Magnum Steno Club Testimonials
Med Mal Reporter Touts Magnum Steno Theory and High-Speed Practice
Mark Kislingbury's Magnum Steno Club is the single best resource I know for shortening your writing. I make the following statement as primarily a medical malpractice freelance court reporter. In Greek, the word "stenosis" means to shorten.
My question to you is, why would you write any other theory than one which shortens your writing? Let me put a sharper tip on that pencil: Why would you write any other theory than one which shortens your theory beyond other theories not by a few percentage points, but by 10, 20, perhaps even 50 percent?
When I learned how to type in high school, I did so on an IBM Selectric. Our teachers were unforgiving and strict, as was that process, and if we made a mistake, we needed to use the "correct" key. Remember that key? The one which activated the white correct-o-strip? Well, if I might be so bold, if you write Mark's theory and make your strokes non-negotiable, that is, you must stroke the correct stroke, you will be writing a theory which enlists a .7 stroke per word stroke, or shorter. What does that mean? That means for multisyllabic words, you hit one stroke.
That is not a radical idea. The word "alcohol," as we learn in most schools, can be briefed as KHOL. Now you've just stroked a three-syllable English word in one stroke. Want more? Want to Hoover up crazy fast testimony as efficiently as possible? Well, you would be crazy not to learn Mark's theory.
Futhermore, his practice routines of praticing at 30 percent above your target speed level where you insist upon staying on the speaker and never missing a single stroke even at the cost of sloppiness, will yield you test passes galore. Ignore Magnum Steno theory and Mark's practice methods at your own demise.
Sincerely, Paul G. (New York City freelance court reporter.) (Where they talk fast.)
Glowing Report on Speed Gain from Magnum Steno Club Practice
I have to say, in spite of myself, I am getting faster. Takes I could not get in the beginning, I can do now.
I was on a job where the attorney spoke so quickly and kept his voice low. I stayed right on top of him. At the end of the day he asked me if my company would call the other side to see if they would use us/me because the opposing side's court reporting agency was not very good.
Three months ago he would have been saying that about me...
Longtime Club Member Passes RMR Legs with 98 and 99% Accuracy
Good afternoon, Mark.
I hope you're doing well today. I just wanted to give you another update.
After passing both of my realtime tests [NCRA's and California's - M.K.] so I went ahead and signed up and took the RMR.
I passed the literary at 99 percent and jury charge and 260 Q&A at 98 percent!! Magnum Steno strikes again!! Thank you!!
Aaron Perkins, RMR, CRR, CRC
Professional Reporter Improves Quickly After Putting Mark's Principles into Practice
Good afternoon, Mark...
I wanted to give you an update as to the progression with my realtime tests.
I have always believed in what you said, but I fear I have not practiced as sincerely as I should've. I found I wasn't making the progress I would like, so I went back to your pillars videos and rewatched them, reapplied the principles, and took everything you said to heart.
This time with all earnestness I stayed on the speaker and practiced dictation at least 30% above my control speed. I gave it all I had every day and practiced for about 30 to 45 minutes, most times in two to three sessions.
Here's the amazing part: Within two weeks I felt the biggest increase in my writing ability and speed than I have at any other time in my professional career, which then allowed me to pass both my realtime tests in short order.
The interesting part is I have practiced before using your pillars, but I don't believe I put them into practice to the fullest extent that I should have.
I just wanted to thank you and share my experience as proof that your theories and pillars and principles lead to court reporting excellence and success.
Best regards, Aaron P.
Official Reporter Loves Club and is Ready to Begin Shortening Writing
Good morning, Mark!
Wow! I have spent just a few days in the Magnum Steno club on the free trial code you have provided me. I am so excited and encouraged. I really love the realism of your videos in that you are speaking as a working reporter, not just a steno celebrity lecturing their audience, but as an everyday reporter who is still striving to improve their own skills too!
...I had also attended a workshop by [name withheld], when she came to our agency, that focused on clean writing for realtime. One principle was to come back for endings so as to reduce possible misstrokes. This left me resistant to the idea of "smooshing" endings into my outlines. I have loosened up that idea since I have been pushed to write faster. [Good! - MK] ...I'm ready to re-train my brain...
To summarize, Mark, at this point in my career, I am excited to throw out all the old conventions in my head that hold me back from gaining speed... So, I will definitely be joining the club when the trial runs out...
So far, I love the Magnum Steno Club because you are not just providing practice material, you are providing valuable TOOLS to utilize and maximize the material, and I'm glad that I'm at a point in my career where I'm ready to dive in and not just put in MORE effort to my writing, but the RIGHT kind of effort!
[A FEW DAYS LATER:] Hi, Mark! I'm on a criminal jury trial today, and let me tell you, my fingers are moving so quickly and easily (and cleanly!), and I believe I can credit it to working with the material you have provided in the MSC. It was hard at first, but it's getting easier for me to "get a stroke for every word said" instead of being a "write perfect and drop" reporter. My hesitation has been so much less, and so many of the briefs are sticking. Mostly, it seems like nothing to just move faster - almost like I was not able to move my fingers faster in the past. Thank you!... Thanks for your help and for your instruction! My results have been immediate, and that is soooooo motivating!!!
Rachel R. DeMasi
Official Court Reporter
Reporter Who Stopped 17 Years Ago Loves Using Club to Retrain
I'm [J.H.] (up in Ohio). We talked on the phone a few weeks ago. I have 6 children, 5 of whom I homeschool. I'm wanting to get back into court reporting after 17 years of being away from it.
I can't tell you what an AWESOME find Magnum Steno has been for me! I'm watching the videos and learning your theory, slowly but surely (your years in 1 stroke theory is truly stretching my brain to its limits, like a rubber band!) Your instructional videos are EXACTLY what I needed back when I was in school and then first reporting. I am a "write perfect and drop" girl and I didn't even realize that was a 'thing' until I saw your videos. I loved your video today about writing uncivilized. I need to really loosen up. I also really loved your video about getting a stroke for every word. That has the power to revolutionize my whole writing. It's pushing me to write faster. It's amazing!
I am currently on my free trial with the MS Club but will be joining as soon as we get paid! I just can't thank you enough for what you do and for sharing all of this. I look forward to REALLY being the BEST reporter I can be the second time around!
Deeply grateful, J.H.
Online Student Becomes Professional Reporter after Abandoning Phoenix, Learning Mark's Theory
I want to send you a testimonial, and I'm sorry it's taken so long! The reason it has is because I've been working like crazy! I'm taking doctors and hearings before judges and boards and all kinds of things that are new and challenging and wonderful! Anyway, I apologize for the long wait , but here it is:
Mark, I want to thank you for the incredible gift that you have given to me and my family through your theory. I started by learning Phoenix Theory up to 120 words per minute, and I knew I needed to make a change. I had heard a lot about not changing theory once you get past 100, but for me, it was weird at first, but it never really caused a problem. I was a student in my 30s, and after changing to your school, I had a first and then second baby. I was certainly not the fastest student to finish, but four years later I had a one- and three-year-old and an amazing new career.
I want others to know that this is an attainable career, especially with your theory and instruction and daily practice. My favorite video of all time is "Instant, Instant, Instant" [in the Instructional Videos - MK]. That one was ground-breaking for me. I love writing your theory with about 6 months now under my belt, and I'm so excited to see where I am in the coming years. Thank you a million times!!
Reporter Credits Club for Finally Passing RPR Testimony Leg
I can't say enough about how being a member of Magnum Steno has helped me. The daily practice, instructional videos, shortening my writing (of course), and the inspirational quotes on the home page are awesome!
As you know, I took the RPR multiple times and was stuck on my last leg, the testimony portion. As a provisional reporter, I was required to take the RPR as often as it was given, and as time went on, I felt less and less confident I would ever pass. As a result, I developed debilitating test anxiety and would tremble uncontrollably throughout the entire test. I knew I had to do something different if I were to ever get through it, and so I joined the Magnum Steno Club.
I want to thank you so much for personally taking time to encourage me and help me evaluate the way I was practicing. You advised me to practice to faster material and more often throughout the day. I gained about 20 words a minute in about one month by doing as you instructed. I also have to say that while I was writing faster, my confidence was still lacking, and so a lot of prayer, renewing my mind, a little hypnosis, and a beta blocker to top it off were just the trick. On my last attempt, I passed!
I love the quote by Albert Einstein, "You never fail until you stop trying." Thanks to you, I can try something else now! I don't find testing too intimidating anymore, so I think I'll just keep getting more certifications,and I am confident I can pass any test I put my mind to as I keep shortening my writing and adopting more of your writing styles.
Thanks again, Mark!
Melissa L. Vigil, RPR
Reporter Uses Club to Pass RMR Q&A and CRR in One Month
After years of intermittent attempts at the CRR and a 21-year gap since I had passed all of my Merit legs except for the Q&A, I made a commitment to myself to get serious and obtain my outstanding certifications. However, like all working reporters, my time is at a premium and I needed to find a practice method that was results-oriented. So I signed up for Mark Kislingbury's Magnum Steno online and dedicated myself to my goal.
Within days, my writing style changed, allowing me to easily build speed. After one month of practice, I passed my CRR and RMR Q&A leg within two weeks of one another. If you're questioning how to improve your writing, the answer is Magnum Steno.
-Margaret M. Kruse, CSR, RMR, CRR
Reporter Switches 95% to Mark's Theory and Loves It
...I'm a huge supporter of [short writing] as it's clearly common sense which method is more efficient [short vs. writing out] and would allow for a higher probability of accuracy...
I also want to address a huge misconception about your theory that I hear coming out of online forums and teachers throughout the country. There's this idea that people can't learn your theory because they're "not good at memorizing." My rebuttal is that I have switched from a Sten-Ed "writer-outer" to almost exclusively Magnum Steno. I'm stroking around .8 strokes per word on your average QA dictation, which, correct me if I'm wrong, is considered pretty short, right? [Yes! - MK]
I managed to change my entire theory, and I can honestly say that I don't feel as though I spent much time memorizing anything. Sure, there are the occasional exceptions you need to learn, but most of the other facets of Magnum are intuitive. Rather than memorizing briefs, it's more learning a concept and then applying it universally to gain, in some instances, thousands of new briefs and phrases. Once you know -FN is "knew," you open up a ton of new possibilities that required no memorization.
Similarly, I used to write dis- words in two strokes -- dislike, disguise, despise, etc. Once I LEARNED, not MEMORIZED, but learned that SD- is dis-, hundreds of new briefs were now available to me and only required getting used to. I have never had to sit with lists and lists of briefs. I converted my old theory gradually by adopting "concepts" and then sticking with them.
I should also mention that I was able to switch to your theory in a way that didn't overwhelm me at all. I had your dictionary loaded in the background. I could learn concepts that way, without even having to open the book (although I fall asleep to that book every night), and I could do it at a comfortable pace without ever feeling like I was biting off more than I could chew. One year later, I'm about 95% Magnum. The one element I haven't adopted yet is your number system. It hasn't clicked yet. But it's on my list!
Okay. Once again, thank you for all you've done for this profession. I can honestly say that your methods are the reason I made it to the end.
Reporter Commends Mark for Teaching Things She Never Heard in School
I was listening to one of your videos yesterday -- I can't recall if it was yesterday's video or one from the archives -- but you were talking about a student attending a conference where they were told not to brief. I almost fell out of my chair. Really flabbergasting. Briefs have saved my goose from getting cooked many times when I was in school. Most are easy enough to memorize and become a part of you and flow naturally from your fingers, as they ought to. My writing is far from yours because I didn't take your theory, but I have always been eager to find briefs for words.
I would like to say I commend you for your method of teaching. I won't say where I attended school because I don't want to denigrate those fine ladies there, but I will say, between you and me, the instruction was pretty inadequate. My theory teacher said she never used briefs. She wasn't the most positive influence to have begun the course with, but I made it through. As I moved into speeds, I realized that I had to learn many things by accident. I remember going into the "Learn Four Voice" class and, since it was already in progress, I sat down and had no clue what the arbitraries were. I had to stop the teacher, embarrassed, and ask her how to write "The Court." She told me. But this is how things were. Speed class instructors never really "instructed." They dictated. I had so many questions, and often I knew there were things I was missing but didn't even know what questions to ask!
I like how you have instructional videos and take time to just talk and reveal knowledge. This is something I always wanted and never really received. I think my school thought it did enough by inviting guest speakers from time to time who talked about their experience out in the field. I did enjoy the internship and had at least one reporter that really took the time to talk about her day-to-day responsibilities as a working reporter. But I do wish my school had been more forthcoming.
I have said all this to say that you have a very unique and wonderful approach to this field and the students who are embarking upon it. I can see why your graduates are so successful.
Thanks for listening.
