TLABC’s recent Brain Injury seminar threw into sharp relief the perception of Dragon users that they will succeed with the software on their own (and a select few will) OR that 85% accuracy is acceptable. I was surprised at the number of doctors and lawyers who approached our booth just to exclaim that they tried or are using Dragon but do not feel that it is working for them. Others felt they were using the software well with a rate of 85% accuracy. And some even admitted that they feel they were missing some key information in order to obtain the most out of the software.
It’s difficult for me to gauge what the medical or legal practitioner is looking to gain from such a conversation. I can nod, listen and know deep down that what they speak is the truth — for those who set up and teach themselves Dragon. If I immediately chime in explaining that the highest rate of software abandonment occurs with those who teach themselves Dragon, it sounds like a segue into a sales pitch for our services (which, in truth, it is — but for the primary purpose of my innate desire to help because I truly enjoy assisting others in using Dragon successfully; I still maintain that Dragon is the most incredible piece of software out there, and 13 years later I am still passionate about it).
For those who wish to understand why Dragon is not working optimally for them, I explain that Dragon’s accuracy and efficacy is contingent on:
- Adequate hardware,
- Quality microphone (not what was purchased at a local electronics store or necessarily what is on Nuance’s list of suggested devices),
- The right version of Dragon (believe me, Nuance would not spend the time working on a medical version of Dragon with over 50 vocabularies if it did not make a difference in accuracy),
- How the software was installed (yes, there can be more to it than sticking in the disk and performing a basic installation),
- The manner in which a user trains and dictates to Dragon,
- Learning to use the numerous features within Dragon effectively, and
- Knowing which methods of using Dragon are actually a hindrance to accuracy and productivity and which will promote accuracy and productivity.
I understand that people do not like to be told that their computer is inadequate or the microphone they spent good money on is not suitable for the purpose. It’s a painful admission that some individuals take personally. And they shouldn’t. How is a user supposed to know all of the above points on their own? Nuance cannot provide the above information in appropriate detail — after all, they are a corporation with a product and the goal is simply to sell as many products as possible. This is why Nuance has VARs (Value Added Resellers).
And that is precisely where a consultative specialist is useful. That is where Speakeasy Solutions Inc. can help. Yes, here comes the sales pitch, and while I’m the first to abhor most sales pitches, I also recognize when I truly need help in accomplishing an important goal or task in my life. And for that, I look to the experts. And Speakeasy Solutions Inc. are experts in our field.
Before You Buy Dragon
It’s always preferable when we can work with a prospective client before they go to a big box store and buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home or Premium. Home and Premium will only disappoint for a variety of reasons (features, vocabulary, speed, usability, accuracy etc.).
Speakeasy Solutions Inc. works with prospects to determine which version of Dragon best suits their needs, along with the most appropriate microphone or digital recorder. These peripheral devices are not all created equal, and we make a point of testing anything that appears as though it may be superior to our current offerings. Providing the best is what we do. I wouldn’t settle for anything less, and neither should our clients.
While we encourage clients to take a complete package solution (benefits include free remote technical support, ask questions by email, word lists, sample voice commands, Canadian language vocabulary etc.) so that they can be up and running as quickly as possible, we are also happy to provide product only and are, of course, available after the fact for our services if needed (although without all the aforementioned value added).
After You Buy Dragon
Speakeasy Solutions Inc. can still be of service to you if you buy your products elsewhere, not knowing of our existence until after the fact.
We will need to assess your current hardware and software, as well as your intended use for speech recognition. We may provide you with a different microphone or digital recorder, or we can work with your desired equipment.
We provide training in two hour sessions. On site if in the Vancouver area or you desire us to travel to you. Remote services (remote desktop viewing software and telephone or Skype) are provided Canada wide.
We review Dragon’s options and settings with you. The default settings for Dragon’s options are definitely not designed for the most effective use of the software but are supposedly designed to make things easier for those teaching themselves.
