7 Speaking Tips to Improve Your Transcript

In face-to-face conversation we use facial expressions, gestures, and body language to provide context and make our points. In an audio file for transcription, our voices say it all. Poor vocal quality in an audio file can negatively impact a project timeline and cost. Good vocal quality in an audio file has positive impact and value. The way we use our voice – how we speak, when we talk, and what we do – gives context and clarity to the information being recorded and the transcription document being typed. Read the seven speaking tips below to learn how.

  1. Enunciate, pronunciate, and articulate. Clear consonants and distinct words increase understandability and clarity. Don’t mumble. Avoid blurring sounds, syllables, words, and sentences together.
  2. Be speed savvy and volume vigilant. Pay attention to the rate of your speech and modulate it – not too fast, not too slow. Resist soft, low, or breathy speech; shouting; and whispering.
  3. Incorporate pauses. Brief, contextual pauses between sentences and paragraphs helps the transcriptionist effectively and efficiently type in tandem with your rate of speech.
  4. One person at a time. If more than one person is participating in the audio recording, (for example, a conference call or meeting), avoid interrupting and talking over each other.
  5. Say it again, please. If you are using acronyms, give the full title before or after you say the acronym.
  6. ID yourself. Give your name when you first start to talk. It takes out the guesswork of who is talking for both the participants and the typist, keeping things moving smoothly in an even flow.
  7. Location, location, location. Position yourself at the appropriate distance away from the microphone so static is minimized and audio pick-up is maximized. Many systems give ideal distances to place the recording equipment. Refrain from activities with extraneous noise that could be picked up by the microphone (for example, chewing gum, eating food or candy, slurping drinks, shuffling or rustling papers).