Tips for Getting the Best out of your Dictation

If you’re feeling short staffed but don’t want to splash out on more permanent or temporary members of staff, outsourcing your dictation can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Here are some tips to get the best out of your dictation when using a new company:

1. Research. Make sure you research before deciding on a company to make sure they hire secretaries that specialise in your chosen field. Many companies will provide secretary CVs on request so you can have greater control over who takes on your work and the style and quality should stay consistent.

2. Provide templates. Copying and pasting transcription into your own templates can take up unneccessary time and be frustrating for you or any permanent members of staff to whom you allocate this task. To streamline the transcription process for typing your dictation, provide your transcription company with up to date letter, report and article templates and provide clear guidelines.

3. Annunciate. We all know that when dictating, quality recording equipment is a must. What many clients don’t consider is the way they speak during dictation.  You may also automatically mumble or speak quickly/skim over any typical parts of your letters that reoccur. Your own secretary will know the pattern and pick this up easily, but it may be best to speak slower on any early recordings for your online secretary, or if it is easier, provide any standard recurring sentences in your templates.

4. Don’t Confuse. Your permanent secretary may be used to your self-made abbreviations but a new secretary may need to acclimatise to the way you speak. For example, some clients when dictating an abbreviation, will dictate it as if is a word: e.g. You may pronounce CAB (Citizen’s Advice Bureau) as ‘cab’, and your permanent secretary will already be aware of this, but a new one may need to be acclimatised to your own style.

5. Give feedback and build a relationship. Online secretaries should be given feedback. Especially if you have your own allocated secretary specialising in your field, you can contribute to their development and adoption of your style very easily. Either provide feedback via email for your secretary to pick up, or simply leave it within your dictation. ‘Thanks’ is also always appreciated by secretaries and will only take up less than a second of your time at the end of your dictation, and for no extra cost. Appreciation goes far in stimulating a good work ethic and boosting morale, even in an online secretary!