If you’re considering transcribing your speech interview yourself or employing transcription services, there are a few things to think about. First, keep in mind that converting a recorded interview into text takes, on average, 4 minutes for every minute of recording.
Second, you should be aware that transcribing an interview speech is a time-consuming process. It largely depends on your abilities, such as how fast you can type, how good you are at listening skills, and how proficient you are at the language you are using.
You should also note that even if you’re a skilled transcriptionist, the quality of the video and the transcription style will have an impact on your pace. Last but not least, don’t forget about your equipment. If it isn’t up to the task, you won’t be able to transcribe at a reasonable speed.
But first and foremost, let’s discuss the purpose of the video and the transcription style. It’s critical to know why you’re transcribing. It is not the same if you are a journalist having to transcribe a press conference or a researcher who needs to transcribe an interview with a medical expert.
In the first case, the goal is to release the data as quickly as possible. You can accomplish this by using “true verbatim,” a format that preserves the speaker’s precise words without editing. There will be grammatical mistakes, fillers, repetitions, unfinished phrases, and undesirable sounds in your transcription.
You might want to employ so-called intelligent verbatim in the second scenario. This style of transcription requires that you paraphrase some parts of the speech and revise your transcription in order to get rid of all the clutter. Journalists, scholars, and students use this transcription style most commonly.
How Can You Make the Transcription Process Go More Smoothly for You?
There are two things you can do to make the transcription process easier for you. First and foremost, as previously stated, you can invest in your equipment. Having a good computer with an ergonomic keyboard can make you feel more comfortable while working on transcription for longer periods of time.
Another piece of equipment that is essential for a good transcription is providing a foot pedal. You can connect it to your computer, and you won’t have to touch the keyboard while moving between sentences in your audio recording. You can use it to play, pause, and rewind your audio file without having to use your hands. Your typing speed will improve as a result of this.
Headphones are the next piece of equipment to consider. They can help you focus on material by reducing outside distractions. This way, you will be better able to pick up details and hear the words with more clarity. Over-the-ear headphones are the best option to use because they block out outside noise better than in-ear headphones.
When transcribing an interview, the accuracy and speed of your transcription depend on the quality of your audio file. To improve its quality, you might want to invest in a good voice recorder. If you are not ready to make that kind of investment, you can record the interview in a quiet location. Additionally, you could also ask your participants not to talk over each other during the conversation.
After you’ve obtained the necessary equipment to ensure a high-quality transcription, you may want to use good transcription software or a playback program. There is a wide range of transcription software out there to choose from. But, if you don’t have a pedal, you might prefer to use playback software to easily navigate between the word blocks.
Now that you know what kind of equipment can work for you, you should concentrate on improving your typing speed. This is the second most important factor that can make your transcription better. The crucial question is: how quickly can you type on a keyboard? If you don’t already know this, you should.
Knowing your transcription pace will tell you if you need to speed up your typing. You can try a variety of online typing tutorials to enhance your typing speed. These video guides will not only teach you how to type quickly, but they will also help you increase the accuracy of your transcript.
So, being able to deliver a high-quality transcript is inextricably linked to your skills. Listening skills are one of those qualities. Understanding what a speaker is saying is dependent on your ability to listen effectively. This is critical because when you press pause, you must quickly type what you’ve already heard before proceeding.
What Type of Transcription Service Should You Use—Automatic or Human?
Transcription can be a tedious process. It can take a long time, especially if you are a beginner with a low words-per-minute rate. The same applies even if you are a seasoned transcriber when dealing with large, complicated files. These complex files usually come with background noise, multiple speakers talking over each other, and a wide range of accents.
Transcribing these files can be a challenge, even if the files are short. This is especially true when you have a large number of files to transcribe. Not to mention that accurately transcribing the content can be a real pain. You have to listen to them several times in order to get everything right.
For that reason, many people find it difficult to choose between machine and human transcription. The answer to that dilemma depends on the type of transcription you’re doing. Usually, if you are transcribing an interview, it is better to hire a human transcriber. But first, let’s see what you can expect from machine transcription.
An automated transcription is a good option if you need to transcribe simple files with clear, loud voices and no strange accents or background noises. This, however, is an extremely rare occurrence.
The benefits and drawbacks of automatic transcription are numerous. The main advantage is that it is a low-cost option. It makes sense, however, when you’re transcribing your recordings for yourself and don’t expect a high level of accuracy.
In all other cases, accuracy issues tend to detract from cost-effectiveness. That means you’ll have to spend more time editing the file yourself if you want your content to be more accurate. Often, transcribing from scratch is far more effective than editing already transcribed audio by AI software.
On the other hand, human transcription is more accurate. The reason is that only humans are capable of discerning subtleties in speech and voice tone. They can capture nonverbal signals such as facial expressions and eye contact. All of this information can help your video become more relevant to your target audience.