Member Touts Benefits of Club
I wanted to become a court reporter years ago when I became a dislocated worker years ago back in the Reagan era but couldn't do so because of lack of funds... I just got my CART degree at a local community college (CCBC) at Beaver County, Beaver, PA.
I was very discouraged after I got out of court reporting school because I could not get my speed up... I had the write-it-out theory the school taught me... That is when I decided that the only thing out there after going on YouTube was to see Mark's video and then go on to Mark's website, where I discovered the Magnum Steno Club.
I have been with the club several years now, and I will never go back to anything else such as Realtime Coach or anything else that could be out there. The club has helped me immensely since joining since it is always fresh new material... The club not only expands your expertise in this field, it builds your repertoire of fresh [material] in literary, jury charge, and Q&A as well as enhance your self-esteem while you grow learning Mark's theory (unending briefs!) and speed building methods (also MSC is very affordable, a real bargain!) as well.
This is the place to change your life and add great confidence to establish new employment opportunities. And I could go on forever on here, but I will give you the chance now to discover all of this yourself. By reading this your life is now going to go in the right direction of a lifelong profession, and Mark [shows you how to have] fun while you work and it doesn't seem like work at all! Remember, Mark always says to me and you out there: "You are a Super Reporter!"
Advanced Student Loves Magnum Steno Club
Happy New Year, Mark!
...I just wanted to let you know that both yesterday's (the [Speed Building is] Struggle) and today's video (Legos) impacted me greatly. You described me to a "T" yesterday -- my son and husband are gamers, and I just do not have the mental will to tackle the learning curve [to master video games] ... Just admitting it and knowing how court reporting relates helps me tackle my practice with new resolve. I love the language part of this task and struggle with the video game part of it. Praying that as I continue to apply myself, God will do the rest. (I am at about 180).
Regarding the Legos [video] -- that was a great picture (and I know that you give examples all of the time), especially comparing the small segments of writing and the difference in speed numbers just phrasing the little words. Thank you for your patience and persistence -- I have done some shortening but get fearful that I just cannot handle any more change. Once again you showed the necessity. I am so encouraged that I will be able to conquer the speed as I learn more phrases.
Thanks for the work that you put into this club and how you make it accessible to us out here!
Reporter: Magnum Steno Club and Mark's Books "Changed My Life" and Finally Passed RPR Q&A
Thank you so much! I just wanted to tell you that your group and your books have changed my life. I had taken the RPR Q&A about four times before I joined the Magnum Steno Group. My favorite feature is the Briefs Group Day section. I had went through those and on the fifth time of taking the Q&A I passed! I listened to your instructional videos for preparing for the test and I went in there and felt so confident. Thank you for all the work that you do on the webpage. It has helped me become a better, cleaner writer and have more confidence with being a two-year reporter.
New RPR Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club for Passing, Calling it "Gold Mine"
I want to share with you the great news that I passed the RPR last week! Yes indeed! I think I took it 15 times until I passed all three legs.
I first discovered the Magnum Steno Club five years ago when I first started trying to pass the RPR, and I have been using it as my sole practice material ever since. Thank you so much. You have helped me tremendously. Your website is a gold mine. Thank you for making it so affordable to have access to it.
G-d bless you,
Student Credits Magnum Steno Club and Mark's High-Speed Practice for Passing RPR
Here is my testimonial for you.
My twin sister and I started steno school together in 2012. We went to a brick-and-mortar school and learned Sten-Ed, what Mark considers a write-it-out theory. My sister had trouble with repeating words in her head, so she bought Mark's theory book. She started teaching herself his methods and practiced to his dictations in the Magnum Steno Club. She felt a great improvement. I got sick of hearing my teacher's dictations over and over, so I started practicing in the club too. As far as I'm aware, there is no other place to get dense dictations that are higher than 260 for 30 bucks a month.
At this point, I only had my exit tests to pass in order to graduate. I got all nine of those tests in a little under three months. I never did try to learn his theory, but I felt that not only did the high-speed dictations give me a tremendous speed boost, but also the way I practiced helped.
I learned it's paramount to practice multiple times a day at speeds well beyond my control speed. I would practice between ten and thirty minutes at a time with high-speed dictations three times throughout the day. To me, it's about muscle memory. At this point, I know my theory and so do my hands. When I write 290 words per minute, I may not be accurate, but if I can get a stroke for everything and my hands can go in the right direction, or better yet, get a 15-second section accurately, that was progress.
After I had graduated school, I went back two days a week to practice for the RPR for about a month and a half. I was pretty rusty just because I wasn't on my machine as much. I wasn't getting that oomph from the dictations at school, so I started doing MSC more seriously again and practiced multiple times throughout the day at high speeds. For the two weeks leading up to the RPR, I passed 13 Q&A tests at 225 wpm in a row. I was even reading back one-minute portions from 240 wpm dictations. There was no way I could do that before practicing in the club. While I did not pass that RPR test, I was closer than ever and truly chalk it up to nerves.
The next RPR I signed up for, I changed the way I practiced a little bit. Every time I sat down to practice, I would do five minutes of high-speed metronome work(350-400bpm), then I would do Mark's speed video of the day. I'd take a break for a few hours and then do the metronome and daily speed dictation again plus a ten-minute endurance video. I'd take another break and do another five minutes with the metronome and a new endurance video. I also practiced controlling my nerves. I watched Mark's videos on preparing for certification tests and practiced breathing exercises. I finally passed this RPR. I passed both the Literary and Q&A at 97 percent accuracy. Practicing the way I did allowed me to have more speed than I needed, which allowed me to still be nervous but have enough skill to make up for the nerves. I don't think I could have passed the RPR without MSC.
Reporter Raves of Mark's Phrases Helping on Her Job
I just had to send you an email to thank you for saving me yesterday! Greta Duckett and I have been at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in the big metropolis of Springville, Alabama, for the past few days. She took the first and third days. I had the second day. (Due to her conflict, I was sandwiched in there to cover.)
But anyway.....I used all of your "way" briefs: hallway (said at least 100 times), doorway, stairway (again, at least 100 times), halfway, in a way, right away, away.....Omgoodness, I loved, loved, loved that I already had your final "-FRTS" briefs for all of them. We also put our heads together and came up with KRAUFR for correctional officer and KRAUFRS for corrections officer just on the fly. But it's another "add-on" concept like "post office" or "doctor's office" that made yesterday so much smoother for me than if I'd've done these depos, say, a year ago.
Greta and I also remembered that you had a brief for St. Clair.....said at least a million times yesterday. hahaha
I'm combining so many little phrases that are said over and over that I never "heard" before thanks to you. Instead of two-stroking "each other," now I do KHOERGT....instead of two-stroking "much more," now I do PHUFRP.....instead of two-stroking "every single" or three-stroking "every single time," I do EFRNG and EFRNGT, respectively. Date of birth is no longer three strokes. It's just TKEURGT.
I cannot thank you enough for even sharing all of your knowledge with us out here in the court reporting world. And I've been doing your MSC speed takes any and every chance I get....not only was yesterday fun for me due to your briefs, it was fun because I was never overwhelmed.....speakers just sound "slower" in person now. Hearing Q&A at 280+ helps me master the slower-speaking Southern attorneys these days who miiiiiiiiiiiiiight top out at 220, 225 if they're excited about saying something.
You are my CR hero!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Reporter Delighted and Thankful for Improvement Tools in Magnum Steno Club
I, first of all, want to thank you so much and tell you that I am grateful for you every day. I've only just recently started your program 20+ days ago, and I am praying that is enough for this RPR, or realistically a portion or portions of the RPR. I feel a huge difference in my writing and myself. And I credit you with both of those.
I do not think it's a coincidence that the very first video on the first day that I had access through the free trial week of Magnum that the video I watched was "Write Perfect Drop Reporter." I don't believe in coincidences. That was my angels' and God's doing. It spoke directly to my soul. There was no denying that this was the biggest of my issues and has been the #1 worst habit for a many long years.
Second worst habit, I would say, was writing 95% of everything out. To make a long story short, I've been at this with only one 6-month break (to have my son, 3rd child) since 2002. Yes, 2002.
Mark, it is my time. It is my turn... I graduated almost 3 years ago. However, I have learned so many things from you in these 20+ days that I feel a renewed spark. You know that spark you have when you've set your mind to a goal and you've made the first steps and everything is new and completely stimulating and you are so confident you can do this? Well, this is what you have restored in me.
There are so many things I want to thank you for...
A.) Thank You for what you do every day. An everyday video is amazing and feels like you're right here with us.
B.) Thank You for your generosity and humility. Even though you are a Guinness Book of World Records writer, I feel like you are completely humble and not only understand the struggle, but do everything in your power and your heart to make that struggle easier and court reporting goal attainable for others.
C.) Thank You for your generosity in having the Magnum Club so reasonably priced. It's not often you get a feeling of more than what you pay for. I was a member of Realtime Coach program for a while. And I am so relieved and impressed by the amount of material I have access to with your program. It's unbelievable. I've been wanting to say "thank you" since week one with the free trial! So Thank You, again. There's so many more things I am grateful and thankful for I feel I haven't captured them all, but I have to get ready for work right now...
Thank you again & again & again,
Another Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club for Finally Passing CSR
I just want to thank you for your incredible words of wisdom on the Magnum Steno Club. With your help, I passed the Illinois CSR!!!!! This was my sixth time taking the exam and I was beginning to get discouraged. I knew I was capable of passing, but I lacked speed, and test nerves got me down.
A coworker told me about your club, so I decided to check it out! Instantly I felt my speed increase and my accuracy improve.
The week before the test, I listened to your test prep videos. These helped me keep focused and keep my eyes on the prize.
At the test site, I remembered "joycellence" and the relaxation techniques, and these really helped me stay calm and relaxed. I wanted to share with you how excited I am and what an amazing feeling this is! Judges, attorneys, and fellow court reporters keep coming in my office and telling me congratulations and sharing in my excitement!
I owe a lot of credit to you and your club! I couldn't have passed without those 300+[wpm] testimonies!!!
Shannon N., CSR!!!
"Lackadaisical" Reporter Ignited to Practice Daily and Improve in Club after Seeing Mark's Seminar
I purchased [Mark's] book back in January when he came to our ACRA conference. Unfortunately, being on the ACRA Board, I didn't get the opportunity to sit and listen to Mark's presentation while he was in Birmingham. So I made a point to attend the GSRA Spring Tech Seminar last week when it was in Atlanta.
WOW!!!!! Did that light a fire under me. I haven't felt this much passion for writing since my time at Brown College back in '98-'00!!!! His presentation (along with Ed Varallo, I have to add) reawakened the writer I truly am at my core. I'm so very, very grateful that Mark's willing to share his tools and all of this wonderful information on this site for only $1/[day]!!!!!
I had no idea how clueless I was. And I'm embarrassed to say yet humbled to admit that I had become very, VERY lackadaisical. Isn't it terrible that I'm a working reporter and I let myself get that way????
Since coming back from Atlanta, I've made a promise to myself that I would devote time every day -- no matter what -- to watch Mark's instructional videos, pore through his briefs and phrases, begin utilizing any combinations of strokes that I don't use, and write the archived speed takes for at least 20 minutes/day (which wind up being more like 45 minutes to hours on some days if I'm lucky). [Very impressive! - MK]
Thank you so very much for re-igniting this desire, determination, and "want-to" in me! I am forever grateful.
Sincerely, Wendy Myhan
Student Lands CART Job After Shortening Writing with Magnum Steno
I received a part-time job offer doing CART in a college setting. It's between 20-30 an hour and is easily the most I will have made on an hourly basis. School graduation obviously remains the priority, but it does show me my writing has improved.
There's no way I would have received this offer without your dynamic writing system and teachings. Years ago, when I started writing short, I tried CART and she said I could come back voluntarily. Now, it is different.
But now, I have to write shorter still... I've also received awards/recognition for my other part-time jobs, which will be by the wayside soon enough. I think your writing system just creates so much less anxiety, and that is probably apparent.
Again, thanks for being there.
Reporter Off for 11 Years Comes Back, Uses Magnum Steno Club to Pass State Test
I just wanted to write to tell you about my experience with your website.
I have not practiced court reporting for 11 years since I had my children. I decided to get back into it now that they are all in middle school.
I started practicing in September of 2014 and may not even have joined Magnum Steno til October or November.
I am happy to report I passed my state test of 180 literary, 200 jury charge, and 225 Q and A with flying colors this past week, my first time taking it.
I had literally not picked up my machine in 11 years, yet was confident and able to keep up with no problem after practicing your high speed takes in less than six months.
Thank you so much.
Phoenix Theory Writer Makes Huge Strides in Shortening Using Mark's Theory Ideas
Just for fun, I went through the dictation today at a very slow speed so I could write a minute or so perfectly, just so I could accurately get the number of strokes I write.
