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By Jeff Davidson MBA, CMC
Using dictation equipment or voice recognition software can greatly enhance your writing output. Jefferson D. Bates, author of Dictating Effectively: A Time Saving Manual, years ago, however, pointed out that a huge obstacle many people need to overcome before using dictation equipment or voice recognition software is "dictaphobia." To overcome dictaphobia, he says, "Recognize that putting words on tape or capturing them on voice recognition software is as easy as talking to a spouse, neighbor or office associate." He recommends the following steps in overcoming the fear of speaking into a dictaphone:
- Pick a subject you know well.
- Jot down a few ideas on the subject in outline form.
- Study the words for a few moments while the ideas sink in.
- Pick up the recorder or don the headset that comes with your voice recognition software, close your eyes, and take several deep breaths. (This helps put you in a creative state of mind.)
- Imagine you're talking to a close friend or associate, anyone you feel comfortable with and trust. Picture that person in your mind.
- Start talking.
If you still have hangups about getting started, take something you have hand written earlier and start reading it aloud.
There's yet another advantage to dictating. Once you become accustomed to the process, it can encourage unmatched creativity in your writing. The speed and freedom dictation offers makes it much easier to capture fleeting ideas -- and that's sure to pay off in concrete benefits to your career.