How To Use Dictation To Boost Productivity

10 min read

How To Use Dictation To Boost Productivity


“Hey Siri, what’s the weather today?”

“Alexa, turn off the living room lights.”

“Hey Google, which city is the tech capital of the world?”

Most of us are familiar with using our voice through dictation to make things more efficient in day-to-day life. But as much as voice dictation tools have advanced, many CEOs and leaders are still stuck in old, uninspired ways of utilizing voice dictations. 

It’s time to start using dictations in new, innovative ways to get more leverage into the office of the CEO while providing better experiences to the people that matter most.

How Can You Boost Your Productivity Superpowers With Dictation?

Strong communications are essential to building solid relationships for lasting impact.

I want to show you exactly why, when, and how to take dictation to a whole new level using your voice to create amazing experiences and build deeper relationships.

This article shows you how to boost productivity with dictation, including …

  1. Why To Use Dictation.
  2. A True Story Demonstrating the Power of Dictation in Action.
  3. How To Use Dictation.
  4. When To Use Dictation.
  5. Utilizing Your Voice To Create Amazing Experiences.
  6. How to Boost Your Productivity Superpowers With Dictation.
  7. 3-Points for Crafting the Perfect Communication.
  8. Dictation Pitfalls: How To Avoid 4 Common Mistakes.
  9. Dictation Automation: Task Management and Beyond.
  10. In Pursuit of Perfect Communication & Next Steps.

Why Use Dictation? 

At Mindmaven, we’ve been working for the last decade to refine and improve how we communicate and build relationships, focusing on becoming better communicators and gaining more opportunities through improved relationships. 

By utilizing dictations combined with an effective Engagement Manager (EM – more on this later), we have developed the most powerful way to use your voice + tech to increase productivity and mindshare with your network.

How To Use Dictation

You can use dictation in a variety of ways, including

  • Delegating: Assigning tasks with enough context via the tone and concern in your voice to increase velocity by creating fewer questions for the assignee.
  • Debriefing: Following up on meetings and recording practical/important information quickly.
  • Messaging: Creating personalized experiences via draft dictations that keep you top of mind and ensure people think of you when they come across future opportunities.

When To Use Voice Dictations

A valuable time to implement voice dictations is when trying to gain business opportunities through relationships. 

Dictations become even more potent for startups that rely on relationships to generate critical revenue.

Consider email, Slack, and other text-based forms of communication. We often use these to communicate with people we care about in our network and stay in touch. 

Text-based messaging runs business; there’s no way to avoid it. Yet most of us don’t put enough effort into delivering a great experience—often because we don’t have the time to do so. 

Many emails can end up as straight-to-the-point one-liners, or worse, one-liners that miss the point.

Imagine being able to send a paragraph or two, full of context, appreciation, emotion, and value that the recipient cares about, in as much time as it took you to write a one-liner.

Use Your Voice To Create Amazing Experiences

Imagine you come out of a really positive meeting where you learned valuable info about the person you met—what they care about, their goals, and their challenges. You then take two minutes (yes, two minutes) to record a dictation that, through Mindmaven magic, becomes a follow-up email that is readable and in your voice.  

Your personal touches provide instant value to the reader based on what you learned about them. 

Quick Tip: Make a note of this information on your CRM tool as a reminder of details discussed. This will help keep your messages personal and relevant for future follow-ups.  See how you can use this to craft “We met” statements.

I’m not just talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Transcription Tech. We find that the most efficient way to get the best from dictation is by utilizing tech and working with an Executive Assistant, or better yet, an Engagement Manager.

An Engagement Manager (EM) is a hybrid between a high-level Executive Assistant (EA) and a Chief of Staff, which is also something we can help with. 

Discover how to turn an Executive Assistant (EA) into an Engagement Manager (EM) Rockstar.

How To Boost Your Productivity Superpowers With Dictation

Here are a few helpful steps to effectively use a dictation system to create powerful, compelling messages.

  • 1. Empower Your EM Rockstar
  • 2. The Dictation Header
  • 3. The Dictation’s Core.

1. Empower Your EM Rockstar

First, you’ll need to have a relationship built on trust with your Engagement Manager (EM).

Your EM will need to know you well enough and access enough context (your inbox and calendar) to speak in your voice and translate your speech into readable and professional messages your recipients will love.

(If you need help getting to this level with your EA read this or contact us below, we’d love to help!)

2. The Dictation Header

Once you’ve got a great EM relationship, there are a few things to include in your dictations to ensure your EM can easily understand and act. 

