Danielle Chazen

Microsoft Teams Transcription: Get The Most Out of Your Meetings

Instead of Zoom, many professionals are using Microsoft Teams for meetings. It can be more intuitive to use as it’s an integral part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of products. Similar to Zoom, Microsoft Teams is helping professionals keep their work flowing with easy to start conversations with team members, customers and others via the web conferencing tool.

With so many conversations To keep things exciting and keep users more engaged while hosting calls and meetings over Teams rather than in person, both Microsoft and businesses using it are trying out innovative strategies. For example, Microsoft is now testing out games for users to play within Teams and launching pop out sharing options to display content in other screens.

Microsoft also allows administrators to track how their company is engaging via Teams, with the ability to track metrics and pull out data points, such as active users, total views on specific meetings, 1:1 calls users participate in and much more. With these stats in mind, IT and other leaders at organizations can get a strong sense of how their teams are leveraging Microsoft Teams and how engaged they are, which is one of the most common challenges today.

Individuals hosting meetings are also experimenting with polls and quizzes with team members, story sharing and finding other ways to better mirror the ‘water cooler conversation’ so that call participants remain attentive and are leaning in not back during calls.

One key solution more businesses are using to drive better Microsoft Teams engagement is transcription. Having the dialogue of these meetings and webinars being hosted on the platform transcribed out word-for-word is providing participants with a valuable resource.

Here’s more intel on how companies are leveraging transcripts and choosing to transcribe Microsoft Teams meeting calls and webinars. Plus, how they’re able to take actions from the transcripts they’re creating to make meetings more effective and productive.

Why transcribing Microsoft Teams meetings just makes sense

When you generate a Microsoft Teams meeting transcript, you have a word-for-word account of what was said that you can access both live and after each call. This record can be shared with team members who attended, as well as those who weren’t able to login so they can recount what happened on each call.

For general calls, transcripts can serve as a helpful note taking tool to capture not only everything which was said (in case you need to quote people later), but also who said what. Microsoft Teams calls often feature a bunch of different participants, so transcripts can also be a great way to have notes and have statements labeled with each person who said it. Transcripts can help to avoid confusion later on and provide a go-to resource to go back and pull out the key takeaways, action items, divvy up responsibilities coming out of calls and much more.

For more sensitive conversations, such as interviews, HR-focused calls, discussions with unhappy customers and others, transcripts can also prove invaluable. Transcripts which reach high accuracy thresholds like Verbit’s can provide you with a record for legal backing in case thornier situations arise post Teams calls.

woman facing the window in a video conference call on her imac on the table

Transcripts provide endless value to today’s companies and different stakeholders at each company as they can work in many scenarios to make work flow more efficiently, keep communication clear and avoid more mishaps with a clear record to reference.

Additionally, transcripts can serve as an accessibility solution. You may or may not be aware of members of your team or customers who are navigating hearing loss, have learning disabilities or ADHD. You shouldn’t need to wait for someone to ask, ‘hey, can you transcribe a Teams meeting for me?’ Live transcripts can be provided to offer them a way for them to follow along with conversations without needing to disclose their disability or needs should they not feel comfortable doing so.

Transcripts offer a visual aid to those who are Deaf or hard of hearing who would not be able to participate in calls with equity otherwise. However, if you’re not sure of how to transcribe Teams meeting calls, you’re not alone.

How to transcribe a Microsoft Teams meeting recording

The value of transcripts is clear to many, but there’s often a fear or a lack of knowledge in how to actually produce transcripts. Transcripts are in fact super easy to produce and obtain. If you’re recording your meetings, you can easily have the files transcribed.

Microsoft Teams users have a plethora of transcription options to choose from, but they should make sure whichever path they select offers transcripts that deliver on accuracy. Transcripts are virtually meaningless and definitely not accessible to individuals with disabilities if they’re full of misquotes, misspellings or missing phrases.

Microsoft offers the option to view a live transcript within the meeting itself and have access to it after, but depending on your scenario, it might be better to consult a partner who can integrate into the platform but also deliver on accuracy.

laptop on a table displaying an article being worked on by someone

For example, Verbit offers an easy integration into Microsoft Teams so that transcripts can be generated by not just automatic speech to text AI tools, but professional transcribers who can pick up on nuances, make edits in real time and deliver on accuracy while you’re on important calls. Showing transcripts that are automatic are of course better than no transcript at all, but you want to make sure your meetings appear professional, which means using professional transcription solutions is key.

