How To Transcribe Your Audio Interviews Into Text

Nov 03


I’ve got to interview an expert this week as part of my Learn with Sally Coaching …..

And although I’ve transcribed a lot of interviews, I’ve never actually done one MYSELF.

But that will change TOMMORROW when I will be interviewing the one and only Randy Smith

Hope he’ s gonna be gentle with me…lol

So with interviews in mind…

I thought I’d show you how you can transcribe your interviews into text (using FREE software)

So here’s what you need to do…..


1: Download Express Scribe

Express Scribe works on both windows and the mac and you can download it for FREE here



  • Click on download the free version (like in screenshot above)
  • Run the software
  • Accept the licence
  • Make sure boxes are unchecked so no other related software is installed
  • Click on Finish



2: Set up your keyboard shortcuts

Once you’ve opened up Express Scribe the first thing you need to do is set up your Hot-Keys so that you can control your audio playback on your keyboard.

So click on the Options tab…..



  • Scroll down to System Wide Hot Keys
  • Make sure the box is checked to Enable System Wide Keys
  • If you are happy with the Default Hot Key Settings then click Okay
  • If you want to change your hot keys to something different then click Add to change



3: Load your audio file

You can do this by either clicking on the load button and finding it on your computer OR by dragging your file into the Express Scribe window…



4: Transcribing your audio

Open up Open Office or Microsoft Word  and then click on the Scribe Mini tab to minimize Express Scribe so that it sits nicely next to your document…



When you are ready to start press Play on your keyboard and start typing out what is being said into your document…

(Leaving OUT the um’s and ahh’s and any false starts)



5: Dealing with fast speakers

If you are finding it difficult to keep up, then SLOW the audio down to something your more comfortable with…..

The audio playback button is in the bottom right hand corner of Express Scribe and can be MOVED left to slow down and right to be played faster…..



 6: Proof-reading and spelling

Once you’ve finished typing then have another listen to your audio to make sure you’ve not missed anything…

And then once your happy with it you can spell check and format your document like you normally would!


And that’s it…


I did create some video tutorials showing you how to do it…


Then a few days ago Express Scribe took out some of the FREE features making my videos redundant.




But I will make some MORE for you and go into a bit more detail – I promise!




Was you a little nervous when you did your first interview ???


Did it go like clockwork or did you have a few hiccups ???


Let me know by commenting below!


Take care



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  1. Hey Dawn,

    I haven’t actually done any interviews yet, but I can imagine it’s pretty nerve-wracking!

    What do you use to record the interview in the first place? I’ve heard of Pamela for Skype, have you used that?

    I think my fear would be not knowing what questions to ask, so I guess one thing I’ll be doing is making a list of questions to ask & then some back up questions if the conversation were to stop for any reason!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your interview once it’s done – good luck with getting Randy to behave himself!!

    Catch you later,

    Nikki (Purple Minxy Witch) recently posted..When In Rome…(for the second time)My Profile


    Dawn Kay Reply:

    Hi Nikki

    If your doing an interview on Skype then yeah you need Pamela for Skype to record it…

    I’ve got it but haven’t used it yet!

    Yeah it is a bit scary but once you get the first one over with I’m sure they’ll be easier (I’m told lol)

    If you don’t know what questions to ask then why don’t you just do what I did and ask your blog readers…

    If they’re as nice as mine, I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you out lol

    Sally’s got a free skype interview guide that will help you out…

    You can grab it here

    Good luck with your interview and I’m sure Randy will be fab.

    Take care



  2. Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for sharing this resource and detailing exactly how to use it. It seems really simple and straight forward and the fact that you can slow down the speech is excellent, especially as my typing is pretty sloooooowwwwww ;) Although repeat letters are easssyyyy :lol:

    I still haven’t interviewed anyone as yet but I have asked someone already and yeeey they have agreed so it’ll be getting it sorted very soon ;)

    I’m going to write a post and ask my readers what they would like to ask the person if they had the chance, then I’ll take my questions from there.

    I do have a coupe of my own though as the person really impresses me by being everywhere I look online and I’d love to know how they keep up with everything.

    I’m really sorry to hear about the videos you created being null and void so shortly after making them, sods law Dawn :(

    Best of luck with the interview with Randy, I’m sure it’ll go well for you.

