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12 Tips for Dictating Good Quality Audio Files

Read through the tips outlined below for some basic pointers and advice about how to dictate audio files that are clear and easy to transcribe.

  1. Learn about your recording equipment, how it works and how to maintain it. Understanding the settings and other options will allow you to produce the highest quality audio recording possible.

  2. Assemble any papers or reports before you start dictating.  Set priorities and organise

  3. Make sure you are in a quiet area so your dictation can be heard clearly by the transcriptionist.  Do everything possible to minimise background sound by moving to a quieter area, closing any doors and windows, and shutting off any noise-making devices. Extraneous noise can make it difficult to hear dictation accurately. Please do not dictate while driving

  4. Identify yourself at the beginning of your dictation and state what dictation you are doing, i.e. what type of reports and the date you want reflected in the reports. (The date of your dictation, the date the transcriptionist is actually transcribing the work or a prior date of your choosing.

  5. Where applicable, ensure you identify which template the transcriptionist should use for your dictation

  6. Try to use similar phrases in each of your report types. Be consistent in the way you approach similar reports. This not only reduces the chance of errors in the transcript, it also will make dictating a much more simple and routine process for you

  7. Speak clearly and at a regular pace. Pacific Solutions charges for professional dictation per line transcribed, so there is no need to rush through a dictation

  8. Try to avoid letting your voice fade-out at the end of sentences. Try not to breathe into the mic as it tends to produce a rough sound that can obscure the dictation

  9. Speak with your mouth at the recommended distance from your particular brand of microphone for optimum sound levels.

  10. Spell technical terms or jargon not normally found in the mainstream of daily work.  If you use an unusual word or a word that sounds the same as another, spell it out.   Spell out ALL proper names and industry-specific terms. To the transcriber, Rose Ann, Roseann, Rosanne, and Roseanne will all sound the same.  Include addresses if known; spell unusual street names and identify as street, lane, drive, avenue, etc.; spell city names if not local

  11. Relax, speak simply and pace yourself.  Think in one sentence at a time, not too fast, not too slow

  12. Always include punctuation, especially when starting new paragraphs and always include “open” and “close” quotation instructions.  Don't forget to say "End of Dictation" at the end of your dictation, so the transcriptionist will know there is no more dictation to the end of the tape.