Ways to Boost Your Transcription Skills

by WorkFromHome on May 11, 2011

Being a transcriptionist may sound easy but it could be more difficult than you imagine. Beginning transcriptionists often find this job quite tasking as it requires a specific skill set that not many ordinary people have. Besides razor-sharp typing skills, a transcriptionist needs to be able to easily decipher what he or she hears in order to facilitate its transformation into text. This can often take training and lots of practise. It is a skill that can always be improved no matter how great you already are at it. Much like the blade of a knife, however, it is a skill that can grow dull with time and disuse. The sharper your skills are, the more effective you can become as a transcriptionist, and the more money you can end up making. Here are some tips to help you sharpen your skills as a transcriptionist.

Speed Demon

How fast you are able to type directly translates into how well you do as a transcriptionist. Besides your listening and deciphering skills, it is the most important thing to improve. But no superhero is needed here – a minimum typing speed average of about 50 or 60 words per minute will do just fine to begin with. Once you’ve reached that goal you should still work to improve your speed up to at least 80 words per minute. Practise regularly with typing tutor software to keep a sharp edge on this skill and keep your typing speed at top levels. There are plenty of fun games you can use to keep yourself sharp, and chatting with your friends is another great way of taking your typing speed up a few notches.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Besides staying at the top of your typing speed game, knowing the shortcut keys on your keyboard is important to becoming a top transcriptionist. Try to learn how to eliminate the mouse from your work pattern when transcribing. Having to take your fingers off the keyboard and switch to the mouse will only slow you way down so keep your mouse use to a minimum during transcription or eliminate it altogether. It can be done!

If you are using conventional transcription equipment, cultivate a system that both works for you and makes things as fast as possible. The less time you take switching between tasks, the more time you can spend transcribing.

Listening Aids

Practise your listening and deciphering skills by using sound files that you can find online. Having a sharp ear is essential to being a top transcriptionist, and it’s a handy skill to develop for use in real life too. There are plenty of web sites that offer sample sound files that transcriptionists can use to boost their skills, and most are available for free after a short sign-up process. Practise files come in a variety of speeds and paces for all different levels of skill. Start with files that run at slow, leisurely speeds and work up to the faster ones as you are able. This progressive method will put you on the fast track to being the best transcriptionist you can be.

Transcription Tapes

In addition to online sample sound files, transcription tapes can be purchased that are designed specifically to enhance your skills as a transcriptionist. Tapes are available at a number of different speeds with voices featuring many different accents and inflexions. Getting used to various types of accents is very important in the field of transcription, and these tapes will help to develop both your ability to decipher the human voice as well as your vocabulary.

Keep practising and you will become a great transcriptionist!

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