Force Dragon to Understand Your Writing Style

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. 🙂


Correct Headset Position – A Quick Tip

Forgive me for telling you how to do something as simple as wearing a headset, but…

A good quality wired headset is a great tool to have – they are lightweight, easily portable and can give great results. This video highlights a quick trick to ensure you position it correctly first time, every time.


Talking the Talk: Dragon Dictation – Self Publishing Formula Podcast Interview with Mark Dawson and James Blatch

Want some more Dragon tips and a FREE cheatsheet? I’m interviewed on this week’s edition of the Self Publishing Formula Podcast with Mark Dawson and James Blatch – check it out below:

SPF-060: Talking the Talk – with Dragon Dictation expert Scott Baker

You can listen to this one, of course, or see my ugly mug in glorious technicolor via the wonders of video. Whichever method you choose, I hope you pick up some handy tips – oh, and be sure to download the FREE cheatsheet I’ve so lovingly prepared.

Big thanks to Mark and James!


Using Dictation to Supercharge Your Writing Output – The Author Biz Podcast Interview

I was lucky enough to be interviewed for this week’s edition of The Author Biz podcast with Stephen Campbell. Now here’s the interesting thing – Stephen is a bit of a sceptic when it comes to dictation but, by the end of the interview, he had rushed out to buy a copy of Dragon. We had a terrific chat and he became convinced of the benefits of dictation – and transcription in particular – as a result.

Training Your Dragon with Scott Baker Author Biz Podcast interview image

There are lots of great tips for beginners and newbies alike. Check it out – and thanks, Stephen!

7 Days of Dragon Tips – Day 7: Training Dragon with Your Own Documents


It’s the last day of Dragon tips!

You can make Dragon significantly more accurate by feeding it documents you have written. In this video you’ll see how to do this in both the PC and Mac versions of the program.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series – please let me know if there’s anything else you would like to learn about in the future!


7 Days of Dragon Tips – Day 6: Why you should only use TextEdit with Dragon for Mac


Dragon for Mac 5 has serious issues with most of the major word processors on the Mac. In this video, you’ll see what happens when you try to use Dragon in Pages, Google Docs, Scrivener, LibreOffice and Word 2016.


7 Days of Dragon Tips – Day 5: Using Headsets with Voice Recorders for Transcription


Tip number 5!

If you’ve decided to buy a voice recorder for portable recordings, you might want to use a headset to free up your hands when moving around. Any one will do, right?


This quick video shows you the type of headset you will need and how to set it up with your recorder.

Mini ‘Deadcat’ Furry Windshields: Amazon US (add a small elastic band if it’s loose – be warned, these can tickle the corner of your mouth!)


7 Days of Dragon Tips – Day 4: The Problem with Full Text Control in Dragon for Mac


Dragon requires programs on the Mac to grant it Full Text Control – not a problem in TextEdit but a nightmare in, say, Scrivener. This video shows you how to deal with these issues and stop your cursor going crazy when making corrections.


7 Days of Dragon Tips – Day 3: Using USB Mics with Smartphones for Transcription


Another day… another tip!

Smartphones are terrific for recording audio files anywhere that can be transcribed later. The problem? Some built-in mics are patchy and high-quality external headsets guaranteed to be compatible are hard to come by.

The solution? Use a USB mic or headset. This can be handy if you already use a quality USB mic and want to take it with you on your travels. With an OTG cable or Lightning Adapter, you’ll be transcribing with your smartphone at sky-high accuracy levels in no time.

Links mentioned in the video:
Samson GoMic: USUK
Plantronics Blackwire: USUK
Apple Lightning to USB 3 Adapter: USUK