Here's what I found:
Counting the first 313 words (not including Q&A's and punctuation), I wrote 253 strokes (which includes all Q&A and punctuation strokes.) (I also missed a few briefs I usually use. So that total would probably be more like 250.) [This equates to 81 strokes per 100 words, a figure worthy of high praise! - MK]
As we were going through your review of your writing, I noticed that I was probably about 90% as short as your writing is for that take! With the exception of my "a," "the" and comma and period, my writing is nearly identical to yours. Yes, I've been doing a LOT of studying of your theory.
So It's been close to two years since I've used purely Phoenix. So I can barely even remember how my writing was. It's funny, because in some ways it doesn't even seem very long ago. But I went through that 313 words and counted how many I would have written before starting Magnum Steno. I counted 338!!! And that was even with me doing a lot of Phoenix briefs and phrasing like "that was" and "where were" briefs. And I'm almost certain that's a very conservative estimate. Because I caught myself several times counting certain words as one stroke when it should have been two or three. So I'm sure I missed some and it should be more like 345+ strokes for my Phoenix style.
I also noticed that this dictation wasn't extra rich in a lot of the phrasing I use. For instance, things like "And I wouldn't have been" or "because you were not," weren't in this transcript. Also, there weren't many -ed and -ing words in this transcript, which I used to write in separate strokes. (why I was taught to do that, I have no clue.) So in many cases, the disparity of my writing in 2013 compared to now would be even far greater! But I think this little sample pretty well illustrates how much shorter my writing is.
Thank you so much for your help and your theory! I started doing realtime in court a couple days ago for the very first time. With Phoenix, I wouldn't have had a PRAYER doing realtime. Some people can do it with Phoenix. I just couldn't. No matter how hard I tried.
Anyway, you really have changed my life and the direction of my career. No question. I still have a lot of work to do. But I've come so far. I'm starting to eye the RMR now. I think I can get it next year if I practice every day.
David Rhoads, RPR, CSR #13508
Merit Reporter attests to Magnum Steno Club Producing Vast Improvement in Her Writing
Your comments today on the Magnum Steno Club about trusting your methods even though they may not be "intuitive" inspired me to write you. There have been many ups and downs in my quest to improve my writing, but trusting you I do.
When I first started the MS Club a couple of years ago, I thought there is no way I will ever keep up with some of those dictations. Well, I am amazed that I finally am!
As background, I started your club with the RMR and CRR, yet wanted more speed, as everyone seemed to be in such a hurry and speaking faster than ever. When I attended a seminar of yours in Illinois, I thought this is exactly what I need. Many times during the process I got completely overwhelmed and had some rocky deposition experiences. As I bought into separating brief practice from speed building, there was a vast improvement. I wish I would have done a better job with that from the beginning.
As a reporter of 35 years and a student of writing everything out, I can certainly attest to your methods of short writing. Thank you for your unending enthusiasm, humor, amazing briefs, and devotion to our industry!
Shannon M. Frey, RMR, CRR
Reporter Reports Great Results from Mark's First Book and Writing Shorter
I've decided to buy your theory book and try to work with it on my own... with the help of the Magnum Steno Club, of course. I already have your Road to Realtime book ["My System: The Road to Realtime Excellence, by Mark Kislingbury, available in NCRA store, only $12 as of 1-7-15!!] and it did help a ton.
I actually provided realtime for judges for years, but I think I was just average (they never complained, but...) Just shortening my writing and using your method with numbers has done wonders already.
My next goal is going to be to pass the RPR so I can get some work in Virginia and surrounding areas when I relocate. :)
Again, thanks so much for all you do!!
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club and Mark Recommendations for Passing RPR
If you can remember a couple months ago, I spoke with you on the phone about how I would be taking the RPR for the 4th time trying to pass the darned 225. We managed to finally find a mutually convenient time to talk, and it just so happened to be the Monday before the test.
I increased my practice to 3 times a day, dedicating myself as much as I could, doing high-dictation practice in the Magnum Steno Club, and incorporating more and more briefs. My practice went up and down. Sometimes I had good days; other times not so good, but I devoted myself and kept thinking, "This time I'm going to get it."
I want to thank you for that phone call and for always being willing to help reporters at various levels meet their goals. I am not always the most optimistic of people, but that call a week before the test was just the nudge I needed to get envision myself at the finish line. I also watched your "test week" instructional videos each day that week to help focus myself.
And -- did I say it yet -- I PASSED
I also want to thank you for providing such a great service with the Magnum Steno Club. As a first-year reporter, I know how much you can lose your speed during your first year if you don't keep practicing. The MSC has helped me to want to become a better reporter and has made me a better reporter. I'm doing my first full trial starting this Monday as an official RPR. Thank you so much again!
Angela Sinclair, RPR, CSR
Veteran Reporter Recommends Club with Befitting Brevity and Pun
As Sir William Jones once said, "Never neglect an opportunity for improvement."
Briefly put: After 35 years of reporting, one thing I've learned is, there is no better opportunity for improvement than the Magnum Steno Club. Do yourself and your clients a favor, join now.
Frank Frontino, RPR-CSR
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club for Passing RPR, Renewed Love for Work, and Desire to Improve
Thank you for your commitment to the profession of court reporting and for your commitment to people and helping them achieve their goals.
I had met you many years ago at the offices of Stenovations/Johnny Jackson when I was there getting my new software installed and doing some training. I had the opportunity to sit with you one evening while you were doing a captioning job. I've never forgotten the awe I was in watching you work. At that time I had only been working as a reporter for a couple of years. I felt like a novice athlete watching an Olympian in action.
In May of this year it came to my attention that I was going to be required to obtain my certification. I immediately downloaded some NCRA practice dictation and realized that after doing deposition work for 23 years that my literary and jury charge skills were really weak. It had been nine years since I had let my RPR lapse, and 16 years since I had taken the test.
I knew I was not going to be able to pass the RPR writing the way I was. I'm not sure what happened over the years, since my original theory taught a lot of good briefs, but somewhere along the way I kind of dropped all that and just started writing everything very stroke intensively.
I had to do something fast. So I Googled your name and came upon a lot of great instructional videos. This sent my mind went into overdrive with starting to come up with briefs for practically everything. I joined the Magnum Steno Club and started doing high speed practice every day and picking up new briefs and techniques and shortening my writing. Within one week of starting to write shorter my translation rate increased by about 3%. I could not believe it. This was amazing. I felt like I had been awakened from my slumber. What have I been doing all these years?
So with only two months of practicing with you through the Magnum Steno Club I took the RPR in August and passed all three legs in one sitting. It went so smoothly I actually finished typing with one hour to spare.
With what I was able to accomplish in just a short period of time I can see the potential for what I can accomplish with continued practice and learning new techniques and briefs. Thank you for inspiring a renewed love for my work and rekindling a desire to increase my knowledge and efficiency. I can now envision myself as a "super reporter."
Warmest regards and much appreciation,
Lori A. Seiden, RPR
Reporter Excited About "Amazing" Improvement After Only One Month in Club
I want to tell you that I'm so excited. I've been in the Club about a month working on shortening my writing, I had the wide d/z key put on my machine, and daily practice. I'm on a trial this week and my writing is amazing. My fingers are flying and realtime is so clean. There's more briefs I hear to write, but I'm not sure they're in my dictionary. Mostly tucking in the final G, but for the judge, I need it to be clean.
I realized by doing your method of speed practicing that I never wanted to write messy. Now when I let my fingers go, it's a mess but it's working!! Plus I'm having a lot of fun with it. Thanks for your assistance.
Returning Student Loves New Beginning Theory Book and Magnum Steno Club
After being gone for 9 years, I have to say it was so worth it to wait for your theory book. It is coming back to me quickly, but the Magnum Steno Club is phenomenal. The wealth of videos, and your awesome sense of humor, are gold mines.
Your writing style and approach to writing quickly is so applicable in all areas, court reporting, CART and captioning. I love that you strive to encourage and take yourself to higher levels of excellence.
Thank you for all that you do for the captioning/CART/ and CR world. You truly live the life of giving and receiving and the returns that continually come back to you. Again, thank you!!
200wpm Student Loves the Club and Finds Motivation and "Incredible Impact"
I'm a night student in a 200 speed building class. I had been lacking the motivation to practice, and then tried the week trial of your website, and was awestruck by how helpful it is to me. In fact, I will go on the monthly subscription.
"God bless YOU for your encouraging words and motivating tips on your instructional videos!" [I haven't experienced anyone that] encouraged/motivated students like you do! I appreciate the expertise with which you instruct, and I am so very grateful for the motivational and spiritual encouragements.
God bless you now and always for your giving heart. You have made an incredible impact on my life and on my desire to pass the CSR.
With much appreciation,
Reporter with Testing Nerves Credits Club with Passing RPR
I want to let you know that after using your program for a few months, I finally passed the RPR. I have been reporting eight years and consider myself to be a good writer. However, when I would get into that testing room, my nerves would take over.
During the tests, yes, the nerves still got to me. My hands were shaking like mad while I was on my machine, but I struggled through it, trying to make sure I got a stroke for everything and keeping my mind focused on the tests and not my performance. Thanks to your program, I was able to get through and pass the QA and Lit, even through the anxiety.
Would you believe that I am going for my CRR in August? The Magnum Steno Program has given me the confidence to keep pushing forward, and I look forward to writing you in the next couple months to tell you I have passed the CRR and will take the RMR in November!
Thanks for providing great dictation at an affordable price. I continue look forward to your daily advice and encouragement.
Captioner/Caption Firm Owner/NCRA Speed Contest Reporter/RMR Endorses Writing Short
Mark Kislingbury's contribution to the closed-captioning and court reporting
industry is a true inspiration. After many years of writing everything out, I
attended one of Mark's seminars four years ago, and thereafter changed my
writing style to incorporate his methods and techniques. It was a difficult
transition in the beginning, but now I write most of my words in one stroke and
am loving it.
In my experience, Mark's techniques and methods produce superior results in the
closed-captioning and court reporting professions.
Patricia Ferrier, RMR, CRR, CSR
Reporter Loves Mark's Realtime Book and Benefits Immediately After Reading
Just a quick note of thanks for suggesting your book "My System" from NCRA a few
weeks ago. I ordered it and sped through it.
I was/am in the middle of transcribing the jury selection of a four-month,
18,000-page trial with 450 jurors. The part about the realtime commands and
macros - you can well imagine how much tedium you saved me! Made it worth the
price of the book right there in how much time I saved myself by reading your
book and a quick call to the excellent staff at DigitalCat.
Thank you for all you do!
Reporter Sees Improvement Immediately Upon Starting to Shorten
I just had to let you know that I was very glad to meet you at the [USCRA] seminar [in Chicago] this past Saturday. I immediately the next day went through the book and incorporated outlines that were easy for me to catch onto very quickly. (will tackle the harder ones later). That was Sunday. I remember at the seminar you mentioned how you can see a difference in your writing just by changing a few things.
Well, you were absolutely correct. I had just told another reporter friend before the seminar that I just can't seem to get past 96 percent in writing. Well, I took a BIOS 320 CART class on Wednesday, (that I have been doing all semester and was still at the end of the 50 minute class it was 96 percent) and as I was writing it I could feel that it felt easier and the teacher didn't seem as fast. And at the end lo and behold, 99 percent accuracy. I almost screamed. I couldn't believe it. After I calmed down, I said well maybe this was a fluke. But I took a deposition an hour later and it was 98 percent.
I am on Cloud 9. I will be going through the book every day. I even did some Ted Talks [online motivational speaker videos - MTK] and I could feel the difference in my writing. I feel a lot calmer and in control. Just want to say thanks a lot. I am so glad I made it to the seminar.
Online Student Stuck at 225 Says Club Pushed Her Through to Graduate
I just found out that I passed my last 225 Q&A!!!! Being a member of your club has helped me out tremendously.
I was an online student. The class had students that were at such varying speeds, it was difficult for the instructor to go beyond 225 with me being the only one at that speed. It was difficult, to say the least. A friend told me about Magnum Steno, and I joined. That is what pushed me past the 225.
I appreciate all that you are doing!
Student Passes CSR Qualifier, Credits Magnum Steno Club and High-Speed Method
I've been meaning to write to you for the past couple of weeks, and I finally have time to sit down and write an e-mail!
After many years of going to CR school (and quitting twice), I have passed my qualifier!! I'm so grateful to you and your Magnum Steno program for giving me that extra push I needed to pass that last test!!
I will be going to the California July CSR exam and couldn't be happier. Before I started your program, I couldn't get below a -100, and now I am consistently getting in the 60's and 70's, but passed that one qualifier at a -47!! I will take it!!
Thank you so much for your daily support through Magnum Steno!! I couldn't have done this with your speed method!!
