Tips for Creating Inclusive Talks and Videos

This article explains some additional tips on inclusive practices when creating slide content for talks, as well as during speaking and recording videos. Also check out this previous article on inclusive writing.

Slide content

It helps improve readability if your font sizes are not too small and if you avoid packing too much content onto one slide. If possible, avoid embedding text into images if similarly effective alternatives exist for rendering your content. Images in slides are usually unreadable for screen readers, which are often used by people with visual impairments.

During speaking/recording videos

It helps improve legibility if you pause for a moment in between sections and also during slide transitions. If possible, avoid speaking too fast, since that can make comprehension harder for many non-native English speakers, as well as people with hearing impairments. If you plan to record your face while speaking, look directly at the camera while speaking so that lipreading is more feasible for people with hearing impairments.

Transcripts and captioning

Consider inviting all authors to contribute recorded talk videos to contribute plaintext transcripts of their talk and also embed time-aligned captions/subtitles in their videos. Captions are widely known to be helpful in enabling better comprehension for people with auditory impairments and non-native English speakers. [1] Captions also help many people who find different accents more difficult to comprehend.

To create a plaintext transcript, you could write down what you speak ab initio. Alternatively, you could use a (free) automatic speech recognition (ASR) service to convert your recorded audio to an intermediate text file that you can then edit to correct ASR errors.

To create closed captioning for video, here is a suggested and hopefully easy-to-execute workflow based on Youtube's capabilities [2]:



This document was originally created for SIGMOD 2021. We thank the SIGMOD 2021 PC Chairs, General Chair, and Web Chair for their feedback or dissemination. We thank Victor Zakhary for inputs on the video captioning workflow.