10 Technical Tips to Consider While Recording a Lecture or Speech for Transcription

10 Technical Tips to Consider While Recording a Lecture or Speech for Transcription
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Imagine a classroom setting where you are all set to deliver your lecture. You are eager to share your knowledge and want to ensure that each student understands the subject.

However, some students may not pay attention, some are not fluent in their native language, and there may be hearing-impaired students who need special support.

It is a challenging situation for the lecturer as well as for the students.

This is where transcribing lectures can be beneficial in the long run for both students and lecturers.

  • Transcripts can be used as notes and study materials
  • Transcribed lectures or speeches can be accessed anytime, anywhere
  • Transcription may help eliminate confusion or misunderstanding
  • Transcription can help save time for speakers or lecturers

The most important thing to understand is the recorded presentations or lectures have to be crystal clear.

The recording must be clear of any background noise and should be audible enough for the transcriber to give an error-free lecture and speech transcription.

Get that Perfect Clear Recording with These 10 Technical Tips

1. Microphone and Other Recording Devices

The first and foremost thing is to invest in a good quality microphone and other recording devices.

Banking on a built-in microphone camera or smartphone is not a viable option as it can pick up even the device's sounds and can produce a low-quality recording.

For multiple speakers, an omnidirectional microphone is the best bet, while unidirectional ones are suited for one speaker.

2. Third-Party Recording Equipment

If you don't have a personal microphone, you can always use the recording equipment. It is prudent to check the quality of the recording equipment provided by the rental company.

Check for past recordings and get feedback from previous clients about the quality of the recordings.

3. Eliminate Background Noise

Too much background noise can interfere with audio transcription. To eliminate any kind of background noise, close all the windows, switch off fans, and check the air conditioners for sound as well.

You can also put up signs stating “recording in progress” or “do not disturb” to ensure that no one enters the recording room.

Remember that the microphone can even catch sounds from shuffling papers, or anything else placed too close to the recording setup.

4. Digital Recorder

For meetings, seminars, or conferences, a digital recorder is the first choice of professionals.

Digital recorders produce exceptional sound quality that cuts down the transcription time, ensuring accurate transcriptions.

5. Voice Activation Feature

If your recording equipment supports a voice activation feature, it is time to change it or not use this feature.

Voice activation enabled microphone will not pick up the speech of a soft-speaking individual.

It can switch off in the middle of the recording, and due to time delay, starting sentences may be cut off.

6. Slow and Clear Speech

All your world-class recording equipment will be rendered useless if your speaker does not speak clearly and slowly. Ask your speakers to clearly state their name, title, and affiliation.

Ensure that speakers present in the recording room don’t interrupt one another to avoid confusion during transcription.

7. Test Recording

Always do a small test recording with each speaker. Check during the test recording if the speaker has an audible, loud, and clear speech.

You might need to tweak the settings to capture the voices of speakers with lower volumes and to avoid recording interference by sudden background noises.

8. Brief the Speaker

Not all speakers are well-versed in recording protocols. Ask your speakers well in advance to turn off their mobile phones and brief them about how phones can negatively affect the recording.

The recording equipment can pick up radio frequencies, producing a buzzing sound that can hamper the continuity of your recording.

9. Audiolimiter

To prevent an audio recording from fluctuating too much in volume, use an audio limiter. An audio limiter stops a signal from going beyond a specific setting.

It is quite helpful in preventing sound clipping and distortion if the audio source gets too loud.

10. Reliable Audio Transcription Services

You have managed to get the perfect recording, but if your transcriptionist is not good enough, then you will not have an accurate transcript.

For accurate, cost-effective transcripts delivered on time, you can always trust a reliable and professional transcription service company like GMR Transcription.

Read Also: 3 Everlasting Benefits of Speech Transcription

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.