Using Voice Recognition Software

If you want to be more productive in your office and make optimal use of your travel time, I’ve found that there is no better way than to use your cellphone as a pocket dictator.

I’ve used dictators to capture key notes from presentations, to offer immediate thank-you’s to meeting planners following my presentations, to produce whole books, and yes, even to write this article.

Even if you are already proficient in using your own personal computer for word processing, there are many, many advantages to becoming skilled in dictation.

You have invested a great deal of time and energy in your speaking career. Through trial and error you’ve undoubtedly learned a variety of techniques for increasing potential productivity. However, if you are still writing or typing your own speech outlines, proposals, letters, and notes, you will never approach your productivity potential. By employing dictation equipment, you can.

Let’s look at some numbers. Those who compose directly on a computer screen might type between 40 and 80 words a minute. The writer struggling with longhand can usually write at an average of only 20 words per minute. With a little practice, you can dictate at 100 to 140 words a minute.

Whether you type or write, the problem is that while you are thinking, your mind races ahead of your fingers. Many of the ideas and phrases you compose in your mind can be lost. The arithmetic is simple; the logic is undeniable. Once you become familiar with the ease of operation and the pure joy of finishing written items in one third of the previous time, there is no returning to old ways. With dictating you can easily handle all you ever wanted to write but never found the time for.

Fear Not!

A good outline is a prerequisite to effective writing – whether writing longhand or using any other method. When dictating with a good outline, key words can readily be expanded to sentences and paragraphs.

The need for visual review is generally overestimated. As one writes longhand, or relies upon the computer screen, the desire for visual review increases due to the relatively slow progression. The human brain works faster – much faster. In other words, writing longhand or monitoring a screen reinforces one’s misperception of the great need for visual review. Dictating in 20- to 30-second blocks what might have previously required 2 to 5 minutes to write negates the need for visual review.

How Organized Are You?

If you are able to file and extract materials readily, and if your desk is well-organized and your shelves are neat (or at least you know where things are), the chances are you’ll be good at dictating.

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Posted by Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony.

Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including:
* Managing the Pace with Grace®
* Achieving Work-Life Balance™
* Managing Information and Communication Overload®

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