Are you focused on improving your typing skills because you want a new job, or a better job? In a previous post we talked about some of the employment opportunities you’ll find opening up for you when you’re a top typist, including legal transcriptionist and medical transcriptionist. Transcription in general involves listening to an audio tape or file, or watching a video, and typing what is being said. Most people agree that for English language speakers, the average speaking rate is around 125 words per minute. If you want to be able to type as fast as people speak, that’s the target wpm you need to aim for. Don’t worry – it’s not an impossible goal, even if it seems like it right now. By using the techniques and exercises provided in the Typesy software courses, it’s possible to triple your typing speed; since most average typists start out at around 45wpm, you can see that the goal of 125wpm is well within reach.
One way you can get practice in transcription and challenge yourself is by trying to transcribe what people are saying on the television or radio. For this exercise, you’ll want to find a show that doesn’t have several people talking at once, but rather one person talking at a time. A nature show with narration is a good place to start, or any other documentary. The people hired to narrate these shows are selected for their speaking skills, so you’ll not have a problem understanding them, and they will be speaking relatively slowly. Take your laptop to the living room and type along with the words you hear – but don’t get too caught up in the videos of the cute lion cubs or the history of space exploration while you’re typing!
The television is useful for another typing exercise in transcription if you turn on the “captioning” option. The people who are typing in the captions have to type quickly, as quickly as the words come, but there will be a delay between the spoken words and the words that appear on the screen. You can test yourself to see if you can type the captions faster than they appear, or you can turn the sound off and type the captions as you read them on the screen. Is it faster for you to type what you see, or what you hear? Practice what you’re good at to get better, and focus on where you’re slower to improve your speed.