The Best Speech-to-Text Software for Online Meetings

Do you struggle with taking notes during online meetings? Are you tired of typing everything out? Maybe you've been looking at the best speech-to-text software to turn the meeting into a text file that you can read and review. Luckily, there are many ways to do it!

In this article, we'll share with you how to use the built-in transcription on Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, so you can convert speech to text. Plus, a better alternative for note-taking during meetings that can save you and your team a ton of time!

How does speech-to-text software work? 

The software uses “speech recognition” to convert spoken words into text. It does this by analyzing the sound of your voice and comparing it to a database of known sounds. The software then translates the sound into text. 

There are many different speech-to-text software programs available, but they all work in basically the same way. This software is used in many ways, including:

  • Live transcription of speeches and lectures
  • Closed captioning of online videos
  • Voice recognition for search engines
  • Automated customer service telephone systems
  • Using your voice to write something on a Google Doc

But for remote professionals and teams, it is most useful during online meetings. The ability to see the live transcription of the meeting allows people to keep up with the discussion. For cross-cultural teams that speak different languages, seeing the written text of what is being said helps a lot!

And, of course, it also allows people to go back and review the meeting later if they need to because the live transcription can be saved as a text file.

How do I convert meeting audio to text?

Most video conferencing tools nowadays come with live transcriptions in many languages. Some even have auto-translate! If you simply want to convert your video or audio meeting to a text file, it's as simple as turning on this feature in the setting.

Zoom

Can Zoom do voice-to-text? Yes! Zoom can transcribe your meeting in real time.

Here's how you can start using it:

  1. Login to your Zoom account in your browser.
  2. Go to Settings and then Meetings.
  3. Under Meetings, select In Meeting (Advanced).
  1. Scroll down and turn on the toggle for Automated captions.

When these settings are turned on, you'll be able to see the live caption. To get the most accurate transcription possible, speak clearly and slowly. Zoom will do its best to transcribe everything that is said, but it may not be 100% accurate.

Microsoft Teams

The text-to-speech feature is also available on Microsoft Teams, and turning it on is similar to Zoom. However, the main difference is that turning it on may need to be from the organizational level. So, for example, you'll need to ask your IT team to turn this on (if it hasn't been yet).

If you have access to the Teams Admin, you'll be able to do this easily.

  1. Go to Microsoft Teams Admin Center and then click Teams. 
  2. Choose "Meeting policies." 
  3. Then go to Recording & transcription, and turn the toggle to "On" to enable transcription. 

This allows you to see the transcription live on the call.

However, it's difficult to read the transcription because you can't tell the speakers. So, you can't determine if it's something you said or someone else in the meeting.

Google Meet

If you're using Google Meet, you'll be able to see the live transcription or caption. All you have to do is to “Turn On” captions during the meeting.

Note that this allows you to see the live transcription during the meeting. You'll also need a Chrome extension to save the transcript. Later, we will discuss how to do this easily!

The Best Speech-to-Text Software for Online Meetings

Using the built-in transcriptions and text file from Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams are good enough if you simply want to see the captions in a meeting.

However, you may need to go back and read the transcript, add the insights, action items, and other highlights of the meeting. At least, that's how I do it! As a writer and project manager for startups, I constantly need to take notes and turn them into concrete plans and actionable items.

There is a better way to turn speech into text for online meetings and go through it after the meeting.

You can use Tactiq to:

  • See the transcriptions in real time.
  • Automatically highlight action items, insights, and questions.
  • Share the full transcript and highlights with your teammates for easy collaboration.

This process lets you focus during the meeting because you don't have to type anything. More importantly, you don't have to comb through thousands of words from a transcript. 

How to Start Using Tactiq for Your Next Meeting

  1. Install Tactiq on Chrome for free.
  2. Sign up for a free account.
  3. Go to Integrations to connect your video conferencing tool.
  1. Make sure to enable live transcriptions in Zoom, Google Meets, or Microsoft Teams.
  2. Once you're on the call, the Tactiq window will appear. Here, you'll see the speech to text in real-time.

Tactiq will also highlight keywords as a question, call out, action item, or decision. For example, in my last meeting, it highlighted this sentence as an action:

I've been using Tactiq for a long time, so I can "direct" the transcript as to what I want to see. Sometimes, I just say, “these are our action items” during the call. When I have to check the transcript, Tactiq automatically highlights them as action items. Brilliant, isn't it?

You can also connect the transcript with your other tools, such as Google Drive, Notion, and Confluence. Tactiq is built with collaboration in mind after the call. There are also more automation and collaboration features depending on your plan.

But you'll be able to take advantage of the free version if you have less than 10 calls per month and just require the basic features.

Wrapping It Up

Using speech-to-text software for your online meeting is easy and convenient. This feature is usually built into your video conferencing tool. However, you'll only be provided with the text file. But if you want more automation and collaboration after the call, using Tactiq allows you to focus during calls and easily go back to find later highlights.

Irene Chan