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How to Dictate to a Stenographer
KEY WORDS: IN DICTATING, ARRANGE YOUR WORDS IN PHRASES, AND ENUNCIATE DISTINCTLY.
Imagine that you are seated in your office about to dictate a letter to your stenographer.
/ am going to show you how to dictate in such a way that you will not complain that the stenographer is slow, or that she annoys you by continually asking you to repeat.
The secret is this:
1. Arrange your words in phrases, and enunciate distinctly.
Here is the letter you dictate. Head this letter out loud now, enunciating every syllable very distinctly, and speaking the words in groups, as indicated:
Paragraph—"Your letter ... of July sixteenth . . . has been given . . . serious attention. (Paragraph)— What you say . . . about the effect ... of weather conditions ... on the crops ... in the western states . . . interests us . . . very much. (Paragraph)—We are preparing ... a special . . . circular letter . . . based on your information. . . '. We shall send ... a copy of this letter * . .to every customer. (Paragraph)—In the meanwhile, . . . please keep us informed. ... of new developments ... as they arise."
If you dictate by phrases, as indicated, it is not at all likely that your stenographer will ask you to repeat any part of the letter.
2. As you speak, watch the stenographer's pencil, and guide your speed by the speed of the stenographer.
Thus you never speak too rapidly for any stenographer, nor too slowly.
Your phrase groups aid you in thinking clearly, and in writing good English.
You think by phrases, you read by phrases, and you dictate by phrases.
3. When you wish to begin a new paragraph, say "paragraph" in your dictation.
4. Spell out every proper name, and every unusual word.
5. In some cases give the punctuation that you prefer.
Follow these rules, and you will have no trouble with any stenographer.
1. Arrange your words in short phrases.
2. Enunciate very clearly.
3. Speak slowly.
4. Indicate paragraphs.
5. Indicate punctuation when necessary.
6. Spell out all proper names.
7. Spell out unusual words.
Test your ability to dictate to a stenographer by dictating a letter to some friend, who will take it down in long-hand.
How to Talk to a Private Secretary
KEY WORDS: TALK TO A PRIVATE SECRETARY AS YOU WOULD TO A FRIEND, BUT NOT AS YOU WOULD TO YOURSELF.
Imagine that you are seated in your office with your private secretary.
Your morning mail, opened and ready for your inspection, lies before you.
You are about to begin the day's business.
Much of the work is formal, and in the line of daily routine. Some of it is strictly confidential. Some of it is wholly private.
What principles will guide you in your talks with your private secretary?
Let me ask you some preliminary questions:
1. Is it possible that your secretary will ever leave your employ?
2. Is it possible that your secretary will ever become a rival or antagonist?
3. Is it possible that your secretary will ever be unwise in speaking about you?
4. Is it possible that anyone will ever endeavor to procure information through your secretary?
All these things are possible, however improbable they may seem.
Speak, therefore, to your private secretary as you would to a good friend, but always maintain a degree of reserve.
1. Speak very frankly of what is formal and in the daily routine.
2. Be circumspect in regard to what is confidential.
3. Be non-committal as to what is private.
Just before President Wilson gave his great message to Congress calling for war, the whole world was intensely eager to know what he would say.
I have read that the President wrote his speech himself in short hand, and that he himself rewrote it on the typewriter.
It was a speech of the utmost importance. The President was surrounded by the most loyal, honorable, and discreet assistants—the most absolutely trustworthy persons in the United States.
Yet he maintained a reserve.
In that, he showed his greatness.