Monday, 4 March 2019

Loud and Strong Writing Using Apple’s Dictation Software

Last week, before my computer had a total meltdown and spent nearly 2 weeks getting fixed, I started using Dictation so that I could read my handwritten articles out loud and the computer could type them for me.

This was great for two reasons.

Firstly, it eliminated my need to type them myself which is good because I don’t like typing. It’s such a boring job.

Secondly, it was much faster to speak my articles than to type them and Apple’s Dictation software is pretty accurate.

The only downside (which is probably a good thing really) was that I realised how badly written they were when I had to read them out loud.

I've read many times that reading your work out loud is the best way to look for grammatical errors and clumsy sentences. There's even one copywriter who says he reads his sales pages out loud a minimum of nine times because he wants readers to focus on the sales message and not be tripped up by sentences that are hard to read.

And this morning I read an article about Warren Buffett that said when he writes his annual letter to the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, he writes it as though it is a personal letter to his two sisters, who are shareholders, and he pretends that they've been away for a year so he is explaining to them what has happened to their investment during that time.

He says that doing this makes his letter understandable and interesting to all his shareholders no matter what business level they are at.

And this is probably good advice for all writing, and that is, to write as though you're actually talking to someone you know. That way it makes you write more understandably and clearly.

This is where I think Dictation will help because “speaking” my articles out loud makes me see the mistakes in my writing instantly.

Sadly, I had to delete over a dozen blog posts I'd written, once I saw how bad they were when I read them out loud for Dictation.

But on the other hand, it's probably better all round that I didn't publish them.

And so I'm still going to continue using Dictation.

For all our sakes.


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