Carly Garton, Hearing Reporter and future CSR
40-Year Court Reporter Shortens Writing, Experiences "Amazing Benefits"
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that after I think what has been just short of a year in your club, I have shortened my writing by half. I will never stop working at improving and shortening my writing. The benefits are amazing.
My job assignments usually average about 200 pages and it is not unusual for me to write a 300-page day, so shortening my writing was energizing for me. Yesterday was a rapid-fire deposition but chock full of one-strokers, common words and phrases, that I have conquered. My fingers were barely moving as the words were flying by. It felt great; not a drop.
I have been working in this field since 1973, so that adage of "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is a bunch of malarkey. As a wise man once posted on his website [ahem - MTK]: If it is to be, it is up to me. I printed that out and have it posted above my computer. It keeps me focused.
Thanks for all you do for court reporters, neophytes and seasoned reporters as well.
Jean Wilm, RPR, CMRS
Two Reporters Credit Magnum Steno Club for Graduating School
I just wanted to let you know it was so wonderful meeting you at the DRA convention. I was the shorter one that was talking to you with Kim. We graduated from Sage and are now working reporters.
I just wanted to let you know that you are truly an inspiration. It is so nice to know that even after we graduate from school, there is still someone who genuinely cares about bettering this profession and helping fellow reporters. I swear by your method, and anytime anyone asks if there are any suggestions on how to get out of school faster or to be a better writer, I tell them Magnum Steno Club! You truly care about helping anyone that wants to better themselves.
Also, congratulations on the Realtime contest!! Maybe one day I can be up there competing with you, hopefully!
Anyway, again, it was great to meet you in person, and thank you for all you do for all the reporters and students out there! You are amazing!
Elizabeth P. Mesa, CSR
California Certified Shorthand Reporter No. 13903
Student Stuck at 180 Joins Club, Shortens Writing, Passes CSR, is New Reporter
I started court reporting school in December of 2009. School was a breeze for me until I hit a plateau at 180 wpm. This really brought my spirits down and for a brief moment, I wondered if I could really do this.
Then I met Mark Kislingbury when I attended the 2012 DRA [California Deposition Reporters Association] Convention at his "Write Short; Write Fast" seminar. I was blown away by Mark's methods because it was totally unconventional to my stroke intensive theory.
I immediately purchased his book and started shortening my writing and practicing fast material in the Magnum Steno Club. It was hard work, but needless to say, it worked like a charm!
I passed my November 2013 CSR and am now a working court reporter. Your goals can be accomplished with a good strategy and dedication. I recommend using Mark's methods. He knows what he's doing!
Joy Chiou, CSR
Reporter Credits Club and Mark's Theory for Passing RMR
...I want to thank you for helping me pass my [Registered] Merit [Reporter] test in Nov. Your theory and Magnum Steno Club made it possible. Next is the Realtime [CRR] test. I know with your help, I'll succeed there as well. Hope to meet you at a LiveNote seminar soon. Thanks for all your contributions to our profession.
Michelle Palamarchuk, RMR
Reporter Credits Club with Passing CRR and Vows to Enter CART/Captioning
Good morning, Mark,
I would like to start off by thanking you so much for the Magnum Steno Club. I recently passed my CRR and just got my certificate in the mail yesterday.
I could not have done that without all of your advice and practice with the Magnum Steno Club. I've emailed you in the past about advice on how to
pass the CRR and even the speed contests.
I wish to continue to grow in the court reporting community. So my next goal is to become a CART Provider/captioner.
So I will be working on that now and will try to stay focused on that goal.
Reporter Thanks Mark, Credits His Methods for Her Doing Well in Difficult Hearing
I just wanted to drop you a quick note that in the last year I have achieved steno-awesomeness due to your methods!
I handled a three-day hearing for the Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Hearings and Appeals. Needless to say, that this is not the terminology I normally hear. Yes, it was very dense and technical and kicked my rear. However, I had time to fingerspell words and partial words, i.e., isolines, triangulated, in situ, polygon.
So THANK YOU!! because without the speed practice and briefs for the small words, there would have been no way to keep up and have time to fingerspell!
Thank you Thank you Thank you!
Shelley Ottwell, CSR
Stuck Student Talks with Mark, Joins Club, Applies Principles, Immediately Passes Test
I just wanted to say thanks for your advice and for answering my questions [on the phone] the other day.
I took a testimony test the day after I talked to you, and before the test, I thought about what you said about getting nervous and how it can become an excuse. So, before the test, I told myself that getting nervous is a habit which I was going to break. I thought to myself, "this one is for Mark. Joycelence!" I thought to myself, "stay on the speaker, give 100%, get a stroke for everything, and fight." And guess what. I passed a 160 TM at 95% thanks to you. And guess what else. The word interview was in there like five times. (remember I asked you how to write interview?) I was pretty sure that I passed it, but I didn't find out until today.
After reading some of your testimonials, I realized that you really don't need more compliments and praise, but I just had to let you know how much you have helped me. Well, I intend to get back to putting more effort into my practicing, and I'm getting my motivation back, thanks to you and your Magnum Steno Club.
P.S. I don't think I ever congratulated you on your world record. Congratulations!
High-Speed Student Starts Fri. Night Practice Club Based on MSC!
It has been a little while since we last emailed so I wanted to update you. I'm continuing to work in the Magnum Steno Club every day. As a Phoenix-trained writer I have a major mountain to climb to make these higher speeds happen. After the convention some of the students you met from Atlanta and I started a Friday practice club. We do your Friday dictation every week, and we do fun, outside-the-box things like work on briefs & finger drills with classical music in the background, talk software tips, write pop music, share shortening techniques, etc. It's a great time for an online student like me to enjoy a little steno 'shop-talk.'...
I sat for the RPR this past weekend and it only affirmed for me that I need to amplify my work on the three pillars of the Magnum Steno Club. I've practiced at and above those RPR speeds, but my Phoenix foundation really hampers what I can do north of 160. I've re-dedicated myself to shortening, and using Natural Reader I can now drill the briefs from the Magnum Steno book daily. I think that is going to have a dramatic impact on my abilities. This week I've added over 200 words from the Common Multisyllabic section to my daily drill list, and I'm just scratching the surface. I love the Dictionary Challenge as I aspire to eventually work in all stenographic settings...
Anyway, just wanted to say hello, and thank you for what you do. Keep it coming! I'm going to be a major MSC success story soon.
Student Passes RPR, Credits Magnum Steno Club for Passing
Per today's video, I wanted to let you know that the daily briefs on the main page are helping me, and I run through them a few times on my machine before I watch the speed video. I use your random words generator for focused brief practice, but the daily briefs are a great way for me to learn some briefs through "osmosis" as well as reinforce briefs I already know.
Also, I am just loving the MSC in general. I passed my August RPR machine portion on the first try, and I completely credit the MSC for it, because I did nothing but practice in the club for the weeks leading up to it...
I am so glad to have found your theory and the club, because it's made me believe I can actually gain the needed speed to do this job.
Thanks for all you do,
Captioner Finds Magnum Steno Club an Indispensable Tool for Her Captioning
...I was an official court reporter for 5 years and recently transitioned to captioning. I joined the Magnum Steno Club to increase my speed and also my ability to hold that high speed for a longer period of time. I noticed a huge difference practicing 3, 4, sometimes 5 or more times a day. The dexterity in my fingers even felt better.
I cancelled my membership a little over a month ago. I left my court reporting job so I could be home with my kids, and only captioning part time, my funds were a little low.
I'm happy to say that I have rejoined and hope to be able to stay a member, as I feel it is an indispensable tool in my career right now! My fingers weren't getting the warm-up they needed before captioning and I was getting TIRED at about 6 minutes into my show. I appreciate the time you take out of your day to help court reporters/captioners, and just wanted to let you know that.
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club with Her Realtime Improving Significantly
I've been a member of the Magnum Steno Club for a little over a year, and I just want to thank you very much for everything you do!
My writing has improved significantly, and I'm finding that I'm even receiving compliments from attorneys! The other day I had a very complex med-mal case, and at the end of the dep, the attorney thanked me for doing an excellent job and even contacted the agency to tell them how pleased he was.
I'm still trying to pass that darn CRR, but I know it's just a matter of time. I also turned 50 this year, and I've made it my goal to pass it before I turn 51!
I recommend your club to everyone and I also speak at a school and try to impress upon them that we have a skill that needs constant fine-tuning just as a professional athlete needs to practice his/her sport. I never really thought of it that way until I began your club, but it is so true!
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks from the bottom of my heart!
Reporter Excited About "Getting" Magnum Steno Theory
...just to let you know, when I first purchased my Magnum Steno Book about 2 - maybe 3 years ago (cannot remember when, exactly) I only dabbled with it because I was a little intimidated. But since our telephone talk a month or so back, I have totally embraced it. I am excited to write on my machine again. I tear pages out, bring them to work and work on them every chance I get! For some reason, now I totally "get" your theory whereas when I first got the book, I couldn't quite grasp some of your methods and I shied away from using the book.
Now I wake up in the morning, saying to myself, "Gotta get downstairs to my machine and to my Magnum Steno Book!" Ha, ha! It's great! So rejuvenating! I was going to wait a little bit before I shared this with you, but I am just so unbelievably psyched about how it is truly clicking! The only regret I have, of course, is not having it click right away :) So for any new purchasers out there, I hope they keep a more open mind than I had - it will save them sooooooo much time, frustration and money!!!!
Thanks again and again and again! You, the Magnum Steno Book and the Magnum Steno Club have been a true blessing for me!
Student Credits Magnum Steno Club Writing Short and High Speed Practice for Passing RPR Q&A
I just wanted to let you know, I checked the NCRA website and it shows I passed my last leg of the RPR!
I have to say, I could not have done it without your instruction. Shortening my writing and practicing high speed was THE key. Not even that long ago, I was certain I could not pass it. And at the time, sadly, I was definitely correct. My theory was way too long and my fingers were not fast enough.
I experienced a dramatic improvement after only a short time of hard work. Can't imagine if had been doing this from the very beginning.
But I'm going to keep at it and work for the RMR and CRR.
Thanks again, Mark. You're amazing.
David Rhoads, CSR #13508
Student Stuck at 160-170 Discovers Club, Applies its Principles, Steadily Gains Speed, Passes CSR
I started learning your theory at my school at about 160-170 wpm. This is a turning point at my school for many reasons. First, the tests go from 5 minute only being tested on familiar material, to 10 minute tests of unfamiliar material. Many students get here and plateau HARD. I was one of those students.
My theory is a write-everything-out theory. We learned a small handful of briefs (maybe 100-200) and many of them were, in my opinion, completely worthless (good many is G-M for example). I was always trying to shorten my writing on my own, making up briefs to the best of my ability, but because of my write-it-all-out theory, my ideas would often conflict and I would leave out integral sounds/parts of the word/phrase, making it difficult to read back and remember what I had written down in the first place. Also, my school didn't give us a lot of push speeds. We would go up to about 180 when the test I needed was 170. In addition, I was required to attend my trail class of 140-150 wpm. So there was a lot of writing out and a very little bit of push speed.
Then I found the Magnum Steno Club. I can't really recall where I heard about it from, although I think I may have stumbled upon it looking for my Lightspeed writer. So I signed up for a free week trial and that's when my theory began to evolve.
The first thing I did was go to brief groups 1. I remember learning final ~was, initial SKP for and, and a few briefs I didn't have but really proved useful. From there I went to the instructional video section and learned that not only me, but a majority of people can't get past certain speeds. At that point I realized it was up to me to better myself, and that the two pillars of the MSC would give me the foundation I needed to learn how to write faster than I thought possible.
Long story short, I started shortening my writing and practicing at high speeds (30% faster than my goal). The tricky part was learning to concentrate 100% while I was getting maybe one out of 5 words. Slowly but surely I learned to focus harder, control my breathing better, and get those fingers moving stronger and faster. Eventually my brain learned that words come way faster than I can keep up with. This in turn made my brain work harder, which in turn made my concentration/speed go up.
One of the ways I practiced learning briefs was on my familiar material. I would pyramid (the method my school suggested) only this time I would pyramid with the briefs and phrases learned in magnum steno. I found this to be one of the best ways to solidify strokes into my memory.
About 3-4 months after practicing "~was" phrases and such, I passed a 10 min 170 (albeit and easy one).
*side note* I didn't have the financial aid available to purchase the Magnum Steno Book, which has all the theory Mark uses in it. So I would email Mark (sometimes daily) with words I would like to shorten and he would respond (sometimes daily) with how he did would write them. He is very compassionate and dedicated to helping literally EVERYONE, even random strangers on the internet!
So after applying the method for about a year (it was tricky to unlearn many of the techniques I had applied for years), I started to notice that my writing was coming out faster, cleaner, and with less effort. I then passed my 180. At this point, my new theory had sunk in, and the 190's and 200 quickly fell next. I had only my qualifier left, which took me about 3 months of practice to get to the point of passing, but by this point I was probably over 200 WPM. This meant I was ready for my CSR exam.
