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IPAWS Text-to-Speech Best Practices

This article explains best practices when using text-to-speech in IPAWS.

What is Text-to-Speech

Text-to-Speech (TTS) is rendered, or performed, by a computer. To get the best quality text-to-speech conversion,  it helps to know some basic best practices for message creation. 

How to Use it

Listen to your message several times to ensure clarity using Preview Text-to-Speech. Clicking this link will allow you to hear the message through speakers on your computer or device. Phonetics, spacing, and other changes can be made in this section. Click Save Audio when finished editing.

IMPORTANT – Punctuation and spelling have the most significant impact on any text-to-speech conversion. Use the Preview Text-to-Speech function to change phonetics. Changes made in this section will NOT change your screen crawl for EAS.

IMPORTANT – Always use the Preview Text to Speech feature to listen to and improve your message prior to sending to ensure the correct message is heard by your recipients over TV and Radio.

TTS Best Practices

  •  ALWAYS include an introduction at the beginning of your message and a conclusion at the end. This gives authority to your message. 
    • Example:
      • Beginning - “This message is from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.”
      • End - "This concludes this message from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office."
  • Use clear, complete, and short sentences that are well-formed.
  • Avoid abbreviations, if possible. If you must use abbreviations, make sure to type out the words in the Text-to-Speech preview. 

    • Examples:

      • Height: Instead of 5’10”,  type 5 feet 10 inches in Text-to 

        Speech preview 

      • Time: If you need to include a time, format it as 3:00 pm or 3 pm, not 3:00.

  • Use extra spaces, commas, and semicolons to slow down the message or create pauses between words or letters.

    • Such as web addresses, license plate numbers, height, weight indication, or phone numbers. 
    • Example: H C 9 3 7 5 or H,C,9,3,7,5

  • Use commas and spaces to ensure website addresses are pronounced correctly.

    • Examples:  

      • www.alertsense.com looks like: w w w dot alert sense dot com 

  • Include pauses by adding additional punctuation. 

      • Examples:

        • w,w,w. dot,alert. .sense. dot,com 

  • Some proper names, places, cities, states, or locations might be mispronounced or may be pronounced differently in your area than how the computer renders it. In those instances, you may need to insert a phonetic spelling instead 

    • Example: In the town of Bellefontaine, Ohio,  the locals say it as BELL-FOWN-TIN,  not BELLY-FON-TANE, or Owyhee would be O Y hee.

  • Phone numbers should be typed in a 10-digit format, including parentheses or dashes. This way, the number is read properly.  

    • Example:  (208) 639-6770 or separate such as  208-639-6770

  • 911 should be spaced out as 9 1 1 with spaces between each number.