    Oh and best of luck for tonight ;) I’ll be a Gent and raise my hand to ask my question(s) ;)

    Take care Dawn,

    Respect and Regards,
    Barry Wells recently posted..Journey To Success Part 7: Focus, Time and MoneyMy Profile


    Dawn Kay Reply:

    Hi Barry

    Express Scribe is really easy to use, it’s just time consuming that’s all…

    Yeah I was a little stressed when everything went wrong but I got by with a little help from my online friends and your helicopter story made me laugh (lol).

    You will be fab when it comes to your interview don’t worry…

    Just make sure there’s no drilling going on outside like in mine and that you take your phone off the hook so no-one can ring you (hint hint)

    You was a gent and only asked one question ha ha and it was good to finally get to talk to you after all this time.

    Take care matey

    Dawn Kay recently posted..Small Lists Can Get Results Too…YayyyMy Profile


  3. I haven’t interviewed anyone yet, Dawn. I guess I might one day but it isn’t on my ‘must do’ list, I have to admit. This is really useful though for future reference, thanks for sharing.

    Enjoy the journey.

    mandy recently posted..Take Positive Action To Move Your Business ForwardMy Profile


    Dawn Kay Reply:

    Hi Mandy

    Well it should be on your to do list misses as an interview or two would make an excellent bonus for your Conference Confedential product…

    And who do we both no that holds regular meet ups and events???

    (Hint hint)

    See you on Saturday

    Dawn Kay recently posted..Free GiftsMy Profile



    @Dawn Kay, Grea idea, I hadn’t thought of an interviiew as a bonus as well as the video sessions. Nice idea, thanks.

    Enjoy the journey.

    mandy recently posted..Take Positive Action To Move Your Business ForwardMy Profile


    Dawn Kay Reply:

    Does that mean your gonna do an interview now then???

    I’ll bring my mp3 recorder on Saturday, so make sure you’ve thought of some good questions (lol)

    Dawn Kay recently posted..Omg She’s Got Me Facing Them AlreadyMy Profile


  4. Hey Dawn

    Shame about your videos, but least you didn’t let it hold you back, and you still got your blog post up and live!

    That software looks great (and even better now I just seen you do a LIVE demo on using it)

    We can see your other videos another time I am sure.

    Interviews are just a fabulous way of creating a product really fast, and the speed that you transcribe them is just AWESOME! Anyone using your services gets the 5 star treatment and for the price you charge we should feel like we are robbing you ha ha.

    I know, for 100% FACT you will be great at interviews, you have been great at everything else you have done online so this wont be any different.

    Catch ya later,

    Sally :) x

    ps. super job on co-hosting the webinar, you was a STAR!
    Sally recently posted..Learn With Sally… Four Webinars And A FunnelMy Profile


    Dawn Kay Reply:

    Hey Sally

    Awwww thank’s for the lovely comments, means a lot coming from you!

    Yep, no point in crying over spilt milk…

    You’ve just got to make the most out of what you’ve got and that’s what I did.

    Some very wise person once told me that MISTAKES and stuff going WRONG is a good thing cause then you can blog about it…

    (Ha ha – wonder who that was)

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to co-host the webinar with you…

    You wouldn’t get anyone else letting there students do that but then again you are one in a million :)

    Take care misses and your the star

    Dawn Kay recently posted..Facing More Fears And What Do You Want To Know More About?My Profile


  5. Hey Dawn

    First of all, congratulations on co-organising last night’s webinar, you did brilliant and thanks for showing us the wonderful express scribe program that you use for your transcription services.

    Your blog post is more excellent, I really like how you did your screen shots, they are clearly laid out and simple in that you could take a glance and you would understand them straight away, and sorry to hear that your videos got made redundant, things just change so quickly nowadays, but nevertheless you never know, some people may have an older version which still has the free features available and it could still be useful.

    Whilst talking on the subject, perhaps you could ask Sally for last nights webinar video file, and the part where you gave us such a wonderful demonstration of the program, then you could edit that and create a video overview…

    As for interviews, I haven’t really done one yet so unfortunately can’t really comment much about them, and if I did, I would never be able to sit down patiently, listen to an audio and type at the same time, I would just get distracted too much, far much better to enlist your transcription services instead, hehe.