Can Microsoft Teams transcribe meetings?

In short, yes, Microsoft Teams does offer the ability to transcribe your meetings. If your company is using OneDrive for Business and SharePoint for recordings, your IT team can turn on ‘Allow transcription’ in the Teams meeting policy. Having this rule ‘on’ is likely to encourage users to start transcription at the beginning of every meeting, which is sure to increase the usage of it.

However, there are a few limitations to be aware of. For example, live transcripts can be offered for thee desktop version of Teams and for users with the following licenses: Office 365 E1, Office 365 A1, Office 365/Microsoft 365 A3, Office 365/Microsoft 365 A5, Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 F1, Office 365/Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Microsoft 365 Business Premium SKUs. You won’t be able to get live transcripts in GCC-High and DoD environments.

If you’re using Microsoft Teams transcription, after each call, the transcript will be saved and is available to reference and download in Microsoft Teams on your desktop and browser.

Microsoft teams transcription screenshot

How do I enable transcription in Microsoft Teams?

To begin live transcription in Teams meetings, you’ll need to navigate to the meeting controls and select ‘More Actions.’ Then, you’ll select ‘Start transcription.’ Everyone on your call will then see a notification that the call is being transcribed and have the option to have the transcript up on the right size of their Teams screen.

microsoft teams app screenshot with context menu open showing with Start Transcription highlighted

If you’re using a transcription solutions provider instead of the built-in integration, that provider should be able to do a one-time set up as Verbit does and then be able to connect to each session seamlessly. In Verbit’s format, a professional transcriber, or many, can join the call live to produce the transcript accurately and in real time to support accessibility needs and professional transcript generation.

How do I get transcripts from a Teams meeting?

Luckily, getting a transcript from Teams meeting calls and events is not difficult. If you’re using the built-in Microsoft Teams meeting transcription, after a meeting ends, your transcript will be immediately available in the meeting event on your calendar. You’ll simply click ‘Calendar’ then ‘Recordings and Transcripts.’ Then click ‘Download’ with an option to do so in a .docx or .vtt file and wallah, there’s your Teams meeting recording transcript.

If you’re using a provider like Verbit, you can simply reach out and tell us ‘transcribe my Teams meeting, which is happening at this time via this link.’ Not only will you have transcribers assigned to work on the transcript live, but they’ll edit it and get it to perfection after the meeting. They’ll add punctuation, time stamps, can convert it into a branded template or customize it for you however you’d like, which isn’t available within Teams itself.  Additionally, they’ll add speaker identification so you can easily tell who said what and have a clear, referenceable document to share with others who can follow along easily or search by key terms or items they want to reference.

Verbit will simply alert you once the transcript is ready for download, which usually occurs within 4 hours to 24 hours depending on your customization needs. You’ll simply log-in to the Verbit platform and can also download it in multiple formats to allow for easy sharing and referencing. Verbit’s award-winning transcription process is also secure, so you won’t need to be wary of your transcripts or dialogue of calls getting into the wrong hands.

To sum it up, yes automatic transcripts are available to you for Teams meeting transcription and should be utilized as much as possible to keep your teams engaged and attentive during calls. They’ll also greatly support individuals with hearing loss of ADHD as they join your webinars, meetings and training sessions happening over Teams.

However, accurate transcripts and professional transcripts are the goal. Using an expert partner like Verbit which has a system in place designed for Microsoft Teams live transcription using professional human transcribers and editors will make a real difference in your final output. If you use the automatic transcripts, you or someone else from your team will likely need to spend time making corrections, fixing misspellings and more before being able to share them.

It’s also important to note that you can leverage a strong solution for audio transcription with Verbit as well. Built-in automatic solutions likely will have more trouble detecting who said what without the video, but with Verbit even without the video on for our team and technology to be able to detect who said what. Verbit’s process streamlines all of the work of obtaining an effective Teams meeting transcript for you.

Reach out to us here to learn how Verbit can serve as an essential partner to you in helping you to produce real time transcription for Microsoft Teams sessions and transcripts of recordings to make all meetings more actionable and engaging. We also have a suite of other tools like translation, audio description and live video captioning available you can leverage also to make sure your Microsoft Teams calls are inclusive and helpful to everyone. Now, obtaining a Microsoft Teams meeting recording transcript is easier than ever before.