Positioning the microphone correctly is important. It should be to the side of your mouth, not in front, or your breath may interfere with your sound quality. Once you find a placement that works for you, keep the microphone in the same place each time you use it.
Some microphones have batteries. If yours does, make sure you carry extra batteries with you. If your computer’s speech recognition deteriorates, try changing the batteries.
Microphones provided with most software are low quality. If you dictate a lot, consider getting a better microphone. It can make a huge difference. If you improve accuracy one or two percent it may not seem like much, but if you write several pages a day this adds up. It can mean hours in a year.
If there is a change in your sound environment, consider running the “Audio Setup Wizard.” It doesn’t take long. If you have a problem with recognition, check your surroundings. Is there a window behind you that could reflect sound? Try switching to a sound absorbing background such as drapes or a bookcase.
Finally, remember to turn off your microphone when you finish dictating, or pause when dictating for more than a brief moment. If you don’t, you may end up with garbage on your screen as the program puts background noise into words. To turn off the microphone, click the upright microphone icon on your toolbar. You can also use the commands, “Go to Sleep” and “Wake Up,” to turn your microphone off and on. I recommend a microphone with a mute button. You can mute the microphone when you do other things. Note, however, that some mute buttons create static, which causes the program to insert a word you did not dictate. One microphone I use inserted words when I turned the microphone off and on. I sprayed it with Radioshack’s contact and head cleaner—at the on-off switch and at the tail end with the cord pulled out. For a while, this eliminated this problem but eventually it reoccurred, although it was not as bad as it was before. Further sprays with the contact and head cleaner made no difference.
Some microphones have fragile cords which can get damaged and cause electrical interference. I now use a handheld microphone with a sturdy, replaceable cord. With a handheld microphone, make sure you keep it a constant distance from your mouth when you turn your head.
Some of the programs allow you to use a hand-held recorder. They work like a regular recorder but when you want your words transcribed, you hook it up to your computer, select the recording, and click “Transcribe.” These are generally not as accurate as dictating directly to your computer.
Source: PC Speak
Voice recognition has come a long way in the last few years. You can now dictate your notes, judgments, letters, and other documents to your computer at your normal speaking pace. In fact, dictating too slowly may degrade your accuracy because the program selects words based on their context as well as on your voice waves. (If you say, “dear,” the program will not know whether you mean “deer” or “dear.” If you say “Doug,” the program will not know whether you mean “Doug” or “dug.” If you say, “Dear Doug,” this provides a context for the program to select the correct words. So does, “As I dug my waterline, a deer jumped over it.”
Although you can dictate quickly, you must enunciate each word clearly and ensure you do not you run your words together.
The following two sentences, which I will dictate, demonstrate how the program deals with homonyms by looking at words in context:
- Two boys went to see the doctor because they ate too much food.
- They’re going to park their car over there.
Your computer types the words as you speak, and, if you have the right program, it can play your words back to you in audio.
Because of the speed and accuracy of the newest programs when combined with powerful computers, after a couple of weeks training the program (and yourself), you may be able to get more done in less time. It only takes a few minutes to get started if you have a new program and a powerful computer.
I have found that dictating frees my hands to sort through exhibits and other material.
Some time ago, after a long day of typing my notes in court, one of my hands was sore. Although I had been dictating to my computer off and on, I then started dictating to my computer on a regular basis to prevent repetitive stress injuries to my hands and wrists.
Dictating to your computer can turn tedious tasks into more enjoyable ones. For example, I took a fact-laden paragraph from a child protection report and quickly dictated the points into a list that automatically numbered itself in Word. It was then much easier to comprehend. Besides, it was fun to do.
Integration of digital dictation and speech recognition improve efficiency and productivity
Modernization was in order when La Cava & Jacobson, P.A., launched itself as an independent practice in June 2010. The 12-attorney medical malpractice and civil defense law firm in Tampa, Florida split from a larger organization and acquired the former parent company’s office along with decades-old tape-based dictation equipment.
“The tapes were old and the machines broke frequently,” says partner James D. Wetzel.” With help from their local vendor, the firm began researching a suite of digital dictation and transcription tools. In 2011, after thorough analysis, La Cava & Jacobson choose a dictation software suite with Philips Pocket Memo digital recorders to replace their obsolete equipment and inefficient workflow.
Seamless workflow integration
La Cava & Jacobson’s attorneys were accustomed to dictation, so substituting tape-based recorders with the Pocket Memo devices was seamless — yet it greatly improved the efficiency of the transcription process.
Prior to the switch, attorneys would dictate letters or reports, and then either hand-deliver cassette tapes to their assistants or search for an available transcriptionist. Now, with the digital capabilities of the Pocket Memo combined with the dictation software, attorneys simply dock their recorders at their PCs. The audio files are automatically and securely uploaded to a centralized system that can be accessed by an authorized assistant or typist. The attorney’s dictation can then be transcribed by the first available assistant, or specified support staff.
Improved efficiency with speech recognition
Their Voice Systems representative was able to show La Cava & Jacobson’s attorneys how to further enhance productivity with the use of speech recognition. Integrating speech recognition software within the dictation software workflow solution further automates the transcription process. Attorneys can use speech recognition to create a draft document and send it through the system for completion. Rather than spending the bulk of their time transcribing from scratch, typist only need to proofread the documents created in the speech recognition and make corrections if needed.
For more information, please visit quikscribe.com and digidictate.com
Here’s a great article by my good friend Larry Bodine of The Law Marketing Portal on the importance of performing a “Google” search for your own name, firm name, etc. to see what’s being said about you. I actually found this article while reviewing another great blawg that I reference frequently, Inter Alia, by Tom Mighell. Our thanks to Larry for his article, and to Tom for alerting us to it.
Law office technology – law firm management