Zoom meetings, video conferences, and webinars have transformed the workplace – and the way businesses reach new customers. The coronavirus pandemic has forced most work meetings and live conferences online, and it’s a trend that is likely to continue in 2021. A detail often easy to miss is the need to provide captions for webinars in Zoom.
People who are hard of hearing face numerous challenges when communicating face-to-face. Those challenges are magnified over video conferencing platforms. Captioning provides instantaneous speech-to-text accessibility both in real-time and for replay later.
During a Zoom meeting, voices may sound muffled. Background noise and weak internet connections can create added interference, and it’s often hard to read lips through a screen. And if you’ve gone to all the trouble to create a training webinar or host a virtual conference, it’s bad business to overlook a whole segment of participants. Plus, public organizations such as school boards and city commissions have a duty to make meetings accessible for constituents.
Adding live captions for webinars and meetings via Zoom offer numerous benefits. CART captioning streams words directly to the internet for instant reading on a mobile device, laptop, or tablet. Real-time speech-to-text translation can be integrated into webcasts, webinars, and social media live streams.
Some videotelephone software programs, including Google Meet and some premium Zoom platforms, have Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) capabilities. These software-generated captions translate what people say into text, but ASR must be turned on. Participants have to activate the captions. In addition, ASR captions may miss words, pause in translation, or have a variety of other errors.
Four Benefits of Providing Live Captions for Webinars in Zoom
1. Improve accessibility: Captioning is another tool to increase accessibility and ensure your business or organization complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Making sure meetings and webinars are accessible is not only the right thing to do but it improves engagement, participation, and morale.
2. Increase comprehension and engagement from viewers: Many people with hearing loss have trouble following the conversation with multiple participants. Keeping up is harder if someone talks fast or has a thick accent. They don’t participate for fear of repeating the same information, interrupting, or talking off-topic. Human-generated captions have a high degree of accuracy, allowing people to understand what is being said. They can participate with more confidence and clarity.
3. Make the experience for ESL attendees better: People who are non-native English speakers often struggle with comprehension, syntax, semantics issues, and auditory processing. Captions allow them to read what is being said and even go back and replay it later. Caption Pros can offer language translation services as well.
4. Improve SEO and add web content with transcripts after the event: If you post the webinar online or email the replay, captioning services may include full transcriptions of the meeting’s content. This allows those who missed the meeting to read the content if preferred. You can boost your company’s web presence and SEO, become a trusted resource with relevant content, and gain respect with the hard of hearing community.
Maybe your company is international with colleagues spread across the globe and Zoom is the easiest way to connect. Perhaps you’re a small business owner planning a big campaign to offer a free webinar in hopes of getting new customers to sign up for a class or your organization has plans to host an in-person conference in 2021 but you want a Plan B in case COVID-19 restrictions continue. These are all reasons for including captioning.
We can provide live captioning services and more:
- On-site event captioning: Words can be projected on a screen alone or with video.
- CART Captioning: Streaming words directly to the internet for instant reading on a mobile device, laptop, or tablet.
- Instant transcription: Translates spoken words using computer-aided transcription with realtime editing. This is great for news conferences or high-profile events.
- Webcasting: Realtime speech-to-text translation for webcasts, webinars, and social media live streams.
- Broadcast captioning: Provides captioning for local and national news programs, conferences, government and city council meetings, and athletic events.
Contact us here at Caption Pros to learn more about our award-winning captioners and make your next webinar or Zoom meeting accessible to all participants by adding realtime captioning.