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In the cover photo of this post I was in Cape Town at the FIAT/IFTA conference in October 2022, presenting the results of a project that added automatically subtitles to 2.120 hours of cultural vides from Europeana.

FAQs on Using Subtitles in Toastmasters Meetings

  • Keep it concise: Subtitles should be brief and to the point – you might need sometime to summarize or adapt the subtitle.
  • Sync with speech: Ensure subtitles match the timing of the spoken words – you should try not to exceed 17 characters per second meaning a subtitle with 84 characters, which is the commonly suggested maximum, should last at least 5 second*.
  • Readable format: Use a clear font and adequate size for easy reading – keep the text centered and at the bottom of the screen unless otherwise needed, use different colors if there are more than one person speaking in a scene.
  • Break it down: Divide longer sentences into digestible segments – a common guideline is to have maximum 2 lines with maximum 42 characters per line *.
  • Include non-speech elements: Describe important sounds or speaker changes when relevant.

You can:

  • Collaborate with multilingual members to translate subtitles.
  • Use translation features available on platforms like YouTube.
  • Hire professional translation services for accuracy.

  • Educate members on the benefits of subtitles.
  • Demonstrate how to enable and use subtitles during meetings.
  • Share success stories and feedback from members who benefit from subtitles.
  • Incorporate subtitle usage into the club’s standard operating procedures.

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