Webinar Transcription

By: Danielle Chazen



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Webinars are being executed on the daily. Successful ones are replacing the need for in-person interactions, creating additional opportunities for engagement, both internally with remote team members or externally with target prospects and relevant audiences. Many business leaders are now upping the ante, investing in platforms like Zoom Webinar, On24, Cvent and the like to drive more interactive, immersive virtual experiences.

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While webinars are becoming more popular, it’s become well recognized that they take a great deal of time, energy and resources to execute properly. From recruiting speakers, to managing the logistics to marketing efforts, companies are looking to leverage them in every way possible.

Giving them greater longevity by offering and promoting recordings of webinars to watch on-demand is one tactic being explored greatly. Transcripts of these webinars both live and after-the-fact are also being recognized as a key benefit across all industries.

The importance of producing a webinar transcript for each event

Webinar transcripts serve as word-for-word accounts of all dialogue that occurs during a virtual event. Having access to transcripts means having a written record of everything said for referencing.

Why webinar transcript is helpful for event producers

Webinar transcripts provide event producers with a script to reference and turn into additional content. They can use them to pull strong speaker quotes and key takeaways to include in post-event write ups or blogs. Being able to have a source to produce more content from can help to justify the amount of time and spend that goes into producing these virtual events.

Transcripts serve as a helpful note taking tool so that you don’t need to be scribbling down key points or marking seconds to reference later. Instead businesses producing events can focus on the conversation at hand.

Transcripts also greatly help with search engine optimization, SEO. While Google and other search engines can’t ‘crawl’ the content contained in your videos themselves to help with your search rankings, they can ‘crawl’ transcripts. These engines will recognize key words from the transcripts of your event dialogue so that when individuals are searching for related terms, their chances of coming across your brand or video become much higher.

Additionally, accurate webinar transcription can provide companies with legal backing. When quoting your speakers, metrics being referenced and more, having a transcript means having a source for your intel. Gone are the ‘he said / she said’ days and hoping for the best. Event producers can rest assured that when sharing intel out of events, they have a clear transcript to back it up, especially when more sensitive numbers or information are cited.

Transcripts aren’t only helpful for note taking and referencing by companies producing the events, but for the individuals consuming them as well.

Man in a black shirt with 2 monitors on a table having a video call

Why webinar transcription is helpful for attendees

Webinar audiences – whether they’re watching live or on-demand – can greatly benefit from access to transcripts. Professional webinar transcription services like Verbit’s can provide transcripts that appear directly within the webinar itself. For example, transcripts can appear within attendees’ Zoom windows to provide them with immediate notes for highlighting and sharing or just a written account to reference throughout the event.

Webinar transcripts can also be shared with attendees after the event to review on their own as just text from the event or to read while watching the video to better follow along. Either way, transcripts offer an additional way to consume the event content and help attendees to stay more engaged.

These transcripts are especially helpful for individuals consuming your content who are navigating disabilities, such as those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. They also provide a resource to individuals who struggle to capture notes, including those with attention deficit disorder or ADHD. However, while transcripts can serve as a tool to provide greater access to individuals with disabilities and help to support Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, they are clearly helpful for everyone.

With more events happening virtually, Wi-Fi issues and background noise are the norm. Transcripts can also provide all webinar attendees or on-demand viewers with word-for-word intel on items they may have missed due to factors that are often overlooked or out of their control. Transcripts help to include them in the viewing experience more effectively regardless of their environment and in scenarios when they cannot listen with the sound. While captions are often discussed to help with inclusion in those various situations, transcripts are becoming more popular to offer as well.

back-facing woman working on her laptop on a laptop stand with paintings on the wall

How do you get a transcript of a webinar

Now that you’ve been exposed to the various scenarios and diverse use cases where webinar transcript can be helpful to adopt and offer for virtual events, it comes down to setting up the process. Luckily, it’s quite simple.

Be wary of automatic transcripts alone

Some webinar platforms have a built-in capability to generate automatic transcripts live. These transcripts are produced based on automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology which detects the speech and converts it to words in real-time. While ASR-based transcription can perform better with time, they often provide less than accurate results. For example, machines alone may have trouble detecting the differences between ‘they’re’ ‘their’ and ‘there’ when spoken during your webinar. They also aren’t likely to spell speaker names correctly.

It’s therefore important to be wary of the free transcript services available to you for their accuracy issues. Inaccuracies can not only damage the viewing experience, they can hurt the professionalism of your webinars and videos. Additionally, transcripts which are riddled with errors or inaccuracies won’t help you to meet ADA benchmarks, which are required for individuals watching who have disabilities to participate with equity.

Your best bet is to work with a transcription partner, such as Verbit, Automatic Sync Technologies (AST), VITAC and others who have ASR technologies that perform strongly, but also provide options for human editing or human captioning which can reach up to 99% targeted accuracy.

How to transcribe a webinar

There’s no need to fret, as professional webinar transcription services are unlikely to break your bank. With accessibility needs in mind, many of these technologies are designed to be cost effective and convenient. Most live transcription providers offer integrations which simplifies the process.

For example, Verbit’s transcription software connects directly into Zoom, WebEx, YouTube, Kaltura, Panopto and other streaming services to provide both video captioning and webinar transcription seamlessly. These services make your webinars accessible and more inclusive with a one-time set up.

Can you get a transcript of a Zoom webinar

When using Zoom for webinars for example, a captioner or ASR-driven technology can connect with an API token or the Zoom webinar ID to join the webinar session directly and enable video captioning and a live transcript for all audience members. After the fact, transcription software like Verbit’s can be connected to file storage tools like Dropbox to pull videos you place there and push them back with captioning and transcription files attached to them easily. This process makes obtaining a transcript of a Zoom webinar and sharing it with viewers quite easy.

Having your webinars transcribed by an essential partner you can trust for accuracy is the goal. Verbit can serve as one and can provide you with key integrations that will simplify the process greatly and help save you time. Transcribing manually by someone on your staff is often a tedious process, which can be easily avoided without needing to set aside a ton of extra budget. At the end of the day, reaching more viewers and making these events more accessible and inclusive will help you and drive greater engagement, so it’s well worth it.

Learn more about Verbit’s webinar transcription, as well as additional solutions such as audio description, to also include audiences who are blind or have low vision as you aim to make your events more accessible as well.

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