A few months later I took the exam and passed on my first try. Now I've got my license and am ready to begin working as a freelance deposition reporter, but not before finishing my proficiencies at school, going up to 180 literary, 200 jury charge, and 225 QA. I'm still training for my RPR exam, which I plan to take in a few months.
After that, I'll be taking as many realtime certifications as possible, as well as training to pass my RMR and whatever other tests I can pass.
If there's one thing I've learned from my time in the steno club, it is that we are SHORTHAND REPORTERS! Don't make yourself a longhand reporter; don't write everything out! It's absolutely crippling to your potential. It's absolutely possible to pass your CSR and RPR and even RMR writing everything out, but I believe you limit the higher potentials you have inside of you.
Thanks to the MSC, I not only have a foundation for my writing, but more importantly the CONCEPT of shorter writing, which I can make my own to best suit my own style. It's all about making your writing your own style, something with Mr. Kislingbury deserves highest accolades for.
Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge and theories with us Mark! We are blessed to have a mind like yours in this field. =)
Love and blessings,
Theory Student Gains Speed Quickly Using Mark's High-Speed Methods
Things are going quite well!
I was finally let out of theory early. I had explained to my teacher how I felt that practicing at 50-70 was actually bad for me, and offered testimony from when I had practiced at 60 for 2 days over our first 2-week break nearly a month ago.
Basically, when I went back up to 90 (from practicing at 60...), I ended up dropping a few sentences, when normally I wouldn't drop anything at all. The shock and embarrassment was pretty profound. "Never going to hear 60 again. This was a terrible idea." And so I found a bunch of 100-120 material on Youtube and hammered away at that. Back to normal in no time.
So 2 days ago, they let me out of theory, finally. I took a 65 and got no errors.
Then, yesterday, I entered the 70-100 class on testing day, took the 70, 80, 90, and 100, and passed them all with hardly any errors. (Mostly the errors were a result of me not bothering to proofread the transcripts. I really just wanted to get out of there because it's not good to practice at speeds that are slow for me.)
I don't really wanna talk about how the reception of "new, crazy ideas like -DZ for -ing" went in the 70-100 class. Let's just say it didn't go so well. After I suggested that, there was something like, "Whoever suggested that idea must have had a gas leak in their house."
And so after being in 70-100 for a day, I left and joined the 110-140 class today after getting all the passed tests back. Wake up and smell the gasoline, hmm? ^_^
Everyone there was shocked that I've only been in school for like 4.5 months. But it was great! They were all so receptive! I gave them your site, your Youtube, explained how you reply to emails, gave them depoman.com/forum, explained how there's all kinds of seasoned reporters on there who share a whole bunch of tricks, briefs, everything. I explained how you suggest 25-30% faster than Top Speed as a good practice speed for speed-building, the Magic Chart, everything. I explained everything. And so there was this amazing wave of inspiration and hope. Some of these people have been in school almost 1.5 years. It gets depressing after a while. Not improving. Wondering why. And now they know! All you have to do is phrase everything. Everything you have ever heard. Ever. And learn lots of briefs. And then yeah, the speed-building thing. If they adopt all that stuff, I can't imagine they'll be in 110-140 for much longer. I can hear their keystrokes. They're all faster than I am. If they just shorten it up a bit, WHOOSH! They'll be outta there in no time :D
So yep. Idk. Maybe it gets repetitive hearing these sorts of things after a while, but you are a powerful force that is revolutionizing stenography education throughout the country. I really wish I had learned SKP- for "and-" from day one, and a whole mess of other things. Sure, I liked phrasing and briefing from the beginning, but if I hadn't stumbled upon your Youtube channel, and then your site, I would never have phrased or briefed this much or gained speed this quickly. I'd probably still be in Theory class, hearing 60 wpm.
As always, many thanks. :)
Formerly Struggling Student Takes Mark's Advice and Possibly Passes RPR, Excited About Progress
Dear Mr. Kislingbury,
Hello... I have been a member of the Magnum Steno Club since January of this year. I spoke to you back in June because I felt I was not seeing much improvement in my writing. We talked for a while, and we came to the conclusion I needed to be practicing 99% fast writing (25% more than the speed I am trying to pass) and 1% at the 180 and 225 speeds which I am working to pass for the RPR.
Well, I took the RPR this past weekend, and I was able to stay on top of the speaker on both the literary and testimony! While transcribing I did hit some problem areas, but I tried my best to work through them. I was able to transcribe both tests and hand both in. I don't know if I passed, but I do feel so much better about my writing and how much faster and stronger I feel as a writer.
I love practicing fast now, and I am no longer afraid to practice at high speeds like I once was. For me, writing fast is like running a race. I love the way my fingers feel when they write fast. I concentrate and work hard to stay on the speaker. I don't always achieve that, but that is my goal. I can honestly say I do believe I can do this, and I will do this.
Thank you for your positive "Test Day one through five" videos. They helped a lot as well. I will keep practicing and listening to you because I know you are right in what you teach. Thank you again, and I will let you know when I become a certified court reporter.
Reporter Feels Confident on RPR Q&A After Applying Mark's Two Pillars - Briefs and High-Speed Practice
I just wanted to give you an update on my improvement. I've been a reporter for about three and a half years, and I had been struggling with not gaining speed. I took the RPR in May and did better than I thought. I passed the lit and JC pretty easily. But it was apparent that I wasn't even close with the Q&A. Not that I can't write 225, but under pressure and sustained for five minutes was just not in my league.
The past few months, I've worked very hard at shortening my writing. I've been adopting lots and lots of briefs from the Magnum Steno book and have been using a lot of your methods in general. A month ago I started practicing very high speed, difficult material almost exclusively at least three times a day, like you say to do. At first it was just me slamming down on the keys, getting a word here and there. But more recently, I've seen a noticeable improvement. Very significant.
I've been relentless at my practice routine. I have a couple friends who are doing it with me, who both have the Magnum Steno book and know your methods. Every time we practice, we text each other "PRA." And we expect at least three "PRA" texts from each other each day. It's been a terrific way to keep us accountable and remind us to PRA. Honestly, since I started, I haven't missed a practice session.
I took the RPR on Saturday and I did very well. Not 100% sure I passed, but I feel fairly confident. It was an extremely noticeable improvement. And honestly, it sounded very, very slow. I just think my anxiousness to pass this time made me extra nervous. And frankly, the parts where I was getting sloppy were too easy for me. I would normally have no problem writing this stuff. I think if I took the test again, I could pass it with my eyes closed. I was just anxious and nervous. But I got through it and stayed on the speaker the best I could, with the exception of one small drop and a few parts where my hands were shaking from nervousness. But that high speed practice helped a lot! It really came through for me, because normally when those difficult parts come up and you are super nervous, you tend to drop. But instead, I was able to keep writing and at least get something.
I can't tell you how much you have helped me. I've been a pretty strong advocate for you and your methods since I started learning them. Thanks again, Mark!
[Note from Mark: You deserve a great deal of credit, David, for following my advice to the T. Few people do that!]
Inspired 56-Year-Old Reporter Follows Mark's Principles All the Way to Silver Medal in Q&A Speed Contest
August 2007. NCRA Convention, Dallas. I am 50. I decide to take the speed
contest and realtime contest. Good for me, right?
Following the speed contest, Mark walks into the dictation room and says, "Anyone here a first timer?" Another reporter and I raised our hands. His
reply, "Well, I think that might just have been the hardest test given." [Only 2 qualifiers overall, a record - MK]
WHAT?! REALLY?! I handed it in but knew it was a lost cause.
Lost cause? Lost battle maybe, but the war was yet to be fought. I bought Mark's first book. In the ensuing years I worked on shortening my writing,
attended another MK seminar, bought his latest book, continued to shorten, but not really practice.
A friend and co-worker was trying to get ready for her RPR, so I suggested we practice at my office once a week. Great, but not really fast enough for a
speed contest. I thought of Mark and his Steno Club, and I was on a mission.
I had decided to attend the convention in Nashville, and I once again clicked the speed and realtime contest buttons -- gulp!!
I joined the club, was pretty faithful in logging on every day, and practiced outside of Mark's daily dictation as well. That Mark was pursuing a goal was a motivation in and of itself!! [Mark trained for 2013 world record 370wpm+] I just wanted to qualify in one leg.
Driving 8 1/2 hours -- 560 miles -- on Tuesday, I sped to make it for practice dictation for the speed contest. I made for the last hour. When Wednesday came, I was surprisingly calm. I had written from Mark's dictation, taken many of his tips, added briefs -- 1,000 in the month of July -- and took a deep breath. And I was hopeful at the end of the day.
Thursday was more nerve-racking for me. Lack of food and sleep had me even more nervous. I never looked at my screen, just kept my head down and wrote for the realtime.
Saturday came, and Mark and I coincidentally ended up sitting next to each other, although at different tables. I did not even realize he was there until I turned my chair to hear the announcements.
Realtime results were first -- I QUALIFIED IN THE LITERARY!! I had achieved my goal!! I was so excited!! But now I had drunk the Kool-Aid. I wanted to qualify in the Q&A. AND I DID!! Holy cow!! I was levitating!!
Now the speed contest. Could I qualify there, as well? I DID!! I finished in the top 10 in literary and legal opinion, AND I WON SECOND IN Q&A WITH 14 ERRORS AND 99 PERCENT!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!
I have been a reporter since 1979, I am 56 years old, and I qualified in every leg and won a medal in the speed contest!!
Why? Because I embraced the philosophy of a man who is truly a genius in stenography. Write short. Learn the language -- which at his seminar on
Saturday -- at 7:30?! -- he called me out as I had just said, I will continue to incorporate briefs that make sense to me. He was talking to me when he said,
"Did SKWR- look like a 'J' to you?" Ouch. I will be "learning" the RHPEs [right-hand phrase enders] with due diligence!!
So, thank you, Mark Kislingbury, for selflessly making this career I so love more fun every day, and, thank you, Steno Club, for MY SECOND PLACE MEDAL! Now, bring on Monday's dictation!!
With much gratitude,
Karen L. Tyler, RDR, CRR, CCR(LA), CSR(TX); Medalist, Second Place, 280 Q&A Speed Contest 2013; Qualifier in four remaining legs
Reporter Finally Passes RPR After Joining Magnum Steno Club and Applying Its Principles
I have been wanting to THANK YOU for being such a positive influence for my court reporting career and for the profession itself. I believe your passion has hiked up my own very-much-needed enthusiasm for our profession. In turn, I try to pass on this enthusiasm to my court reporting cronies who laugh at my excitement.
Where I work... [our state] has been experiencing the beginning replacements of officials with recording systems and morale has been at an all-time low. Your encouragement to basically get better and faster is exactly what I need.
After I signed up to be a [Magnum] Steno Club member, I did pass my RPR rather quickly after having nerve problems for quite some time -- and when I say some time, I am even embarrassed to say how long. I was at my wits' end, and you really saved me! I took for granted that I passed through school very quickly and realized, whoa, I need to keep practicing and also implement more briefs and not write everything out (boy that was a life-saver, too, since I was writing most of it out!) With a two- and three-year old at home and working full time, it is quite hard to find time for me to practice (with a clear head), but I know now I must find the time -- even if it is just practicing my briefs. You taught me, also, how to practice correctly...
THANK YOU seems to be such a small word for the heartfelt feeling. Please know that my thanks to you is from the bottom of my court-reporting-loving heart! You are a wonderful teacher -- please don't stop!
Disenchanted Phoenix Student Finds Success Incorporating Magnum Steno Briefs and Principles
I watched the interviews with Melody today, and Part 1 particularly caught my attention.
I feel like I am in a similar situation as Melody was when she first started school. A month before I started court reporting school, I was so eager to begin my studies that I asked the registrar at my future school if there was anything I could do to prepare and get ahead. He said no, and that I strictly shouldn't begin early because they wanted to make sure that I was "taught properly". I disagreed, so I started studying out of the theory book anyways. When we began, I was already a little familiar with the machine, and was comfortable with the positioning of the hands, arms and body. Our classes were only about an hour a day, four days a week, and our tuition was about $1000 a month (plus books). We also started with a stress management course, which was all online. Other than that one hour of class time a day, we were expected to learn theory on our own, using the Phoenix Theory books and the online dictations. I was so angry because before starting school, I was told not to learn by myself so that I could be "taught properly", and here we were being told to learn by ourselves! The speeds we were doing (20-25wpm) were so slow that it wasn't challenging at all. We were told that we absolutely had to write everything out, and that if we used briefs in the tests, they would be counted as errors! Though I was angry and disappointed, I found that there was no one to hear me. Neither the instructors nor the other students cared about challenging the system and stepping outside the box. Something was very wrong, but no one could help me. I considered changing to another school, but the only other school in my area taught Sten-Ed, which is no improvement on Phoenix. I completed theory early. In Speedbuilding, I encountered students who were a year or so more advanced than I, but could barely write at 50-60wpm. In my first month of Speed Building, I went from 40wpm to 90wpm, and in my second month, to 100wpm.
