10 top tips for quality dictation and flawless typing


If you’re using an outsourced typing service such as Quill Type, there are some small changes you can make to really improve your dictation and typing results.

You see, we all talk, and yet we all talk in our own style. By following our dictation tips, the latest in our helpful hints series, the audio of your recordings will be better, your typing team can convert dictations quicker and the accuracy of your typed-up documents will be even more precise.

Here, then, are 10 top tips for quality dictation and flawless typing:-

1. Follow a set sequence.

When starting a new dictation: 1) Specify which template is required. 2) Give the file / matter reference. 3) Provide any additional specific instructions such as turnaround time. 4) Dictate the body of the document. 5) Send your dictation.

2. Find the right setting.

Where possible, locate a quiet area to dictate and try to minimise any background noise. That way, recordings will be crystal clear. Ideally, hold the handset approximately 10 inches from your mouth or rest it on a book, not a hard desk, in order to prevent echo or feedback.

3. Perform a test dictation first.

Record a short test using random content then play back to ensure the quality of sound is good and the audio is recording correctly. Once you’re confident everything’s working properly, begin your “real” recording.

4. Plan long dictations.

For lengthy documents, you could find it useful to write some brief notes before commencing as it’ll provide a prompt to keep you on track.

5. Stick to form templates.

When dictating legal forms, keep the template to hand, either printed or on screen, so that you follow each section exactly.

6. Pause at the start and finish.

Make sure the “record” button is pressed before commencing dictations and that it’s stopped after narration is complete. By doing so, words won’t be cut out at the beginning or end of sentences.

7. Dictate in your best voice.

Speak clearly, at a normal pace and directly into the microphone.

8. ​Adopt the phonetic alphabet for spellings.

Spell out unusual words, names and technical terms using the phonetic alphabet, for example use “November” for the letter “n” as this can often get confused with the letter “m”.

9. Give prompts for lists.

Advise your typist when they’re to start a numbered or bulleted list so they use the right formatting technique. Similarly, state when the list is finished so they know when to return to normal paragraphs.

10. Fix any dictation errors.

We all make mistakes. Should something go awry and you need to review a short section of dictation, simply rewind and re-record this section.

With Quill Type, a service powered by Document Direct, by subscribing to our document management software, your typist has access to your precedents and templates set up in your house style. Typed documents are uploaded straight to back into your document management software for review once complete. Find out more.