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Transcription How-To

If you do any public speaking, you know the value of having your seminars, workshops, or podcasts in written form.  You can take this information and repurpose it into newsletters and articles for publication.  But how do you go about getting it in written form?  Here are a few suggestions.

EQUIPMENT.  Test your equipment ahead of time to assure it is in working order.  If it is battery operated, make sure you have extra batteries in case the need arises.  If you are recording in a group situation, use more than one microphone to make sure everyone is heard clearly.  Think about the external noises that could cause problems – children playing, dogs barking, telephones ringing, wind blowing.  Try to avoid any outside noises as these can compromise the quality of your recording.

WHO WILL DO THE TRANSCRIBING?  If you will be working with a Virtual Assistant, make sure she has done transcription before.  Get references if possible.  Anyone can say they transcribe, but not everyone can do a professional job.

COST.  Most Virtual Assistants will charge by the audio hour.  If you add more than one speaker, heavy accents or noisy backgrounds, there could be additional charges.  Keep in mind it could take three or four hours to transcribe one audio hour of a good quality recording.

FINISHED PRODUCT.  Think about how you want it to look in print form.  Specify the font type and size.  Do you want it single spaced or double spaced.  One and a half is a better option as it doesn’t take up as much space and it is easier to read.

LANGUAGE.  No one speaks in correct grammatical English.  No one speaks in complete sentences all the time.  How many times will you say um, oh, or like in your seminar?  Do you want your Virtual Assistant to transcribe as you speak or do you want her to do some editing as she goes along?  Of course, there are times that you will want the transcript to be exact, as in the case of legal matters or police and insurance records.

This is just the basics but hopefully it has given you something to think about.  Let me know if you have anything to add to the list.

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