Blog

If I Could Speak as Easily as I Write

A few months ago when I was struggling with vertigo, I tried to use my voice-to-text feature on my computer to write. It was an excellent idea that failed miserably. Picking up a pen or putting my hands on the keyboard has a tactile quality important to my writing.

I wonder if it is muscle memory, or perhaps that nanosecond pause shifting the signal from my brain to my fingertips that makes the difference. My mother always said “think before you speak”. I think she had a point.

I can speak in public — larger groups are better for me than intimate groups. Public speaking is a bit of an out-of-body experience. I remember the first major corporate project I ran. I was asked to speak to the board in the board room.

The board room was hallowed ground. To speak there was either an honored invitation or a dreaded summons. Being part of the IT department, I was there often establishing video conferences in days when that was a huge and expensive proposition. But to speak was an entirely different animal.

I received a number of kudos that day and I did not understand it really. I remember speaking, but it was more like me watching a movie of someone else talking. Our board president told me I was in the wrong business, that I should be in front of people speaking. His comment floored me. A career involving public speaking would never have interested me.

I have done some voice-to-text writing since then, but my enunciation seems to trip the programming up. Back in those corporate days we implemented voice recognition software for a voice response unit we were testing. Local dialogue differences (this was Maine with heavy New England accents) often tripped up the software. The technology has come a long way.

Writing has always been the easier path for me. The technology allowing people to write through voice is amazing and such a valuable tool.

I am not giving up yet. I will continue to try it – and maybe improve my lazy enunciation.