Verbal rewriting is very different from how people normally write. Instead of reading the source and handling your pen and putting pen on paper, you read your original materials and you’d quickly think about what you’re going to say, and then you start dictating.
There’s a lot of different skill sets involved, and you follow a different process. As challenging as this may sound, it’s not as hard as you think. It all depends on how you prepare. Follow the steps below, and you will succeed.
Step #1: Read your source at least three times
Give yourself enough time to familiarize yourself with the source materials. You will quickly know what you’re going to be talking about, as well as the big picture idea behind the source.
When you read your materials three times, you familiarize yourself with the inner workings of the content, you are going to be verbally rewriting. You don’t necessarily have to be an expert, but you at least have to know what the major points are and how they relate to each other. Most importantly, you should have a clear idea as to what the objective of the original source is.
Step #2: Mentally list out the main points of the source
This step is crucial. Every single day, we read a lot of materials. But generally speaking, most of that material is quickly forgotten. Still, we’re able to make use of these materials because we focus on the main points, we look at the big picture, we get an understanding of the context of these pieces of information.
The same goes with verbal rewriting. Mentally list out the main points of the source that you just read. Don’t focus on memorizing everything or getting everything completely right. Instead, be clear as possible as to the three main points of the source. This is good enough.
Step #3: Mentally rehearse what you’re going to say
Now that you have a clear understanding of the main points of the source, mentally verbalize the things that you are going to say about those three points. You have to understand that when you verbally rewrite, you are putting the original source in your own words, as well as in a different structure.
You don’t have to copy the same structure and flow. You’re free to reorganize the materials as you see fit. The idea, of course, is to reorganize the ideas in such a way that it makes better sense and is easier for the reader to process.
This is where mental rehearsal comes in. Because the more you play around with the sequence of information as well as how you’re going to phrase things, the things become clearer. You start identifying a much better way to say the main points of the original source.
Step #4: Clear your throat a few times
When you clear your throat, you’re actually sending a signal to your body to relax. Your body in turn, is reminding your mind to loosen up. You operate on two different levels and you basically reset your body and mind so you’re more relaxed and focused at the same time.
Step #5: Slowly breathe deep and loosen up
When you allow yourself to truly relax, a lot of the stress about what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, and how well you know the source materials start to die down. The less stress is in your mind, the better and clearer your dictation will be.
Besides deep breathing, slowly move your neck around in a small tight semi-circle to loosen up neck and jaw muscles.
Step #6: Verbally speed through the main point
By this point, you should have tossed around and rehashed and played around with the things that you’re going to say. By quickly going through the main points and exploring the related points or evidence or supporting materials that backup the main points, your dictation is pretty much complete. Most of the time, main points appear as headings.
But you have to quickly go through this process several times until you find the best version. You won’t be able to do this unless you verbally speed through the main points, everything else starts to fall into place. Pretty soon, you know exactly what to say and when to say it.
Step #7: Start recording
Believe it or not, this is the hardest part. Because at this point, a part of you wants to be perfect. This part of you wants you to say everything at the right time to produce the right effect. Unfortunately, you will never ever produce perfect work.
You have to make a decision to start and this is the most important part because once you’ve gone through the first six steps, you have to make a firm decision to click that start button and get through the process.
By following the seven steps above repeatedly from project to project, pretty soon you will reach a point where you will produce high quality verbal dictations. Don’t expect your verbal rewriting skills to produce perfect materials the first time around. The good news? Practice makes perfect.
I’ve been dictation blogging for over 9 years now and it’s truly changed my life. I teach fellow bloggers the ins and outs of voice blogging so they can take their productivity to a whole new level.