Welcome to “How to dictate”: More than just talking to yourself

Talking is one of our easiest, most natural activities. But, when it comes to dictation, talking suddenly becomes difficult. Even the chattiest people can stumble when it comes to recording, because while dictation is essentially just speaking your thoughts, it’s a much more structured and focused form of speaking. This is especially true if you’re using dictation to create a letter or report vs capturing ideas or reminders.

Welcome to “How to dictate”: More than just talking to yourself
Welcome to “How to dictate”: More than just talking to yourself

Introduction to a mini-series about “How to Dictate“. Enjoy!

In this three-part blog series, “How to Dictate”, we will explain dictation’s advantages over typing for document creation, give you some speaking tips for dictating more efficiently and accurately, and provide pointers on how to overcome self-confidence issues when picking up that recorder or microphone for the first few times.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming up in our series:

  • Part 1: Why Dictate? This first post will discuss the numerous benefits of dictation over typing. Here’s something you might not have known – speaking is on average 7x faster than typing and can be accomplished almost anywhere. Even if you are already a fast typist, typing might not be one of your core competencies. Dictation can save everyone more time and money, regardless of your speed on the keyboard.
  • Part 2: Before you start dictating. The second post will offer some introductory technical considerations of dictation, like where to hold the recorder in relation to your mouth, the importance of preparing an outline, and tips for speaking so the recording is clear and coherent. The post will also offer tips for how to dictate if you plan on sending your recording to a transcriptionist or speech recognition software, to ensure text accuracy and minimize corrections.
  • Part 3: Overcoming self-confidence problems. The last post in the series will cover a very common issue for people new to dictation: Self-confidence. Dictation is quite different than writing or speaking to a colleague, and can require greater concentration. That’s why it’s okay for professionals who are new to dictation to start small, usually with some short practice documents. We will go over some of our best tips and tricks for feeling better about your dictation skills, to get you on the path to being a dictation pro.

While dictation does take some practice, like any new skill, you will be satisfied you learned it and will continually discover new ways to incorporate it into your workflow and daily personal life. The best part of mastering this new skill is how much typing, formatting and screen time you can eliminate from your day to truly make your time count.