We review basic editing methods for speed as this is the backbone of what you do day in and day out. Sadly, the tutorials within Dragon and their supporting documentation do not teach the most efficient methods for creating and editing text. Why? Again, these methods are considered easier for self-taught individuals. The methods Speakeasy Solutions Inc. teach are designed to be the quickest — however, we are also adaptive in realizing when a client thinks in such a way that the most efficient for THEM would be an alternate method for accomplishing the same task.
We cover time-saving voice commands incorporating applications you use every day such as legal time keeping programs, medical EMRs (electronic medical record), MS Office, Internet etc. My rule is that if a task is repetitious and takes more than 3-5 keystrokes and/or mouse clicks, I’ll create a Dragon command to perform that task for me. It IS faster.
If your needs are more advanced in that you wish to use Dragon on multiple PCs, or wish to use multiple devices (microphone, wireless, digital recorder etc.) or have an assistant perform your corrections and proofreading for you, we assist you there as well.
Using Dragon is starting to sound a little complex by now, isn’t it? Well, in truth, it can be. However, with our support and assistance, we can guide you to the most effective use of Dragon for YOU. And we can do so quickly. A new user usually requires 3 two-hour sessions and an experienced user anywhere from 1 to 2 (sometimes even 3) two-hour sessions. You may wonder if you need that much training? You may not and I will certainly match your pace for learning, but in over 10 years teaching Dragon, these are the averages. And if you only wish to learn very specific aspects of Dragon, we are happy to restrict our instruction to such matters. My personal goal, however, is to help clients soar with Dragon — not just use it.
Why Speakeasy Solutions Inc. for Training?
- I point to our web and blog testimonials for starters.
- Saving you time and money.
- As a trainer, I have been using Dragon for over 17 years, teaching for over 14.
- I am passionate and live, eat and breathe the software — I have to as I have upper limb limitations.
- We have developed our own training materials, geared specifically for efficient use of Dragon by doctors, lawyers and professionals.
- If I do not have an immediate answer to your query, I will find an answer and get back to you.
- I am a dynamic teacher, adapting to your computer knowledge level, desired speed for learning, and the applications that you use.
- Our clients are my best teachers — you all tell me what is most important to you, which assists in my ability to teach others.
- I am driven by efficiency, and value time — yours and mine. I am on a never ending quest to find the most time-saving method for performing most tasks, and I’m happy to share this knowledge.
- I am a natural problem-solver, conversant with a wide array of applications and quickly assessing Dragon’s level of compatibility with those I am unfamiliar with — and provide workaround methods for using incompatible applications with Dragon.
- Honesty. This one, I feel, is vital, and bears repeating. Honesty. We will always be honest and forthright with what can or cannot be accomplished with the technologies we provide.
- Sincerity. We enjoy developing ongoing relationships with our clients to see that they continue to benefit from using the provided solution. We are here for YOU.
Can Speakeasy Solutions Inc. Assist You?
There is no doubt that there are exceptions and a minority of individuals who do manage to eventually use Dragon successfully on their own. These individuals have generally spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with the software or are satisfied with what they have learned. However, if any of the following applies to you, perhaps we can help:
- Achieving less than 99% accuracy.
- Feel that Dragon is not saving you time.
- A sense that there is more to be gained from using Dragon.
- Dragon is not functioning in the applications needed.
- Unsure how to use Dragon with an assistant.
- Wish to take advantage of additional devices such as a digital recorder, but uncertain how to do so.
- Unfamiliar with voice command creation to control applications, create documents from templates etc.
Whether you are new to Dragon, undecided if the technology is a fit for your practice, or have been a long-time user, Speakeasy Solutions Inc. may be of some service to you.
Based in Vancouver, BC, we provide on site visits, and outside the region we conduct sessions remotely via the Internet. Either way — from the comfort of your office.
When contacting Speakeasy Solutions Inc., ask for myself, Alexandria. If I am unavailable, ask for a brief telephone appointment at a mutually convenient time or leave me a voice mail. I look forward to speaking with you!