grammar & speech language & style

Look who’s talking

Want to compose your documents by voice instead of by keystrokes?

Mom probably never thought that her advice to ‘think before you speak’ applied to technical speaking, but today, that’s all you really need to do to use dictation software.

Current systems are so reliable that even a child’s voice can serve as a suitable input. Not that you’d want baby Kaylie dictating court proceedings, but it’s technologically possible. If you were going to choose Kaylie’s voice, the setup might look something like this:

"Please select a dictator"
Benevolent types only

Fortunately, two decades of steady improvements have untethered the technical speaker from desktops in quiet rooms. You could say that technical speaking is as easy as chattering on a cel phone – if you know exactly what you’re about to say.

By Pam Drucker

Documentation specialist, procedures writer

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