That's when I discovered Mark Kislingbury. The more I watched your videos and read your books, the more I was convinced that I had been duped all along. All this time, I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it until I saw what you were doing. The moment I started incorporating briefs and phrases into my writing, I suddenly started passing tests again. I felt more confident in class, and more confident about my future. I've always been the type to work hard and succeed, but one cannot succeed in court reporting without the proper tools. I believe Phoenix Theory is there to ensure that as many people fail as possible. Unfortunately, Phoenix was my foundation, but I am working hard at fusing Phoenix with Magnum [Steno theory] to make it work for me. I can't help but wonder how far along I would've been had I started on Mark Kislingbury's theory from the beginning like Melody did. I am glad I have "seen the light" and undertook to reeducate myself. As a result, I believe I will be successful in school, God willing. 120wpm is starting to feel comfortable. I just received your Magnum book and am learning and improving every day.
In my individual chats with my instructor (which happen bi-weekly), I have had next to no guidance. I express all my concerns and ask questions and am given no answers except to "keep at it". No one has ever sat next to me and checked my writing or given me pointers. It's all well and good to teach yourself, but I find it ridiculous to have an expensive in-class program when there is no benefit and no one can offer any help or insight. During class and between dictations, I see most students fiddling on their phones or on Facebook and not analyzing their writing, making notes, or anything like that. There is something very wrong with this. I value my time (even more than money) and Magnum has inspired me to focus 100%.
You see, Melody and I noticed that there was a problem, but we knew it was with the school system. So many others notice that they are not improving, but they don't question or apply any critical thought to the world around them. I am saddened when I see my classmates comfortably stagnating. When I explain my new practice regime to those who ask how I managed to improve so quickly, they tell me I am going to ruin everything that I've learned so far, not realizing the contradiction in this statement. They refuse to do anything differently because it's difficult to step outside of one's comfort zone. Sadly, these people will not make it to graduation, and will spend thousands of dollars in continuing education only to reach a dead end. Or, like you say, maybe around 1-2% will make it writing everything out.
This has been my experience in court reporting school, and I can relate to what Melody was saying in the video. It's encouraging to see that I'm not alone, and that there is hope.
Have a nice day!
Reporter Thanks Mark for Inspiring to Write Short, Sees Tremendous Difference in Speed, Accuracy
I am editing opening arguments from December '10, Federal criminal case. I can't believe my writing just two years ago. The way I wrote is almost not readable from the way I write today.
Two years has made a tremendous difference in my keeping up, accuracy, and the shortness of my writing. I didn't realize how much I had changed in short-stroke. It really pays off to do a little every day. Another couple years, I'll see everyone in the contests!
Thanks, Mark. I am so thankful for you and your ideas. You have kept an old-timer in the money.
Jeff - 1974 Original Theory (No computers, no Internet, calculators just starting to be developed, new way of writing by using long vowels)
Jeff S. Eaton
[Note from Mark: Jeff is the inventor of the Brief Catcher, www.briefcatcher.com, which I use to practice on, with pads, so that I don't have to bring my machine home or leave it out!
Student Attributes Mark's Short Writing Advice to Improving Her Arm Pain and Soon Be CSR
It's me, Cindy Garcia, from CA with the troubled arm. Because of you, I brief A LOT and my arm/muscle feels, I would say, about sixty percent better.
...since I have been so stubborn about most briefs, I finally gave in with your way of briefing. Somehow listening to you made me realize I needed to change my way of writing and now I can get under 100 mistakes on the qualifier. Any day now I'll be a CSR.
...I've been here so long that I hear it all and notice [that my school] Sage is all about the statistics and they want their students to pass so they could keep up with their statistics to keep their school open. The teachers give us lists and lists of briefs and tell us to practice them 50 times each.
...I really love the way YOU teach us and I wish I knew about you when I was in a lower speed. I think I got too comfortable writing the same way year after year in school, but now you have helped me to change a lot. I feel when listening to you every day at school (Sage Lab, internet) I love my machine again, and you opened a whole new world for me on briefing and explaining to me where my faults are. I never knew that I was misstroking all these years and practicing my misstrokes for hours and hours a day. Now I practice about 15 to 20 minutes three times a day the right strokes and a whole lot of briefing.
...THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING. You don't even know what you have done to my life by changing my writing for the better. Now, I can honestly say "I can do it." I have been struggling for so long. YOU truly are an Angel and saved my life... You are my hero. I would love to encourage my fellow court reporting students to get the help I got while listening to you. I am loving my machine again, because of you, and that's a fact.
Respectfully Cynthia A. Garcia, Sage College, CA
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club for Passing CRR, Texas CSR, California CSR, and RMR!
I just wanted to let you know that I passed all three legs of the [May 2013] RMR! I just wanted to say thank you for the Magnum Steno Club and your mentoring.
I nailed the literary and only had four errors. I was nervous on the jury charge and thought I failed it at the time. I got myself back together and was able to write the Q&A pretty well, but was still a little shaky.
Although my hands were clammy and felt like they were all over the place while writing the the JC, and only somewhat better on the QA, I was able to overcome what I perceived as "bad writing" during the test by being so well prepared from my daily MSC [Magnum Steno Club] practice. I was able to figure out what I wrote during the transcription.
One of my major career goals and dreams have come true. I'm an RMR!
So since 2009, I have been able to pass four MAJOR tests using your methods and the MSC. The CRR, Texas CSR, California CSR, and the RMR.
Rebecca J. Callow, CSR, RPR, CRR, RMR, Certified Realtime Reporter, NCRA Realtime Systems Administrator
Stuck Student Tries Magnum Steno Club Methods, Passes Tests, and Gains Renewed Motivation
Since I last wrote, I have made good progress.
In May I was frustrated because I felt that our school did not give us enough resources to be successful in increasing speed. Many students here have been stuck at 80wpm or 100wpm for almost two years. Some do Continuing Education for many additional years and waste large amounts of money, never to graduate. I was terrified to fall into that category. With determination and perseverance, I decided I would try to rise to the occasion and graduate on time. Recognizing that I needed help was my first victory.
I contacted you and used the [Magnum Steno Club] trial membership you offered. Immediately, I knew that this was something that would be very useful. The material on the site renewed my motivation, and I started shortening my writing and working on my technique. This helped build up my steno confidence, and since then I have passed my remaining Q&A and Lit at 100wpm with over 98% accuracy. Here are just some of my achievements:
- I have been practicing three times a day or more.
- I have been fighting to stay on the speaker as much as I can.
- I emailed Audrey to get your updated list of right-hand phrase endings and have been gradually incorporating those into my writing.
- I have been memorizing, practicing, and creating my own briefs for words and phrases.
- I have shared my new knowledge with a friend in my class, and we have both seen an improvement and passed tests we had been struggling on.
- Your book, "My System," has been useful in helping me realize all that was missing from my theory. I've added hundreds of entries into my personal dictionary that our school told us we didn't need (e.g. proper names, rivers, foreign words, scientific terms, etc.)
- I have obtained freelance work doing offline captioning, which enables me to practice even more and build my dictionary.
I am out of my old rut, and have never been so eager and motivated. Though I have been on leave of absence since I started school, I have decided not to go back to my job and only take work that will enable me to practice my steno.
Considering we use Phoenix Theory, it is a personal victory for me to have passed all my 100wpm tests by my tenth month in school (and third month in Speedbuilding). I have found inspiration in the Magnum Steno Club, and I have you to thank for that. I am going to continue working hard at shortening my writing to get better and faster every day.
I may decide to stay enrolled in my current school (though it is very expensive and offers so little), but I will continue to supplement with the Magnum Steno Club.
Thanks again, and have a great day!
Reporter Credits Mark's Methods for Her Writing Great on "Job from Hell"
I follow your advice and practice high speed before going on an assignment whenever possible. This morning I was able to.
Get to my assignment early like always and then it got crazy. Couldn't get into the conference room until the doctor came with the key. He, of course, was late. Then it was a scenario of how many clowns can fit in a Volkswagen. Eight people in what they called a conference room that I believe was just a converted supply closet. Trying to set up my equipment while they are handing me exhibits they want marked, so tight the attorney is banging into my machine, etc. We go on the record, I no sooner put my hand down from swearing in the witness and they take off. The words were flying and so were my fingers. The thought flashed through my mind, close your eyes, stay with the speaker and brief.
I looked up at a breather at the stat box and the words per minute was 250. I did not drop. It wasn't my cleanest writing but I could read it. Mark, a few months ago, I would be totally stressed and would not have been able to say I got it all.
Your method works. I am so grateful to learn from you. :)
Jean Wilm, Registered Professional Reporter, Certified Manager of Reporting Services
Reporter Thanks Mark and Club for Helping Her Pass First Two Legs of RMR
Great news! I am on my way to becoming an RMR thanks to you, your site and your encouragement. [She passed the first two legs of May 2013 RMR]
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have been in the business over 20 years. It's taken me a while to catch on, and YES, it is hard work, but writing short is certainly helpful to me!
Tell those experienced reporters: yes, they can; I'm proof.
My confidence is up, and I thank you. You are an inspiration, and I certainly needed that because I was feeling incapable for a while. Thank you.
I know you are a busy man, but I will now need to listen to lots of 280s!!! Let's get to it! I want to pass in November.
Elizabeth (Again, I thank you and God!)
Reporter Passes Literary in RMR and Credits Magnum Steno Club for Even Trying It
Hey, just found out today that I passed the Lit portion of the RMR! I am so excited and ready to finish passing the RMR in November. I would have never even signed up for the RMR if I hadn't joined Magnum Steno Club. Usually the Lit is the last thing I pass, so I feel like I got the most difficult one out of the way! Thank you!!!
Student Credits Magnum Steno Club with Passing Qualifiers and California CSR
This e-mail is SOOOOOO overdue, but I've been really busy. It's been a few months since we last corresponded, but better late than never. After 11 months trying to pass my qualifier, I finally did it the last week of February - after being in your Magnum Steno Club for five months. (I was the write perfect and drop reporter you talk about, so it was really hard to break that habit.) Once I did that, I started practicing like crazy for the California state exam, and I passed it on my first try with only 12 errors. Then more studying for WKTs.
Now that my head is no longer buried in my machine/study material, I wanted to thank you. Your website was amazingly helpful for me, and I really feel that I would have been stuck in school for a much longer period of time had I followed their practices instead of yours. My only regret is that I didn't discover you sooner!
I have recommended your site to many of my fellow classmates, and one of them passed her qualifier three weeks after using your site... I plan on using your site once I start working, but I can't thank you enough for helping me achieve my goals as a student. You are amazing!
Thank you so much,
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club for Making Court Reporting Fun and Deciding to Provide Realtime
In just the month's time I've been a member of the Magnum Steno club I have seen a dramatic change in my writing and my confidence level for each job assignment. I thought I was a reporter that used a lot of briefs, but the shortcuts that you can learn from Mark are endless. I even recently purchased the necessary equipment to start providing realtime to my clients. Learning to write shorter has made court reporting fun again!
Kirsten M. Thorngate, RPR
Student Feels Good about RPR and Credits Club for Her Improvement
This is Carly P. from the Magnum Steno Club, and I took the RPR today.
I wanted to thank you for your amazing program. I left school in January and
have been solely doing your program every day. I also purchased the Magnum steno
I exited school when I was only a few months into the 200 level, so I wasn't
solid at 200. Well, today at the RPR, thanks to your program, the 225 testimony
felt slow and steady and I actually transcribed it and submitted it to be
scored. I transcribed the other two legs and am pretty confident [that I passed] at least one
Also, as an aside, [your] beginning phrases (I, you, we, they, he, she)
changed my life. Seriously, it's an amazing system.
Thank you so much!
Reporter Nails RPR, Credits Mark's "Fight, Fight, Fight" Video, Now Preparing for RMR
Just wanted to write to tell you thank you for your pep talk [contained in your "Fight, Fight, Fight" instructional video] before the RPR. I hadn't tested in 30 years, was afraid I'd fail. You told us to fight fight fight for every word and stay on top of the speaker, so that is what I did. I also told the people around me to do the same.
I can confidently say I didn't just pass that test, I nailed that test! Not one drop. I am so happy with myself. We all just need to believe in ourselves. I was amazed!
Thank you. I will continue to practice for the RMR now. Practicing on Magnum Steno is a real challenge. It seemed like once I got to testing, it was child's play. lol
Student Stuck in Qualifiers Nearly 2 Years Passes After 3 Weeks in Magnum Steno Club
I just wanted to let you know that I think your program is AMAZING! I have been in court reporting school for a long time, longer than I probably should have. I have been in qualifying for almost 2 years. I was stuck and almost started to think that I made the wrong choice for a career. I was ready to quit.