Be sure to start your dictation with clear and concise instructions on what you’re asking. We call this a dictation header. 

An example of a dictation header would look like this:

“Hey, Gina. This is a draft request for Sarah Hartman, whom I met with earlier today.”

3. The Dictation’s Core

Once you’ve got the header down, you can get to the good stuff. Namely, commentary on what you know/learned/appreciate about the recipient. 

Use personal interest to craft messages your recipient will love to read. If your recipient feels good and that you genuinely care about their best interests, then that helps strengthen your relationship.

Be sure that your EM knows to structure the email correctly. The following three steps are a great starting point.

3-Points for Crafting the Perfect Communication

  • 1. Start with something positive, something you learned about the person, or something you appreciate them. 
  • 2. Share the impact of how that helps you or makes life better. 
  • 3. Finish with an offer to help them solve one of the challenges you learned they have. You can also add any next steps either of you agreed to undertake while in the meeting.

Creating unique follow-up messages will do wonders for your relationship and the long-term benefits that mutual collaborations and shared connections can bring. 

Quick Tip: Find out more about crafting the perfect communications for email.  

Dictation Pitfalls: How To Avoid Common Mistakes

When learning a new modality of working, a new tech system, or a new habit, there are a variety of mistakes that can reduce the system’s effectiveness. 

Here are 4 common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

1. Don’t Restart

You might get convoluted when making the dictation recording. When this happens, avoid the instinct to stop and restart your dictation. If you stop and start several times, you’ll take as much time as you would have by typing the whole email. 

Instead, pause the recording until you’re ready to continue, let the recording be blank as you gather your thoughts and then speak, or move on to the next item on this list.

2. Ask Specifically

Be sure to ask your EM to clean up poor or confusing sentences. You’ll know when you say it, so let your EM know they can improve it. 

For example, you might dictate: 

I found it really, um, cool or …  neat that you shared that story about being engaged in some activity with Americorps at the start of your professional journey … Please clean up that sentence.”

When you cue your EM to “Clean up that sentence,” your draft might come back like this: 

Your story really inspired me about how you started your professional journey volunteering with Americorps.”

Especially early on in your relationship with your EM, you’ll need to remind them to make any unpolished sentences clear and readable to your recipient.

3. Provide Clarity

Be aware of words needing extra clarity. For example, your emails include people’s names, companies, acronyms, software recommendations, locations, and company references. If you say something that could be easily misconstrued or misspelled, clarify how to type it out. Start building awareness around these things with your EM, so you can do this without taking much time explaining it in dictation.

4. Don’t Be Too Brief 

Your instinct may be to dictate emails as you would have written them before: as a simple one-liner. But that defeats the purpose of this system. You can utilize the time-saving speed of talking vs. typing to include as much detail, context, and value as possible in the email. The more context you add for your EM, the better, as it doesn’t take as much time to say it.

Dictation Automation: Task Management and Beyond

By now, being the smart relationship-focused leader you are, you may think this sounds absolutely wonderful. But how does your time saved translate to your EA? How much work does it take to turn these things from spoken thoughts into amazing experiences for your network?

Fortunately, we have devised a way to automate and integrate this into a task management system, which your EA can use to follow through on every dictation every time.

Using tech and automation programs, we take your voice recording, turn it into a task, and run it through a well-defined follow-up process your EA uses to bring it to your inbox. It becomes a finished email, ready for you to review and send.

All you need to do is think, record, and save time while being able to send more emails and messages that deliver unparalleled value. This can improve how good people feel about their relationship with you and increase the chance that people will think of you when relevant opportunities arise.

Perfect Your Communications

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways we have devised to get work done. 

Messaging has the potential to have the most significant impact on your network. Ensure you get it working for you in the most effective way possible.

Dictations, combined with a good working relationship with your EA and an automated task management system, can be one of the best ways of maintaining and deepening relationships.

Next Steps 

If you’re interested in building stronger relationships, getting more from those relationships, becoming a better communicator, having a stronger partnership with your EA, and attracting more opportunities, then we’d love to help you get there in a fraction of the time.

We have been in the business of helping leaders boost their productivity superpowers for a long time now. Multiple top startups and VC firms in Silicon Valley can attest to the power of Mindmaven’s teachings.

If you’d like to learn more about Mindmaven or build a more empowered relationship with your Executive Assistant, or one of our expert Engagement Managers, sign up below to get in touch.

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