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Video or transcript?

Video or transcript? Watching or reading?

DeathtoStock_CreativeSpace1 11.45.06 AMLike most business owners I subscribe to rather a lot of email newsletters (probably too many!), and the content of these obviously varies, but there’s one in particular that contains a weekly video, plus a transcript of the video. I will come right out and say (and I’m not biased in any way as a transcription specialist!) that I always read the transcript and never watch the video. So what about you? Video or transcript, which do you prefer?


Different learning styles

Everybody processes information in different ways. For me personally, when I’m faced with even a short video of five minutes or less, I will always prefer to skim read the transcript and I can get the information I need in a fraction of the time.

Yes, I know that makes me sound incredibly lazy! I can’t always be bothered to watch a five minute video, but I’m easily distracted, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I just prefer to read the text instead, as that’s the way I absorb useful information.

Video versus audio

Funnily enough, however, I’m completely happy to listen to mp3 recordings of things like course content or podcasts while I’m doing something else like housework. This might be because it takes my mind off the completely tedious job in hand (I’m determined to get a cleaner soon!), but I’m quite happy to potter about cleaning the bathroom or dusting and learning at the same time.

I think with video it’s because you’re kind of fixed to the spot and there’s no escape. Because my mind has a tendency to wander, when faced with a one hour webinar or video-based course content that’s longer than half an hour, I’ll find myself checking emails and browsing Facebook, and I’ll completely switch off from what might be relevant and useful information for me.

For other people, however, the opposite is probably true and they’re quite happy to sit and focus for longer periods of time. I’m just not one of these people, unless it’s an episode of The Walking Dead, perhaps!

What this boils down to is that if you’re creating content and you want to reach as wide an audience as possible, it’s always important to remember all the different learning styles out there.

There are so many options out there for recorded content, and if you get your videos and audios transcribed, you’re not only appealing to those who prefer to read (myself included!), you’re also giving yourself the opportunity to use your content again and again. You can turn your videos into blog posts, ebooks, newsletter content and social media posts, quickly and easily.

I’d love to hear your views on this. Video or transcript? Do you prefer to watch, listen, read, or perhaps a combination of all three? Please comment below or ping me a message on Facebook.



  1. I’m with you, Catherine – I prefer to read, rather than watch video. If there was an option to just listen to audio, rather than watch video, I’ll ALWAYS choose that way. Like you, I don’t like to be tied down in one place for too long *hehe* maybe that’s why I’m not super-excited about Facebook’s new live video thingamajiggy.

    Lovely article, thank you for making me think about my habits.

    (I also skip videos on my university course, making a beeline for the transcription!)

    • Callie, I’ve spoken to quite a few people recently who prefer to read, so maybe we’ll be seeing more transcripts popping up! Glad you enjoyed reading my post, thank you for coming over!

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