I think voice dictation is turning me into a better speaker

My process of writing has always been: write a sentence, or half a sentence. Then edit, edit again, and edit some more until I like the way it looks. Rinse, and repeat.

Unfortunately, this tendency also infects my extemporaneous speaking. I do a lot of trying to go back and modify or qualify what I just said. Which doesn’t work out so well when speaking live.

Recently, I’ve been doing more and more of my writing with voice dictation using Dragon Professional. The experience has really brought home to me just how editing-centric is my writing processes.

Dragon does its best to make editing and corrections as easy as possible. But it’s still a bit of a hassle. As a result, my process of composition has been changing. I’ve been moving more of the editing process into my head. I’ve started pausing, thinking through what I want to say, and then saying it.

And of course, during those pauses I can’t say “um” or “uh”, because then Dragon would try to transcribe them.

The upshot is that using voice dictation is having a completely unexpected side effect: I’m pretty sure it is accidentally training me to be a better public speaker.

I’m curious if anyone else has had this experience.


  1. Wow. I have never previously been so tempted to pick up a copy of Dragon and use it. Though I think that’d involve first getting a Windows machine. Mac Dragon exists, but doesn’t seem to work great.

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