussions, small groups and larger events such as board meetings. Most transcriptions are made from an audio or video file of the gathering. They can be completed by internal staff members or external contractors.
Meeting transcription can range in importance from providing a helpful reminder of what was said to being a legal record of a key conversation. Many organizations that make transcriptions frequently engage in the practice. If transcription of meetings is common in an organization, gatherings might be conducted in such a way that it is easier for the transcriptionist to make an accurate record.
There are several things that can complicate the completion of a meeting transcription by an outside contractor. Some of the primary problems include poor sound quality, a large number of attendees and speakers who frequently talk over one another. A transcriptionist might also find it difficult to determine who is speaking.
Using another current staff member, such as an administrative or executive assistant, for meeting transcription also can be problematic. This professional might not have the necessary experience to quickly generate the transcription. The meeting also might concern sensitive information that needs to be kept confidential among the attendees.
Despite this, there are some benefits to using an internal employee. He or she might be able to recognize speakers and understand the various vocal quirks of coworkers better. It is also likely that he or she would be better able to process jargon and other specialized terms that are used in the organization. Using an internal employee can also significantly reduce the cost of transcription services.
There are several factors that can help improve the quality of a meeting transcription. Good recording equipment, including an external microphone, can significantly ease the process. Reminding attendees to state their names before speaking, at least for the first time, can also help the transcriptionist to properly attribute remarks within the text. Keeping external noise to a minimum can also improve the quality of the recording. This includes ensuring that only one person speaks at a time as much as possible.
Most companies that provide meeting transcription also offer a wide array of other similar services. These can include medical, legal and focus group transcription. External transcription companies might also make text files of interviews, dictation and important calls. A typical company will be able to make a transcription from both analog and digital sources.