The #1 Speech-to-Text Tool That Improves Inclusion and Business Presentations
Speech-to-text recognition software identifies spoken language and turns it into text. These apps are invaluable to the hearing-impaired and great tools for facilitated sessions.
I have used several of the leading apps. In some cases, I use my smartphone app while others present to participants. In other cases, I have had participants use the device and later review the written transcript for accuracy.
Google’s Live Transcribe
For 2023, Google’s Live Transcribe is the best speech-recognition app in the market.
Overall accuracy, accuracy at 40 feet from the speaker, and the ability to not be impacted by moderate room noise are what I like best. I also like its screen-ready text size, which requires no user modification in live sessions, and its ease of export of the transcribed text.
According to Google, these are some of Live Transcribe's features:
In real-time, it transcribes from 70 languages and dialects and can switch between them.
Conversations are stored on your device (not on a server) to increase privacy.
Built-in collaboration with Gallaudet University, the world’s only university dedicated to the deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing.
The text size is adjustable.
The text box allows the user to type a response and show the screen to others.
Measures ambient noise levels to allow the user to move the microphone closer to the speaker if necessary.
Other Speech-to-Text Apps
I have also used Rogervoice and Ava, among the many apps that are available in the market. Rogervoice and Ava are good apps, but I did not find their accuracy, ability to ignore room noise, or overall user-friendliness to be as good as Live Transcribe.
Of course, I am only one user and the products are being updated regularly.
Three Tips for Facilitators
Speech-to-text is a good topic for “Safety and Wellness Moments" if you use them and provide a discreet way to remind participants to use this type of app.
Strike anything related to "put away your smartphones and laptops” in your facilitation rules.
Test different speech-to-text apps in your facilitated sessions. You will gain much insight into how the one or two people with hearing impairment in every audience receive your information. Plus, it will give you a fresh perspective on the quality of your overall facilitation.
Accessibility for the visual and hearing impaired is part of Structure in the FINESSE mental model. Accessibility, and the broader aspect of inclusion, is also a more subtle component of Empathy and Ethics in FINESSE.
Speech-to-text will continue to be a key and growing aspect of communication and facilitation. Accuracy and ease of use will be the key functionalities and will continue to improve rapidly. Live Transcribe is, in our opinion, the best app in the market in 2023. For facilitators, the question is more about whether you incorporate accessibility and inclusion in your approach than which app your participants use. Are you facilitating with FINESSE?
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