A few years back, I made the above video. It demonstrated how to train Dragon using your own stories and writing style by ignoring the built-in texts the program provided (notice the past tense). It’s not so relevant anymore as it was recorded using Dragon 13, which was discontinued back in 2018. But the idea behind it is as relevant as ever.
One of the things I’ve long advocated is that Dragon is only useful if it can be molded to your personal writing style. You need it to understand not just your voice but what you actually write – whether that’s non-fiction, historical romance, science fiction, horror or anything in between.
There is a wealth of customisation you can do to your profile in order to get sky-high accuracy no matter which genre you write in (too much to list here, but it’s all covered in detail in my course). But a great starting point was always to simply ignore the training that was built into Dragon itself. Why would you do this? Because it asked you to dictate things you didn’t write!
I never really understood why Dragon, out-of-the-box, used to lead people down the wrong path like this. The built-in “training” would automatically trigger during setup; even worse, the program would nag you to do it later on if you hadn’t already. But all it ever did was get the program to understand a generic set of words and phrases that the person dictating had no hand in ever creating.
My philosophy was always to ignore them and perform your own training by reading Dragon your own work, correcting it, then doing it some more. Thankfully, these training texts have been completely removed in version 15, confirming that the “teach yourself” method was always the correct one.
This is more important now than ever. Have you ever noticed how you don’t need to “train” Siri, Google Assistant etc beyond a few simple words (e.g. “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?”) on first launch? That’s because they are also designed to work well with generic phrases – the second you start using them for anything a bit longer and more complex, the accuracy falls apart.
Dragon is like that. It’s always been able to adjust itself and tweak its algorithms based on your own voice and writing style. Thank goodness you no longer have to set it up to fail from the beginning.
Oh, and don’t run Accuracy Tuning more than once either. You can thank me later. 🙂