How NaturallySpeaking Adjusts to Your Speech - dummies

How NaturallySpeaking Adjusts to Your Speech

By Stephanie Diamond

There are a lot of tips for speaking better, however, remember NaturallySpeaking is pretty adaptable to a wide variety of speech habits. The only speech flaws that can’t be compensated for, in some way, are these two:

  • Skipping or slurring words

  • Pausing between each word (not using continuous speech)

Nearly every other speech peculiarity can be compensated for by training. On the other hand, it may take a lot of training, and maybe you can improve your speech, instead, with less effort.

For instance, if NaturallySpeaking consistently gets the same word wrong, the problem may be that your pronunciation is a bit unusual. Americans, for instance, may hear a reference to a “9 o’clock chicken” when riding to the airport in New Zealand. Instead of a colorful Kiwi phrase for a small commuter plane, the speaker is referring to a “check-in.”

Chickens aside, rather than retrain yourself, you can word-train NaturallySpeaking, or enter a phonetic spelling for the “spoken form” of the word using the Vocabulary Editor. (Of course, if you say “chicken” for “check-in,” what will you say for “chicken?”)

For the most part, NaturallySpeaking is not sensitive to how fast you talk. But very rapid or slow speech may require adjusting NaturallySpeaking settings for better accuracy. NaturallySpeaking looks for a pause as a cue that the next text may be a command. Normally it works best using a quarter-second (250-millisecond) pause, but you can adjust it.

Choose Tools→Options, and then click the Commands tab. Drag the slider for Pause Required Before Commands to the right for longer pauses, left for shorter. If this setting is too short, words may get chopped up. If it is too long, NaturallySpeaking may translate commands as text.