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Dictation Tips

You want quality transcripts, and we want you to have them! We strive to deliver error-free documents every day. However, high quality transcripts are largely dependent on the quality of the recordings we receive. So, in the spirit of providing you with highly-accurate transcripts, we bring you the following dictation best practices.

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Single-speaker Recordings

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 speakerphones and cell phones. These tend to make portions of recordings inaudible.
    • Organize your data and thoughts before beginning dictation. Press pause when you anticipate a long period of silence.
    • Provide all necessary identifying information for your subject matter to include name spellings, addresses, dates, etc.
    • Speak at a normal conversational pace and tone.
    • Clearly enunciate and spell new, unfamiliar or easily-confused terms.
    • Avoid the over-use of abbreviations; multiple abbreviations may be misinterpreted.
    • Avoid repeating the same dictation multiple times. Transcriptionists can rewind the recording for clarification.
    • 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.

Multi-speaker Recordings

In multi-speaker settings, it’s important that the recording device be positioned in a central location where each speaker’s voice will be clearly recorded. The further away a speaker is from the microphone, the less likely their voice will be audibly captured.

Additionally, if precise speaker identification is important in your multi-speaker setting, it’s recommended that the meeting be submitted in video format. When a transcriptionist can see who is speaking, speaker identification is a relatively straightforward process. However, if a video recording is not an option, we will do our best to identify speakers based on any distinctive vocal characteristics; such as accent or recognizable cadence. Despite this, in multi-speaker settings we cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify each speaker by name. If it is unclear who is speaking, the individual will be labeled as ‘Male Speaker’ or ‘Female Speaker.’

As an alternative, if your 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 be sent to Athreon with your recording. Our transcriptionists will use it to identify each speaker.