Tools and Tips for Easier Video Transcription

See also: Mindful Listening

Video transcription has become increasingly necessary for modern businesses. It’s also a task that has a host of challenges associated with it, meaning that if you want to do it efficiently and without going gaga, you need to work smarter, not harder.

Let’s look at the rise and rise of video transcription, the obstacles it creates, the skills you need to succeed at it, and the tools that can enhance your talents further.

Typing on a laptop keyboard.

The Challenges of Video Transcription Explained

Video is arguably the most engaging media format in the world right now. From super-short TikTok clips to long-form YouTube essays, video holds sway over social media and, by association, society as a whole.

Video transcription is necessary in a number of fields, so whether you work in digital marketing for a major corporation or you are employed in education, training, recruitment or any other vocation, it could be a requirement of your role.

The main issue is that without the right skills, or the help of a video transcription tool, it can be incredibly time consuming, repetitive and tiring as a task. This also means that it is more susceptible to human error, which could defeat the point of the transcription being created in the first place.

It’s not just the attention needed to ensure accurate transcription that’s the problem; other obstacles such as audio quality and the format of the recording can stand between you and efficient video transcription. Then there’s the complexity of the language, the number of speakers, and elements like audio cues.

In ideal circumstances, transcribing a video clip will take at least three times its length, although this assumes that you are an experienced transcriber with the right assets at your disposal. Going in unprepared will increase this exponentially.

The Soft Skills You Need to Master It

The good news is that in spite of the hurdles that video transcription throws in your path, there are some transferable skills which are worth nurturing and developing that will apply to this task and many others you might encounter in your professional life. These includes:

  • Listening

    The more attention you can give to what is being said in the video, the fewer times you will need to go back and replay a part in order to get the transcription entirely accurate.

    Good listeners tend to be good transcribers, so if your mind wanders when others are talking, this is something you need to work on as a priority.

  • Non-verbal communication

    This runs parallel to being a good listener, but is distinct in that it involves being able to read between the lines and absorb more than just the words that people are saying, but also how they are saying them.

    Interpreting the tone of voice, the gestures and the expressions used is useful for transcription, especially if you are also aiming to make a note of the emotional state that an individual is in.

    Your transcription may only be read out, rather than being used for subtitling or anything else, which means it has to make sense outside of the context of the video.

    People who are empathetic and excellent at extracting meaning from non-verbal cues will work wonders at video transcription.

  • Typing

    If you are planning to transcribe a video entirely manually, then being a speedy keyboard user is a necessity.

    The more words per minute you can manage, and the greater the accuracy of your keystrokes, the fewer delays there will be as you work through your video clip. This applies whether it is one minute long or one hour. When you have a deadline to hit, every second will make a big difference.

    Throughout the modern world of work, no one can afford to neglect their typing skills. From basic data entry to typing up product pitches and keynote speeches, speed and accuracy across the keys will save you and your organization time and money.

  • Patience, persistence & positivity

    As noted, video transcription is partly taxing because it can become tedious. Your brain needs to be engaged at all times, which saps your energy and leads to fatigue faster than you might imagine.

    Likewise, if you aren’t engaged by this task, it’s easy to get frustrated if you make a mistake, or if there is some other conundrum that gets in your way, such as bad audio quality or a corrupted video file.

    Learning to be patient and putting petty woes to one side with a view to getting the job done will stand you in good stead. Also persisting in the face of what seems like an insurmountable uphill struggle will give you fortitude to apply throughout your career.

  • Memory

    It sounds simple, but your memory has to be reliable if transcribing videos is on the cards. If you are a typing whiz and you don’t mind the investment of time required for this task, it will all be pointless if you cannot accurately recall what is being said in a video.

The Tools to Help You Out

The good news is that we live in an age when video transcription can be accelerated and even entirely automated with the help of software.

Some of the top tools in the space right now include Reduct, Otter, Trint and Temi. Enhanced by artificial intelligence, these tools can be up to 85% accurate, and also feature the ability to easily make amendments where you spot errors after the software has worked its magic.

If you’d rather do this manually, using collaborative word processing solutions like Google Docs is sensible as you can quickly type text and then allow colleagues to do follow-up checks to catch any errors you might have made.


Whether you handle your video transcription needs yourself and use your own skills to get the job done, or you outsource this using AI-augmented software or even a separate human-based transcription service, you don’t need to fret if you plan ahead and accept the challenges involved.

And of course, as discussed above, video transcription skills are entirely transferable, so they won’t force you down a professional dead end.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.