These services, however, take longer and cost more. Hiring a professional transcriber may appear to be an expensive investment at first glance. However, you can hire transcription services at surprisingly reasonable rates. Many transcription companies offer their services at an affordable cost, which makes them very appealing.
Doing it all yourself is the costliest option, however. The editing and proofreading will still fall on your shoulders, even if you use a software program to transcribe your content. It takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s stressful. A transcription is an economical option if you only need the audio or video for yourself.
Using professional services may help your business stand out depending on the type of work you have to do. It is especially true if you are a podcaster or video blogger. When you use human transcription services in your work, it is a great way to make your videos more appealing to your audience.
Since IT companies are investing more and more resources in the development of high-quality software, the accuracy of the transcription will improve in the future. Furthermore, the turnaround time will be shortened too. The precision and speed of transcription will skyrocket as AI combines with human skills. As a result, the cost will be reduced.
Get Yourself Familiar With the Transcript
Before you begin typing, listen to your recording for a few minutes to figure out what type of interview you’ll be dealing with. You may also want to keep track of the number of speakers and any accents that may be difficult to decipher during transcription. Make a note of everything you find important for later. It will help you decide on the organization, format, and style of your transcript.
Use the notes as a guide to determine what type of transcription you will be doing. Is it better to have an intelligent or verbatim transcript of this interview? When choosing a type of transcription, there is one more point to consider: who will be reading your transcript?
For instance, you can use intelligent verbatim if the reader is an expert in the field. That means they would be able to understand abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon. If you are transcribing an interview for legal purposes, you will need a standard verbatim, with every word spelled out and nothing skipped or overlooked. Even non-verbal cues, such as body language, should be included.
Decide What Format You Will Use
Typically, interviews are usually written as a series of questions and responses. However, you will need to decide on a set of rules you will follow throughout the transcription. As an example, use ellipses (…) if you can’t figure out what the speaker is referring to. Or, include two question marks in brackets if you are unsure whether the term you heard is correct.
Other symbols that you might want to use include an em dash. It indicates a break in a sentence. You can also use an em dash to continue the previous string of thoughts. Within a verbatim transcript, you may want to italicize non-verbal sounds and put them in brackets. You can use the phrase “unintelligible” with a timestamp in the brackets if you find a big chunk of text that is indecipherable.
Brackets can also be used to provide further explanation if you believe they will benefit the reader. When transcribing a recording, it’s common practice for a transcriber to add timestamps to highlight specific points in the recording. It serves as a reminder for you to get back to it later, or to alert your readers to pay attention to this section of transcription.
Write the First Draft
It’s now time to start writing your first draft. The most critical part of this stage is to listen intently to an interview and ignore distractions. Try writing as much as you can until the first pause. Move forward throughout the recording without pressing the rewind button. It may cause you to slow down. Because this is the first draft, don’t expect perfection or complete accuracy. Editing will be done later.
If an interview is too long, break it up into ten to fifteen-minute segments. By breaking down a large task into smaller chunks, you can finish the first draft faster and with less stress. When writing, your goal should be to get as much done as possible without stopping. You will go back to the beginning, and start over again later. At this moment, your most important task is to finish your first draft.
For maximum productivity, you may also consider taking frequent breaks and using the Pomodoro method. Having 20 minutes to concentrate on a task with a 5-minute break allows you to get more done in less time. Many professionals employ this highly effective time-management technique. You might be surprised at how productive you can be in just 20 minutes.
Edit Your Drafted Document
Finally, you’ve completed the first draft of your transcription and are ready to move on to the editing phase. At this point, you should check your transcription against the recording and make any necessary corrections. Pay close attention to the parts you skipped in the first draft and try to write as accurately as possible. Go over your final draft one more time to make sure everything sounds right.
As you listen to your audio recording, correct any grammatical or spelling errors you find. It’s time to double-check your formatting, punctuation, and structure to ensure you’re on track. Check that your style is consistent throughout the transcription and that you eliminate any discrepancies.
The final step is to proofread your transcription. This is your last chance to double-check that everything is in order and that no important details have been overlooked.
The Bottom Line
Interview transcription might be a difficult undertaking for a newbie. You may learn to transcribe your work quickly and effectively with the right tools and strong skills. To accomplish that, one thing is missing: practice. And it takes a long time to perfect your talents by practicing.
Even if you are not a beginner but your primary work is journalism or academia, having your recordings transcribed entirely by yourself is not a good idea. It is the worst way to spend time since you won’t be doing the work where you’re most effective and can offer value.
Instead of doing the work that someone else can do far better, let someone else do this for you. Transcribing a video for yourself takes a lot of work and, more importantly, time. By using GoTranscript services, you will be able to free up your time for more important tasks while allowing experienced transcribers to handle the work for you.