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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.

23 thoughts on “If I Could Speak as Easily as I Write”

  1. I have never used voice to text on anything. I like the feeling of typing, as much as I once enjoyed writing on paper. I did a fair bit of public speaking during my time as a Union Organiser in the Ambulance Service. I think my largest audience was only around 100 people though.
    When I worked as a volunteer for the Fire and Rescue Service after I retired to Beetley, I was asked to address groups or elderly people or schoolchildren on issues of Fire Safety. That was a lot easier than debating political issues as a Trade Unionist. Though one old lady once called out, “Hurry up, we are waiting for the Bingo to start!” 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. I’ve thought about trying the voice-to-text feature, but it’s so much faster for me to type then to think about what to say. Odd, isn’t it? Still I might try it if I get curious/bored enough.

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    1. It is odd, but you are right. When we speak out loud, there is some other force at hand that causes a delay. This might be the reason speeches are written out for the speaker. You should try it, just to experience it. Punctuation got in my way.

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    1. It is an odd phenomena that speaking takes more thought than writing. I wonder if it has something to do with hearing what you are speaking?

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  3. I can relate to your boardroom experience. You must have done a really good job because those folks don’t hand out compliments like candy.

    I find the voice to text feature in Word to be far better than Sri (the only other VtoT technology I use.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those executives are a growly bunch, aren’t they? You are right, they do not offer up compliments easily so I guess I did a decent job. I was using Word with my Mac. I wonder if it would be different on a different device?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Horsefeathers, Maggie. I could tell you about my many meltdowns with voice menus. When I got an Alexa, I really didn’t expect it to understand my voice. There’s a certain pitch that even now, the software has difficulty hearing — of course I have that pitch… Such fun… Anyhow, you’re right that it has advanced. I’ve been pleased with Alexa, and with YouTube’s automatic closed captioning of a narrated book trailer I made. It only made a couple of mistakes. Impressive.
    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teagan, when I was doing web design work, we often produced client videos and used YouTube’s CC. I agree, it did do a decent job. Punctuation threw me off, having to state when to start a new paragraph, or insert a comma or quotes. Not as easy as typing it as you write.

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  5. My daughter often speaks her texts to me when she is driving. Hilarious mistakes occur regularly. Apparently she speaks too fast for the robot to understand her. At least we get amused.

    Liked by 2 people

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