Would you like to be able to tell your computer “Answer Skype” when Skype rings and you’re in the middle of typing a report in Word without interrupting your typing AND still be able to talk on Skype? If the answer is yes, read on.
More people use voice commands on their mobile phones than ever before and the use of voice commands on the computer are rising as well.
The biggest complaint in the past has been that voice recognition software simply doesn’t work well and it’s more frustrating than helpful. But according to Vlad Sejnoha, chief technical officer at Nuance, maker of the Dragon speech-to-text software for Windows, Macs, iPhones and iPads “You need not talk like a robot to be understood by one.”
Things have come a long way and if you follow these then ten tips when using voice recognition software the results may just amaze you.
TIP 1: Train the Program to Recognize YOUR voice
This is the very first step you should do. Windows 7 Speech Recognition and most Speech Recognition software includes a training module so the computer learns to understand the nuance of your diction, articulation and pronunciation as well as your voice patterns.
TIP 2: Speak Naturally
Vlad Sejnoha says, “Dragon’s software learns speech styles and tics over time, and you want to aim for a natural speaking flow. And it helps to think out what you’re going to say before you say it.” Keep in mind at the beginning it’s not going to be perfect but the more you use it, the more accurate it gets.
TIP 3: Correct Mistakes
Review content for all typos and bad punctuation and fix any mistakes. That’s how the software learns.
TIP 4: Invest in a Good Microphone
One of the most important elements of speech recognition is the quality and position of the microphone. If your voice commands can’t be heard clearly your computer will never learn to understand your commands.
TIP 5: Speak Your Punctuation
Remember to speak your punctuation. For example, you’ll need to say, period at the end of every sentence and question mark at the end of each question. At the beginning of each sentence you’ll say, “Capital” (and then the letter).
TIP 6: Show Numbers
This is a great little tip. If you have a screen full of links and buttons you don’t have to always say the words. Try using this command, “Show numbers.” WSR Macros will superimpose numbers over every control in the window. Then you can just pick the one you want by saying the number and OK to confirm. It’s much quicker.
TIP 7: What Can I Say?
Not sure what you can say? This friendly command will help you out. When you ask your computer, “What can I say?” a list of available commands is displayed. Some important commands to remember are: -Start listening,-Stop listening, Open (and then the program name), Scroll up, and Scroll Down. Memorize or write down the commands you use most frequently.
TIP 8: Update Dictionary
Add any frequently used words that the voice recognition program doesn’t understand, especially proper names or departments, to the speech dictionary.
TIP 9: Spell it
If the computer is having trouble recognizing a word you are saying, try this. Say “Spell it.” The Spelling screen opens up and you spell the word and then confirm with an “OK.”
TIP 10: Give it a Whirl for Free
Basic VR is built into Windows 7 and 8, so you can try it on a new PC for free. And Mac OS X Mavericks has pretty reasonable VR built in. So give it a shot. When it’s free, there’s little risk.
Regardless of whether you use the built-in tools in Windows 7 or a third-party program like Dragon NaturallySpeaking, voice recognition lets you work with your PC intuitively and efficiently. Sure, there’s a bit of a learning curve–for you and the software –but in the end, it’s worth the effort.