Tips for Dictation Success
While dictation typically isn’t a favorite pastime for most people, the end-goal is always a top-quality transcript. That said, it's important to remember that the accuracy and completeness of any transcribed document depend directly on the quality of the recorded audio file. To ensure that you get the highest quality transcripts possible, please be mindful of the following tips when recording your dictation:
- Know your recording device (use features like pause, delete and insert to make your recordings coherent).
- Dictate in a quiet area away from distractions and noise (avoid side conversations, eating, gum chewing, yawning).
- Avoid speaker phones and cell phones (these tend to make portions of recordings inaudible).
- Organize your data/thoughts before beginning dictation (press pause when you anticipate a long period of silence).
- Provide all necessary identifying information for your subject matter (name spellings, addresses, dates, etc.).
- Speak at a normal conversational pace and tone.
- Clearly enunciate/spell new, unfamiliar or easily-confused terms.
- Avoid the over-use of abbreviations (multiple abbreviations may be misinterpreted).
- Be sure to dictate all necessary information that corresponds with your template.
- Say "end of dictation" to make clear that you have finished your recording.
Tips for Multispeaker Recordings
In multispeaker settings, it’s important that the recording device be positioned in a central location where the voices of all speaking attendees will be clearly recorded. The further away a speaker is from the microphone, the less likely the remarks will be audible on the recording.
Additionally, if precise speaker identification is important in a multispeaker setting, it’s recommended that the meeting be submitted in video format (especially in large group settings). Naturally, when our transcriptionists can see who is speaking, speaker identification is a relatively straightforward process. That said, if a video recording is not an option, we will still do our best to attempt to identify speakers based on any distinctive vocal characteristics (like accent or recognizable cadence). However, in multispeaker settings we cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify each speaker. If it is unclear who is speaking, the individual will be labeled as “Male Speaker” or “Female Speaker.”
As an alternative, if the meeting has not yet taken place, it may be helpful to have someone attend the meeting to create a log of who is speaking in chronological order. This log can then be sent to Athreon with the recording. Our transcriptionists will then use it to ensure that the speaker identification on the transcript matches the log.