Everything You Need to Know About Webinar Transcription

Webinar to transcribe

While ‘Zoom fatigue’ is very real, on average, 15% of webinar attendees go on to make a purchase or become a client. The humble webinar continues to be a highly effective and popular tool for marketers, particularly in the B2B space.  

With that being said, time and effort are still needed to organise speakers, generate high-quality content, and promote the webinar and its content to the target audience.  

Webinar software and tools can streamline the registration process and make hosting online events easy. There are a host of webinar platforms available to you, such as ZohoMeeting, Livestorm, Zoom and GoToWebinar which incorporate a range of interactive features including chat functionality, polls and Q&As to increase engagement with your audience. However, transcription is one element which is being considered much more by webinar organisers as they look to offer greater accessibility and increase engagement  

Here are some elements of webinar transcription to consider, including how to produce event transcripts most efficiently. 

The benefits of webinar transcription 

Marketer brainstorming how to connect webinar to their audience

Producing a webinar transcript is an advantageous way of extending the life of your event with the attendees and beyond. Simply sending the transcript, along with the video recording, to attendees and those who registered for the event provides your audience with additional value and a useful resource.  

Plus, if you let attendees know that they’ll receive the transcript after the event they can give the speaker their full attention rather than attempting to furiously scribble their own notes!  

Finding ways to repurpose webinar content is a priority for savvy marketers looking to maximise their investment. Transforming webinar content into text can fast-track the process of ongoing content recycling. Below are some suggestions to get you started on how you can use your webinar transcript. 

  • Post the transcript on your website to make your webinar content SEO friendly. 
  • Include the transcript along with the on-demand version of your online seminar to give people a choice in how they’d like to consume the content and to improve accessibility. 
  • Add closed captions to your video recording to help those who are hard of hearing or are watching without sound. 
  • Easily lift key quotes or segments of content to post on social media. 

How to transcribe a webinar 

First up, if you’re considering a DIY approach to webinar transcription you should know, that although possible, it can be a tedious process that you may want to avoid. It takes a seasoned professional transcriber around four hours to transcribe an hour’s worth of audio or video, for the average person this will be much greater – unless you can match their fast fingers with a typing speed of 65+ words per minute as well as their proven levels of accuracy. 

If budget allows and you’d prefer to save yourself some time by outsourcing to webinar transcription services, there are three main options available. 

  1. ASR-generated transcripts – a quick and cost-effective option but with lower levels of accuracy. 
  2. Human transcription services – 99%+ accuracy guaranteed. 
  3. Hybrid services – combining ASR with human review for an accurate webinar transcription. 

Most webinar platforms will offer a built-in transcription service which solely uses ASR to produce the transcript. Unfortunately, relying on ASR alone is likely to result in inaccuracies that can have a negative impact on the reader’s experience and require some editing mastery before you can use the transcript more widely. If you’re considering using an in-built service, it’s best to trial it first to ensure you’re happy with the accuracy levels and the format of the returned transcript.  

ASR outputs will also provide a verbatim version of events. This can be helpful in many cases however you may find what sounds natural when listening to speech can look odd and distracting in written form. The pesky filler words and repetition we all tend to fall foul of can clutter a transcript and become very noticeable.  

Human and hybrid services can help to provide you with a cleaner output that retains all the important details but removes the umms, err’s and other filler words. 

How do you get a transcript of a webinar? 

Woman watching a webinar transcription

Professional webinar transcription services like Take Note’s will use the recording of your online event to generate the transcript. Check that the package you have with your chosen webinar platform includes the ability to capture and store the video recording. The transcription process is then the same one adopted more broadly for all video transcription. So, if you’ve used those services in the past you’ll be in familiar territory. The audio from the video will be used to transform the voice input into the written word. You’ll receive an output that is quick to review and searchable.  

Many services will provide you with the option to add time stamps and speaker identification which you will likely find useful. Time stamps in your transcript can help to pinpoint specific moments in the video so viewers can jump straight to moments of interest and allow you to create compelling clips to share. Speaker identification is a useful guide for following the conversation and can be particularly helpful when you have multiple speakers. Knowing who said what is also a handy reference when you’re quoting someone. 

Some webinar transcription services, such as Take Note, will provide you with an online platform that makes it easy, as well as secure, to upload your video content. This removes the requirement to send huge video files that can clog up your email.   

Can you get a transcript of a Zoom webinar? 

If you use Zoom for your video calls, it’s an obvious consideration for hosting your online seminars too. Zoom provides its own webinar transcription service using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology. 

The service may be included in your Zoom subscription, but there are a couple of caveats to be aware of before you get stuck in. 

  • Although accuracy rates are constantly improving, expect inaccuracies to occur, particularly around names, industry-specific jargon, and capitalisation. 
  • You must have a business, education, or enterprise licence with cloud recording enabled 
  • You need to enable the audio transcription feature 
  • Currently the service only supports English 
  • ASR-produced transcripts often don’t meet accessibility requirements 

The Zoom service may be a good option if high levels of accuracy aren’t required for your purposes. Zoom does provide the ability to edit the transcripts which allows you to correct any errors but be warned, this can be a very time-consuming process. 

If you want to avoid the embarrassment of incorrect names or text, and deliver a slick output, professional webinar transcription services like Take Note’s will be a better fit. Plus, they’ll save you time in the long run. 

You may also want to consider enabling live captioning and transcription within your Zoom session. Live options will provide a text version of any speech as it happens for all attendees to view and could be a useful option if you’re unable to record your webinar. 

As with the transcription options we’ve already discussed, be mindful of accuracy levels and whether the near real-time nature of the service outweighs the inaccuracies that are likely to occur. If you choose to go down this route ASR services and captioners should be able to integrate with your session via the Zoom webinar ID or through an API token. 

Webinars continue to be a popular and convenient way to demonstrate expertise, share knowledge and connect with your audience. There are a range of transcription services at your disposal to help you maximise the effort you put into the creation of content.

Take Note provides an easy-to-use, secure solution for accurate webinar transcription. Learn more about our transcription and notetaking offerings and get an instant quote today. 

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Kat Hounsell