    Thanks again for showing us behind the scene of the tool you use and Good Luck with your interview with Randy.

    Take care and catch ya later

    PS: Have a wonderful weekend!
    Nigel Yip recently posted..LWS 8 – Sally Neill Overdelivers with Aweber Crash Course 1, 2, 3!!!My Profile


    Dawn Kay Reply:

    Hi Nigel

    Can I hire you to be my life coach (lol)

    You always say the most loveliest things, encourage me and are always soooooo supportive…

    So thanks matey – you are a star!

    I’m glad you liked it and I’ve taken your advice and Sally kindly cut out my demo and it’s in my new blog post…

    I’m doing well this week ha ha

    Catch you on the webinar tonight and take care matey

    Dawn Kay recently posted..Facing More Fears And What Do You Want To Know More About?My Profile


    Nigel Yip

    @Dawn Kay,

    Hi Dawn,

    Sorry I haven’t been able to visit your blog as much I wish :( , but anyway on a more positive note ….. haha life coach…erm… sure if you think I’m up to it lol, although I thought it would have been more the other way around as you’ve been an inspiration to me.

    It’s so wonderful to hear that Sally has kindly cut out your demo so that you can use it as video and absolutely, you are most certainly doing brilliantly!!!

    Keep up the great work Dawn and catch up soon on LWS

    Nigel Yip recently posted..LWS 9 – Facebook Fan Page FanaticsMy Profile


  6. Hey Dawn,

    You just gave me a brilliant idea. I often ask my clients feedback regards the interviews they had. It never crossed my mind I could just let them record it and send me a transcription.

    Brilliant idea,
    Nik recently posted..Do I really need a career coach?My Profile


  7. Wow Dawn..this is awesome!
    I’ve always wanted to learn how to do transcription and little did I know I could have access to a program like this for free!

    Of course I never seem to have enough time that’s why it’s great to know someone like you in the business…
    however this is priceless…and I just know I’ll be over there playing one day ;)

    Great tutorial Dawn…you have really taken off in the blogosphere…I have to work hard to keep up these days!


    Dawn Kay Reply:

    Hi Kathy

    I thought you knew the software was free?

    Give it a go then as you might enjoy it as I find it very relaxing…

    I can always go through it with you on Skype if you like, just give us a shout if you do…

    Thanks Kathy and I’ll catch you on the webinar tonight.

    Dawn Kay recently posted..Facing More Fears And What Do You Want To Know More About?My Profile


  8. Dawn,

    Wow, what a neat resource.

    I have never done an interview but think it is great you interviewed Randy Smith. He is really easy to talk to and has been really helpful to me.

    When I finally get to doing my first interview I will definitely be using this software or having you transcribe it.

    You did a great tutorial also.


    Dee Ann
    Dee Ann Rice recently posted..Publish Your Blog to the Kindle on AmazonMy Profile


  9. Hi Dawn,
    This is great to know. I had always wondered how people transcribed their audio interviews into text.

    Congratulations on your interview with Randy Smith. :)
    Justin recently’s Guide 4 New Bloggers eBookMy Profile


  10. Kimberly S. Benjamin /

    Hi Dawn,

    I;m new here but I want to say thank you for this post. It is big help to me. I am not that healthy physically that’s why I have lots of absent in the school. I just ask my friends to record the discussion. Then I will listen to it in my ipod. Sometimes I get tired rewinding the audio and wish I can just print it. I search the net and I find this. What makes it better is the software is free. lol! :) Do you know free software that will change text to audio? just asking :)
    Kimberly S. Benjamin recently posted..Make Money With BlogMy Profile


  11. This is my kind of post! Do please contact me. I have a couple of questions to ask to find out if I should add you to my Twitterfeed so that all of your new posts automatically get tweeted to my 24,527+ followers.

    That is one of the strategies I teach to my blogging collaborations and give a detailed how-to in my Twitter Best Practices post. I’ll link that post to the name field of this comment. I wish Andy would let us have more than 5 special links in CommentLuv Premium!
    Gail Gardner recently posted..Blog Post PromotionMy Profile


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