Seminar Transcription: Guide to Transcribing Audio and Video Seminars

Seminars, symposiums, oral presentations and gatherings not only exist in the business arena nowadays, it is also used by communities to get awareness of a certain topic. Sometimes during talks, seminars and symposiums, ideas and information are being said. Without the help of transcription, these words will remain unrecorded. Plus the convenience of reading an entire seminar or academic proceeding trumps the hassle of having to listen or watch the talk over and over again. This is where seminar transcription comes in.

Seminar Transcription or conference transcription consists of the conversion of the recorded seminars, business meetings, conferences, trade shows, lectures etc. into text format. While seminar transcription relates to the conversion of seminar recordings into text, a seminar is a form of interaction provided by an institute/university, business organization or some professional body, with a view to exchange information among invited people.

Many participants who attend seminars not only want a recording of the presentation they heard, but an actual oral seminar transcription. Often times this is more helpful than the recording itself, because it allows an individual to search easily and look for quotes and details in the oral seminar transcription that they might not be able to find as quickly in the recording.

There are a lot of reasons why people want to get a transcript of a seminar. It allows people with hearing disabilities to see the text of the presentation. It also allows people who are better visual learners to read and re-read the information and let it sink in. Also, multiple seminars can be compiled into a publication for distribution.

An accurate seminar transcription is as important as the seminar itself. What good does it do you if you have a gathering of highly intelligent professionals in a certain field sharing a wealth of information, but you have no way of capturing that information?

Business organizations, educational institutes, law firms, research groups and medical institutions are in need of documented form of seminars, interviews, meetings and discussions. Such services can also be used for lectures, presentations, speeches, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, round table discussions, road shows, plenary sessions, workshops and Q&A sessions. It is considered essential part of post-conference business to provide seminar papers to delegate and to clients who didn’t attend the event.

There are two types of seminar transcription.They are Literal and Essence Seminar transcription. In Literal mode, the audio file is transcribed word by word. In the Essence mode of seminar transcription, all the main points of discussion are covered not including the non essential part of the audio file. These types of seminar transcription are the equivalent of verbatim and non-verbatim in general transcription. Seminar transcription can also be either a single speaker or multi speaker. The best way to achieve a quality transcription of a multi speaker seminar is to record it in video format. This makes it much easier for transcription service companies to correctly identify the speakers and leave fewer blanks in the transcript or none at all.

Most transcription service companies charged higher than usual for this type of transcription because seminar or conference transcription is a very complicated process as it involves transcribing the voice of many speakers. Transcription service companies charged as low as $1.5 per audio minute to as high as $2.5 per audio minute for this kind of service. Also the rate changes depending on the number of speakers in the audio or video, the turn around time, quality of audio or video and other extra specifications like time codes, verbatim, etc. Background noise, people speaking over one another, low speaking voices that cannot be heard, poorly recorded audios or videos, thick accents and frequent medical or scientific terminology which require research are considered difficult quality of audios, hence, the rates are higher than usual.

Several business and companies have realized the use and importance of seminars or conference transcriptions. It’s importance lies in the fact that documented recordings of various seminars and conferences have to be kept for future use and further analysis.

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