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What is your Dictation Style?

Guide to Dictation

Improve your dictation style with these handy hints from OutSec!

Dictation can vastly improve your productivity.  Did you know that it takes a typist approximately three or four times the length of a dictated file to transcribe the file?  This is for the simple fact that we can all speak faster than trained typists can type. Therefore dictation can free up your time by 35% to 40%, allowing you to be more productive.

It therefore allows you to concentrate on more important tasks at work. For example, it could allow you to develop relationships with your existing clients and potential clients.  In addition you can concentrate on expanding your business network.

As a result of technology moving very quickly, digital dictation options are becoming more and more attractive.  There is a vast range of digital dictation machines along with the use of smartphones and apps turning your mobile phone into a recording device.

Whatever device you choose to use, the basic rules are the same.  Here, we share some useful tips on how to dictate properly. This will ensure your work is more complete and returned to you in a timely manner.


  • Maintain a distance of approximately 15 cm (6 inches) from the recorder/iPhone/Android.
  • Do not rest the device on your chest or place the device to close to your mouth as distortion could occur.


  • Limit recording in a busy environment or when you are on the move.
  • For example, dictating in a car or on a train will distort the quality of the recording and potentially hurt your typist’s ear.
  • If you are dictating outside on site, we suggest using a wind blocker which will aide in the reduction of external noises such as wind, rain, traffic, roadworks etc.

Information is key!

  • Start every dictation with your name and the day’s date.
  • Clearly state what you are dictating and which template the typist should select from the templates we hold on file for you.
  • A lot of time can be wasted trying to “hunt down” which template is to be used!

Clear and Concise!

  • Maintain a clear, consistent tone and speed.
  • Speak slowly. Otherwise smaller in-between words are not heard clearly enough.
  • In-between words like “is, at, of, are” are very important words, even though they may not seem to be.
  • Punctuate clearly.  State where you require new paragraphs , for example.
  • Indicate bullet/numbered lists or how many columns needed for a table.

Spell it out!

  • Spell out any names, places or addresses
  • You could spell Tracey another way like Tracy or Tracie.
  • To ensure we have this correct for you please spell out names/places.

The End!

  • Most importantly state “end of dictation” when you have finished dictating – a lot of people leave their recording device running!

We hope these tips will provide guidance on how to improve your dictation style.

About OutSec the UK’s Leading Online Transcription Company

OutSec is the UK’s leading online transcription company whose business has grown substantially since 2002. We are one of the most successful transcription companies in the United Kingdom.

OutSec are both ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials certified.

If information, data security and confidentiality is important to you, do not just cross your fingers when outsourcing transcription to meet your typing needs.

Therefore, if you are agreeing a contract which deals with sensitive data, demand ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials compliance.  They are more than logos! These information security standards set the bar high.  It takes constant review, challenge and action to receive and retain them. They also provide assurances that OutSec are indeed GDPR compliant.

OutSec provides secure outsourced transcription services to the medical, legal, property and surveying, media and interviews, inventories, financial, commercial, HR, recruitment and Executive Search sectors.

If you wish more details on OutSec’s services please feel free to call us on 01366 348088.

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Clients Include:

Here are just a few of our valued clients:

Translate Media University of Salford Strutt & Parker Allied Surveyors & Valuers Carter Jonas Yorkshire Surveyors Bidwells Innes Associates Gregorys Tesson Consulting Beechlands Accountancy Services Consil Surveying Birley Steels Lightfoot Arnolds Keys Croyland Building Surveyors Ward Howard Chartered Surveyors BP2 Property Feather Smailes Scales Devonshire Partnership Rettie & Co Wright Consulting