I joined the Magnum Steno Club 3 weeks ago. In that short amount of time, I passed my qualifier this past Thursday! I am now going to the July state exam. I credit that to your program. I had tried everything, and your club was the only thing that was able to give me that extra push to get through. With that said, I want to thank you for putting this out there for everyone. I think it is an amazing club to be a part of!
- 1. I like that the videos are short but just enough practice before starting to lose interest.
- 2. I like that you give us about 20 new briefs every day and they pertain to the dictation for the day.
- 3. I enjoy that you are personable. You make us feel like you are directly talking to us.
- 4. I love how we can e-mail you any question and you respond very quickly and with the perfect answer.
- 5. I love all the instructional videos.
- 6. I love that each video you read at a high speed and then it has a slow-down. It makes the slow-down seem slower than it actually is.
Thank you so much, Mark,
20-Year Reporter Says Club Made Her Life Much Better and Sees Huge Difference in Skills, Will Take RMR
I planned to write you after I had more letters behind my name and thank you for helping me accomplish that. Today I realized I truly have accomplished so much the last few months and that I can write and thank you now for that even before I have more letters.
I've been a reporter for 20 years. I joined the Magnum Steno Club January 25th of this year. It has changed my perspective on reporting in such a positive way and has made my life so much better! I really feel I have a purpose now. Your generosity in sharing your dictionary and your knowledge has been so helpful as I work on changing my writing and making it shorter. I'm definitely seeing a huge difference.
Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed because I've set my goals on being like you someday and it seems so very far away. It's the analogy of a person who has never climbed in their life announcing they will be climbing K2 in a month!! I guess some people would say I'm crazy and have my head in the clouds. I've noticed some reporters (who have lots of letters behind their name) on different forums say that there can only be a few reporters that will ever achieve such status and that it is just not possible for the average reporter to be anything but that, an average reporter. I want to believe that we all can achieve what you have if we follow your advice and stay positive and determined. Sometimes those negative voices get the best of me and I feel like giving up. That has been the most challenging part in this whole process for me, staying positive and believing in myself. I know it is up to me and I have to figure out how to stay positive and believe I can be an RMR and a CRR.
I had only been a member for a few weeks when I tried to learn your "Years in One Stroke" and I had a terrible time with it and gave up. Then just a few weeks ago when you mentioned that your new students had it "down" in a few days, I decided if new students can do it then I should try again. I'm so glad you mentioned that a few weeks ago, because when I tried again it "stuck" and now I've got it down. I couldn't believe it, that I did it!! I need to keep practicing my years every day because sometimes my fingers want to go to my old way of doing things. It feels great that I learned a new way to do years and it really was easy to learn!! The way you teach makes it easy.
In March I signed up for the May RMR. Now I'm worried that I really messed up because unfortunately the reality is that my speed is just not there yet, not near close enough, and I know it. Now I'm afraid I'm going to take a beating there and lose hope. I've never really had too much trouble with test jitters. It is just that my fingers are not fast enough yet. I am trying to look at May 4th as a time to experience and learn. I haven't tested with NCRA for 20 years. Things are much different. I'm telling myself this will give me an opportunity to learn and see how the process works and then in November I will be ready to pass the RMR with ease!
...You are absolutely right that I must not walk into the RMR feeling defeated, no matter what my own testing numbers are showing right now. Who knows what I might accomplish that day by giving it all I've got! I will do just that! I've watched your "Seabiscuit" video many times and it helps me so much! Just maybe I'm supposed to struggle -- THIS IS REALLY HARD WORK FOR ME -- so that I can show empathy, understanding and be an example to someone else in whatever struggle they are experiencing! I get frustrated with myself many times, but I have a feeling I'm going to look back on this time and smile because all of this hard work will make the success even sweeter. I want to get better at enjoying the struggles that each day of this path brings, I truly am enjoying the learning part of the process. Being in the Magnum Steno Club is bringing back the happy times I had when I first started learning the steno machine!! Thanks for reigniting in me the flame for the desire to learn!!
...I will never be able to express in words how much I thank you for your positive influence on reporting and on me!
Reporter Discovers She Has OCBD - Obsessive/Compulsive Brief Disorder
I have been reporting for a very long time and write out way, way too much. Although I am very successful and requested very often on jobs, I am exhausted at the end of the day.
Since joining the club just a few weeks ago, I have developed a severe case of OCBD, obsessive/compulsive brief disorder. When people talk to me, I'm beginning to hear in briefs. I see words in magazines and books, I'm beginning to see in briefs. And so on. What I've picked up on the way to work, I quickly stroke before the job has begun and global them into my dictionary.
In a short time, with intensive practice, I have come a long way. I love this disease and I do not want to be cured. Can't begin to thank you for what you have done for me in this profession...
I know a lot of freelance reporters don't like to practice literary takes and just do Q&A, but I have found the literary and the Q&A combo takes that you do daily to be such a blessing. I do a lot of expert witness testimony and their answers can go on for two pages sometimes without a question. Since doing the literary and the Q&A every day, my concentration has improved tremendously and their long-winded answers are not as challenging as they were just a couple of months ago. That has translated into a calmer and more confident me!
You have made a difference in my career, which I truly love, and like you, hope to never have to "retire" from.
Jean Wilm, Registered Professional Reporter, Certified Manager of Reporting Services
Reporter Passes California CSR Using Mark's High Speed Techniques
Just wanted to update you on my California CSR adventure. First off, I have to state that the 25% rule absolutely works! This is my third experience using this system in a test, and I continue to swear by it. I first joined MSC in 2009, and following your principles, I was able to pass the CRR and the Texas CSR back to back using the 25% rule.
Now on to the California CSR, which is 10 minutes of four-voice. As with my previous two testing experiences mentioned above, the dictation (this time at 200 wpm) felt slow. I was able to stroke each word easily and even write some things out that I normally would have a brief for. It's a wonderful feeling! The only way I can describe the feeling is kind of like the $6 Million Man, Steve Austin. He was able to use his powers to run fast enough to keep up with cars going 70 miles an hour. For me, it feels like I'm running down the freeway alongside cars that are going 70, and I can easily and effortlessly keep up with them. I know I'm going super fast, but it doesn't feel like it.
What did I do to help myself? I followed your advice regarding daily practice and only practicing 250 and 260 Q&A for the three to four weeks prior to the test, and occasionally transcribing a 200 wpm test. I'm getting pretty good at 260 to where I think I could almost pass, so a merit attempt is on my agenda for May...
[I also started] on another course of shortening my writing. I haven't done much shortening lately, and through MSC, and your prompting, realized that MUST do more. Your suggestion on using the Excel file for learning briefs inspired me. I really liked the idea, but I was looking for something a little more random AND a little more automatic. I searched the internet and found the Flashcard Machine. It is a wonderful free program. I'm assuming you've heard of it, but if not, here is a brief description. Flashcards can be created using the Flashcard Machine and then they can be automatically displayed on my computer screen at one-second intervals while I just sit at my machine and write them as they randomly go by. The program also has paid apps on both the Apple store and the Android Google Play store so you can load the cards on your phone and study anywhere, any time. Having the ability to study my new briefs and phrases on my phone and/or computer 24/7 is really helping solidify them in my memory.
My take-away from the California test. First, regarding your suggestion of NOT making asterisk corrections. [Thanks to Ed Varallo for that! - MK] I have found it to be a life saver during a test. I tried not to use the asterisk, but the reaction is so natural. I did end up making one or two corrections, but for the most part I was able to just let the "perceived" misstrokes go by. I think this is probably some of the best advice to use during a testing situation for two reasons. The added strokes being the main reason, but the difficulty in figuring out which strokes made during a frantic correction session are the intended ones and which are not prove to be more difficult than figuring out the "perceived" misstroke later had it just been left as is.
In addition to not using the asterisk during the test to make corrections, I resisted the urge to punctuate while writing. This too takes practice, but it has been extremely helpful. My mindset for this is, "it's not realtime, so it doesn't matter." As long as I can figure it out later, all is well...
I want to thank you again for mentoring so many reporters and students alike. Your honesty, your transparency, and your willingness to share what works and doesn't work is so generous. I just want to let you know that your passion for court reporting fuels my passion for court reporting. You have been an inspiration for almost my entire 21-year career. I'm still inspired and still love court reporting. I can't thank you enough.
Rebecca J. Callow, CSR, RPR, CRR, Certified Realtime Reporter, NCRA Realtime Systems Administrator
CR School Graduate Loves MS Club and Gains Skill and Confidence
I just wanted to take the time to thank you for the dedication and service you are providing to the court reporting field. I attended the ILCRA convention in September and thought you did a wonderful job.
After graduating from school I was no longer able to use the free dictation sites that the school provided for us. I had been working from my aunt's old audio cassettes and some material I had purchased from NCRA. The material was helpful, but, after taking and not passing the CSR two times in a row, I knew I had to make a change in my practicing habits. That's when I decided to try out your website.
I believe that even in the past three weeks that I have been using your website I have become a better reporter. After practicing at high speeds, moving down to a 225 seems much easier. I also cannot thank you enough for the encouragement and inspiration you provide. I have definitely needed that after my attempts at the CSR...
Thank you again for providing me with such a wonderful site to practice. I truly have confidence that utilizing your methods will provide me with the skills and knowledge I need to pass the CSR in April.
Reporter Credits Mark's Theory and Magnum Steno Club for CRR Pass and Loves Writing Again
Just wanted to let you know I passed the CRR test that was given January 26! I am so excited!
Just wanted to let you know how much the Magnum Steno Club has helped, with the loads of dictation, briefs, and inspirational videos! I'm such a believer in your theory! It feels so wonderful to have reached this milestone!
After incorporating many concepts of your theory into my writing, I now feel like a concert pianist, as my writing now is so smooth and clean. I love writing steno now! Thanks!
M.B., RPR, CRR
Student Tries Out, and Loves, Magnum Steno Club and Mark's Online Academy
Good morning, Mark,
...As you know, I took advantage of the one week free trial of the Magnum Steno Club, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went through 38 instructional videos in three days, not to mention the Briefs 001, 002 etc. I could not get enough! The video "Seabiscuit" jerked me around a little. I cried through the whole thing, I think. But, I get the moral of the story in relation to court reporting: a trainer, a owner, a jockey, and a heart of a champion. I understand it.
Also, I contacted your school secretary and asked several questions, in return she gave me a trial access to the school site [www.mkcourtrepoting.com]. I have been soaking it up like a sponge. I absolutely cannot get enough fast enough! I did three theory 1 first-hour classes in one day, (and more since then) took notes, d-defined, and practiced. Since I do have some background already, I can move through it pretty fast, I get it, and it sticks. I love that you teach the phrases right off the bat to the beginning theory students, then they learn to listen for those as one words right from the beginning...
I have enjoyed all of the classes that I have accessed in your school. It is my desire to be a student of Mark Kislingbury. I am currently working on a strategy to accomplish this goal...
Thank you for your time. I hope you have a wonderful day.
Student Cites Club as "Gigantic Help" in Passing Nevada CCR
This is Alex. I took the Nevada court reporter certification exam on November 17, 2012. I just got the result yesterday and I passed! The exam 200wpm 4-voice for 10 minutes, with 97.5% accuracy required. I thought that I might have made too many mistakes to pass it, so I wrote it off and started preparing for the next one. To my surprise, I got it! I am going to be a freelance reporter here in Las Vegas, and I am very excited.
The Magnum Steno club was a gigantic help in achieving this. Thank you, Mark, for all the help you provide. I love being a member, and I will continue to use the club to become the best reporter I can be.
Student Switches to Mark's School and Theory and Loves It
Thank you for making Steno fun!
I have learned so much already from the MSC videos and the Magnum Steno book, not to mention all your great stories (I'm still laughing about Deposition Chess)... After some soul searching, I decided to divorce [well-known stroke-intensive theory] (for the most part), and I have switched from [well-known CAT software] to digitalCat. And I'm having fun working to improve my writing. I have [your] Words Generator too. (I was so overwhelmed at first, almost everything was a brief I didn't know, but not anymore.)
You may remember, I withdrew from [an Eastern court reporting school] at the end of September; I was writing about 140 then. Don't know where I am now because I'm in total immersion, but will began testing myself again soon. Incidentally, my friend from [that school], Angela H., is now a MSC member. She said this quarter, [the Eastern CR school] has switched from teaching Phoenix to Sten-Ed. It's not [Magnum Steno], but I suppose it's an improvement...
