The main difference between transcribers and interviews is that transcribers are not there when the actual recording takes place. Transcribers receive the end product and face the tough task of putting into writing recorded speech that might be too fast, inaudible or filled with various distortions. However, there are 7 important skills that transcribers can build up to keep them an edge above the rest in the competitive field.

1. Listening

By listening, the reference is on good listening skills. It goes without saying that listening is a given with any transcriber, because transcription in its entirety involves listening and noting down what has been heard. The distinction between merely listening and good listening skills is that you may not be versant or interested in the subject but good listening habits will have you pay attention to the details.

2. Guess and Guess Well

Let’s face it; you’ll get most of it right but there are a lot of words that may be muffled up, inaudible or words that you simply have never heard before. This is particularly common when dealing with medical and legal jargon; it can get easy to literally get lost in translation. However, a skilled transcriber over time builds the ability to guess what is being said where the work being transcribed is inaudible. And it also helps to make good use of Google and other search engines to figure out what a word is or get the correct spelling.

3. Keep Up With Software Trends

There are transcribers who are highly skilled and can type as they listen, while others need to pause to type what has been said or rewind a couple of times to get it all down. However, it helps to invest in good software that allows you to play the recording slower or faster as well as easily rewind and forward recordings according to your needs.

4. Pause and Rewind

Inline with knowing your software, it is also important to pause and rewind the recording several times to get it right. Pausing also means literally walking away from your computer, taking a rest and coming back with a fresh mind to accord the task the necessary attention required.

5. Go On and Get Back To Hard Parts Later

When working with inaudible recordings it can be tasking trying to figure out what is being said. A good practice is to go and, leave blanks and come back to it. This will help because as you go on you will be able to get the scope of the subject and this gives you a better understanding to be able to figure out what is being said.

6. The Client Knows Best

Follow the client’s guideline, including the style guide, to deliver what is expected of you. Always have the client’s style guide or notes open so that you can refer to it as you go along to get everything right.

7. Keep on Learning

In every trade, learning never ends and learning builds up your skills. Read through magazines, get online and pick up on tips and tricks to make your work as a transcriber easier. It also helps to read a lot of books in different styles to pick up on the different styles of writing as well as watch a lot of movies to pick up on the way people talk differently.