How fast can you complete and deliver interview transcripts?

This is one of the questions often asked in transcriber circles. Whether it is a video or audio file of an interview, a focus group discussion, a meeting, or a panel, the timetable or turn-around speed for a transcript holds great importance.

At first, it is more complicated than it might seem because there is no single magical way for someone to fast track their transcribing process. Fortunately, there are several proven ways by which someone could hasten their transcribing speed with the right amount of time and effort invested in it.

Here Are Some of the Ways You Can Speed up Your Transcription Project:

1. A good work environment

The first on the list of things to remember when transcribing interviews or any qualitative research video or audio data is to secure a suitable working atmosphere. A corner or space that will allow you to work freely and without any interruptions. It means finding a nice, quiet spot with little to no background noise. This is really useful, especially when using voice typing tools to write interview transcripts faster. Most, if not all, voice typing tools floating around the market will have an extremely hard time “listening” accurately to the audio when there a significant amount of any type of background noise.

And since a good chunk of time is spent seated in front of a computer while typing transcripts, never underestimate the value of a good chair. Having a comfortable chair that conforms to the natural shape of the body helps in maintaining good posture. Not only is it essential to one’s health, but is also important in keeping one’s focus on the process. Thus, it ensures the quality of the transcript.

2. Good tools

Finding good audio or video transcription service or tool is another high priority for anyone who aims to expedite writing their interview transcripts or any other projects. For instance, an efficient transcription tool allows users to pause the audio, to rewind or fast forward, or to control the playback speed. Since it is hard – even downright impossible for a lot of people – to transcribe every single word accurately for the first time around, it needs a lot of audio manipulation. That is why a transcription service or tool is extremely handy for any type of transcription work.

Furthermore, consider investing in a high-quality headset or earphone. An excellent gadget will let you hear and understand inaudible words or distinguish difficult accents, thus, allowing you to transcribe words more precisely. Noise-canceling headsets, in particular, are a godsend for those audio files with rather abysmal quality. In addition, you should also invest in an ergonomic keyboard that will ease the pain of prolonged typing. Choose a keyboard that has stable keys made from good quality material. 

3. Typing speed

The typing speed of the transcriber is perhaps the first thing that people think about when it comes to handling interview transcripts or other research data. It is quite understandable, though, because the typing speed in delivering transcriptions is indeed very important. A person who can type at the rate of, say, 50 to 60 words per minute will be able to output transcription work faster than someone who can only manage 30 to 35 words per minute.

For those who are not proficient in typing, consider attending a typing class or downloading a typing program. Either of these will help you in learning techniques, such as proper touch-typing, correct finger placement, and comfortable hand position. More so, make sure to use all ten fingers to type letters and characters faster. Then, you can also watch typing tutorials that you can play using your smartphone anywhere you go. All of these suggestions will definitely increase your typing speed. Just give it more time and make it a habit.

4. Proper usage of autocorrect tools

Misspelling is quite common in any transcription work where the norm seems to be that whoever types the fastest wins. Quite ironically, it is this seeming obsession with faster typing actions that leads to overall slower output time since it is surprisingly time-consuming to manually correct each of these mistakes. This is it is critical to use autocorrect tools when creating transcription work. When used properly, autocorrection helps immensely because the transcriber does not have to go back and forth to check every single misspelled word. It can also help with the formatting of sentences and fixing grammatical errors. Just do not forget to set the rules, so the autocorrect tool inputs the right words and revisions in place of the error.

It is fairly easy to use Autocorrect in the Microsoft Word application. If you are using a Windows laptop or computer, open Word and create a new blank document. On the Menu, go to the File tab and select Options. When the pop-up menu appears, go to Proofing and select Autocorrect options. Once on the Autocorrect tab, you check the Replace text as you type box. Do not forget to save all the changes you have made. And, voila! You are all set.

5. Frequent practice

People often say that practice makes perfect. This adage is extremely true when it comes to carrying out interview transcripts or transcribing audio or video files. As with virtually everything, no one is born already good at transcription; he or she must put forward tons of work and effort in order to be even remotely good at it. This equates to spending a good number of hours transcribing something, as well as practicing.

You can improve your transcription skills by either watching videos or listening to audio recordings. For instance, practice while enjoying a movie that has characters who you may consider having unusual accents. Try to transcribe the whole movie’s dialogues as accurately as you can. You can do this more precisely when you listen to a whole sentence first. Listening word-per-word and pausing at a time will only make you slower and less accurate. When you are finished, refer to the official subtitles or the whole screenplay to see whether you got most of it correct. Continue practicing until you get to the level you feel most comfortable with.

Take note of these five easy, fool-proof ways to enhance your transcription speed. Once you have mastered these ways, you will be delivering any type of transcription work like a pro in a flash. But if you really need transcripts in the fastest and most efficient way possible, it is recommended that you enroll in an audio or video transcription service that will do all the work for you. You can click here for more information about some of the services that are available.