I love seeing your steno notes [in your Club videos] - whether contest notes or live - and I realized that in two years of attending [that CR school] (online and in house) I have only ever seen anyone else's writing when I took online classes. In house, it was sort of taboo to look at anyone else's notes, and teachers NEVER wrote for students. What a shame! I have learned so much about your theory from seeing your notes. I now believe that I can write fast - I never did before. The logic of finding a way to use available keys or to think in terms of shape - well, those concepts weren't even on the radar at [my former school]. I love the way you teach and the logic behind it. Thank you for sharing your passion.
Student Trying to Pass Cal. Qualifiers Discovers Club and Finds Joy
The Magnum Steno book is an amazing blessing to my life right now. I know you are spiritual/Christian people as I am and wanted to share my experience thus far.
I am due to have my fifth child in May. The deadline for the next California CSR exam in the end of March. Naturally I am anxious to qualify for this one so I can just concentrate on my new baby. Well, I was desperate to pass the qualifier before our three week Christmas break, but to no avail. I was devastated. I thought the world would end.
SO, one night in my desperation I Googled something like, "Help to pass the qualifier" and up came Magnum Steno's site. I had heard of Mark, but didn't know he had his own program and website chock full of stuff. It was a "God send," literally. I ordered the stuff right away.
From the introductory video, I knew I had found gold. All of the things that Mark talked about (i.e., the filters in your head, the doubts that we feel about not being capable of writing faster, etc.) completely validated me and allowed me to have the faith to continue on. Now that I have this book, I am totally overwhelmed, but little by little I know I can get all of it learned. Thankfully my theory doesn't hinder my adopting his method.
God has been guiding me to different people and faster ways of writing throughout my 3 1/2-year journey so I am now able to use what Mark has with limited changes. So, long story short... if I had passed the qualifier, I wouldn't have - in a moment of desperation - found Mark's program that will no doubt change my life in court reporting forever. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!
Sincerely, Adrienne C.
Student Credits Magnum Steno Club with Helping Her Graduate from School
I just passed my final speed test as a court reporting student.
I just want to thank you for you amazing wisdom and honesty in your videos! I could not have made such amazing progress without the Magnum Steno Club. I truly believe that you are saving this profession, and I am so grateful for that. God bless you and your family, and have a wonderful Christmas.
Student Watches Each of the Over 100 Instructional Videos Through the Night, Loves Club
Hello again, Mark,
I wanted to express my sincere gratitude. Thank you so much for this opportunity to try out the Magnum Steno Club. Simply put, I am hooked! I spent the entire night watching ALL of the instructional videos. I am so ready to write short and practice at high speeds.
I have to tell you, one of the videos that inspired me the most was "Seabiscuit." It was the most touching message I have ever heard in my education process so far. Because of your guidance, I am ready to become the champion I want to be and know that I can be.
I'll see you at the top someday!
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club with Helping Her Master Difficult Medical Meeting
Every 3 months for the last 2 years, I've been reporting a very large meeting of doctors here in the Chicago area. The first time I did it, it was nearly impossible to report, but I kept at it simply because it was so hard that I didn't want to subject the other reporters in my office to it. It took me a month to complete the transcript, which is usually close to 400 pages.
But this meeting has been the best indicator of my progress in changing my writing with the MSC [Magnum Steno Club]. Not only have I been shortening my writing, but I've been learning to create more briefs on the fly, something I've struggled with.
I can definitely say this last meeting was still very hard, but now I get most of it perfectly and it's almost enjoyable. One guy was so fast that my strokes per second on the Lightspeed went up to 8.1 (!!), which was a record for me.
Shortening the large 3-syllable words has been the key, and this job really highlights that because it is almost like a 10-hour literary. Not only is it easier to take down, but the transcript is even enjoyable to work on now and I can finish it much faster, which means more $$ for me in less hours. I am pretty sure with my old way of writing that I would have eventually given up reporting this meeting because it was just too hard, thus cutting off a stream of income that is a sure thing every 3 months. Now I don't have to do that.
Thank you again!!!
Lisa H. Breiter, CSR, RPR, CRR
Reporter Loves, Loves, Loves Magnum Steno Club
I don't know why it took me so long to join your Steno Club. I finally did. I love it, love it, love it! No more spending money on tapes and CD's that you do over and over. And thank you for sharing briefs every day to help us shorten our writing.
I didn't realize you have had this since 2008. I realize it has been and is a real commitment of time on your part to every day, five days a week, have new dictation and a presentation. I really appreciate it.
Please keep doing it. You are truly an inspiration and yet so humble about your accomplishments. Thank you for helping SO many of us to be the best reporters we can be.
p.s. I love that you put in the Christian influence.
Official Loves Club on Free Trial and Will Use It to Train for RMR
I wanted to share with you that I used your free trial, and appreciate your providing it!
Thank you for creating the site. Your videos are extremely helpful.
I have freelanced in this industry for 15 years. I have recently become an official.
Somehow, you know you are not alone, but sometimes you feel you are when you just can't put your finger on what you need to improve.
You had me pegged! I am a perfect/drop reporter.
Thank you for being well versed in explaining yourself and your videos. I will be purchasing and practicing the drills on your site in hopes of passing the RMR.
Thank you for caring so much about the industry!
Club Helps Student Identify and Correct Repeating in Head and Bad Writing Ergonomics
WOW! Have you been following me around? [after the "Repeating in Your Head" video was posted - MK] I seem stuck, haven't passed a test in a while, but when reviewing them, my writing is so much cleaner; BUT, my biggest problem is perhaps that I repeat, in my head and sometimes even with my mouth. I find myself repeating in kind of a whisper what is being said.
My teachers in theory caught on quickly and tried to get me to stop... I believe this is really holding me back. So I believe I will listen to the instructional video about this over and over. I really hope it helps. I truly feel I can do this, but not if I continue to repeat in my head and hold myself back.
Oh, I really need to thank you for something else. I was speaking to my mentor the other day, and had to admit I almost quit because I have such pain in my shoulders. I could barely type for more than an hour before it became absolutely unbearable. But, you again saved the day. Bless you, Mark. I watched the instructional video you did on ergonomics ["Writing Ergonomics 2" - MK]. My machine is a Stenograph 500 "Flash". It fits quite well with most chairs to a 'lap' position. At first it felt a little weird, but I shared that last week, for the first time in a VERY long time, I practiced. I haven't even been able to practice every day because of the pain. I also type more than 8 hours 5 days a week for my job, so it was killing me. Anyway, I also adjusted my chair so that my 'regular' keyboard is more in my lap, or I just take it off the tray and put it in my lap. I NO LONGER HAVE THE PAIN! FOR REAL! I am completely thrilled!!!! (See? Four exclamation points).
...my working goal will be a LightSpeed. The thought of having the machine actually in my lap, as with my regular keyboard, is a goal I will aspire to. My upper body is 'back to normal' again... Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom! I know I greatly appreciate it!
Student Surprised to Find Wealth of Information and Optimism in Magnum Steno Club
I know you enjoy receiving feedback from your members, so I thought I would take a minute to let you know how absolutely lost I would have been these last three months without the Magnum Steno Club.
As you might remember, I switched schools and had to wait three months to start at my new school. When I found your club, I thought it would just be a good place to go for practice dictation. Little did I know that I would learn more in those three months than I had learned in years prior at my last two schools. Not only that, but the continuous supply of support, motivation, and encouragement have been exactly what I needed! You are always so positive and happy, and that helps me stay that way, as I'm sure it does for all your members.
I am looking forward to starting school again next week, and this will be my LAST school; however, I plan to continue to be a member of your club now, while I'm in school, and after I graduate.
Thanks again, Mark, for everything.
Student Inspired to Eliminate Two-Strokers from Her Most Common 3800 Words
I watched today's shorten your writing video when it first aired in 10/2010. I was just beginning my 160 class at that time. I was writing words like water, really, and better in two strokes. They were around number 300 in my dictionary!
I took your advice and began to methodically shorten my writing. It took me quite a while to get things in order, and I felt like I was learning how to write all over again.
I am now taking the RPR Saturday, and I need two tests to graduate. The exciting part for me is, when I looked at my dictionary today, my first two-stroke word was "manual" at number 2741!! The next was the word "admit" at number 3794 because I can't seem to work out the conflict of mitt/myth/admit in a memorable way. [PHEUT, PH*EUT, TKPHEUT - Mark]
There is still room for improvement (manual=MANL), and I still come back for some of my endings, but not all, like in the past. I will continue to use your methods to shorten my writing and increase my writing speed and enjoyment. Thanks for the reminder!
Magnum Steno Reporter Passes Realtime Certs and Qualifies in Speed Contest
I met you briefly at award luncheon on Saturday (Aug 11, 12). Just wanted to let you know, and to follow up, that I had used your Magnum Steno. It's been over a year now since. But with your help, I was able to pass the CRR, I passed the CRCR (Jersey) with no errors and only person to pass at that particular testing.
Most recently, I just qualified at the National Speed Competition on two out of the three legs. The third, I missed by ONE error!! (I checked my paper after awards.) Just thought it's nice to get positive feedback. While I don't use your theory, in particular, I found your briefs most helpful and I totally get the concept of the shorter and less strokes and incorporate that into my daily writing. Feel free to use this email however you think it may benefit you and others!
Thank you and hope you keep up your good work!
Maureen McCarthy, RPR, RMR, CRCR (Jersey), CRR
Official Court Reporter (Philadelphia)
Student Uses Magnum Steno Club to Pass RPR Testimony Final Leg at Nearly 98%
Just wanted to drop you a line and say how much I appreciate all you've done for the profession. I recently passed the May RPR after breaking my wrist in January (and reading The Art of Learning, which you recommended). I had failed the previous certification tests I took despite having passed all my school tests (three 225 Q and A among others) and coming close, and after a month off, I wasn't sure I'd be able to.
I practiced daily in MSC, worked on phrase enders, and scored nearly an 98% on the testimony -- which was the only leg I needed. I continue to practice and am hoping to be in top shape for when I start reporting next month. Thanks again, and have a great weekend.
Reporter Sees "Huge Improvement" Magnum Steno Club for RPR Success
I just wanted to let you know that after being in the Magnum Steno Club since, I think, December, I am seeing a huge improvement in my writing. I went to a terrible court reporting school and after I graduated, I was struggling on jobs to keep up and my notes were a mess. I thought I would give the Magnum Steno Club a try, because I knew I had to do something if I was going to stay in this profession. My notes are getting much better and I am spending much less time on my transcripts. Thank you so much! I still have a long way to go, but I am so happy with my progress.
Talented, Write-Everything-Out Reporter Vows to Shorten to Pass RMR Q&A
Thanks for the great presentation at the Oklahoma summer seminar Saturday. I have been thinking, for the last couple of days, about what I saw you do and what I heard you say.
I am sold. Your philosophy on "writing short" has the statistics and the science to back it up.
I have always been the poster boy for "stroking it out."
Now I finally understand why I could never get the Q&A leg of the RMR, or CM as we used to call it. It is physically impossible at my finger speed to write that fast because of my high strokes-per-word writing style.
I hope you share some of this with your students and that they use it as encouragement to keep working very hard on shortening their writing.
My theory (Sten-Ed) was initially easy to learn. It is basically a stroke-it-out-by-the-syllables theory. Once you learn the letters on the machine, you are off and running, building your speed. No need to worry with all those brief forms and complicated ways of writing long words. Just "stroke it out."
This may seem the way to go initially, but it is "false economy." It will cost you so much more in the long run. It results in tired hands, stress, and the inability to get the higher skill designations, etc. I wish I had come across your presentation and the Magnum Steno theory a long time ago.
Who am I to say your short-writing theory is so remarkable? A person who wishes he had learned your theory back in court reporting school so he could have gotten out of school sooner? Not quite.
I passed the Oklahoma CSR (200 wpm Q&A) eleven months after first touching a court reporting machine. I passed the Texas CSR (180/200/225) six months after that.
I also passed the RPR on the first try and got all of the RMR, except for that quick 260 wpm Q&A, on the first try. I tried two other times to get that 260 Q&A, but came up short both times.
As I mentioned above, I believe I now know why. Your charts prove that at my finger speed and with my current theory, I just can't do it, and will never be able to do it, unless I shorten my writing.
So after working as a court reporter over twenty years, why change now? Why go through the work and effort to make the change at this point in my career?
Because I believe stenographers, court reporters, and captioners will always be in demand. We are simply the best and fastest way to turn the spoken word into the written word. And I believe your theory is the best and fastest way to do that. I may have 15 to 20 more years of work ahead of me. I want those years to be easier on my fingers, on my hands, and on my mind. I want to learn to write short and write fast.
I ordered your book today.
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club for RPR Success
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know I passed the RPR in May. Yay! I received the final confirmation last week in the mail and saw my name listed on the NCRA website. What a great feeling! I could not have done this without the Magnum Steno Club and your amazing advice and motivation. Thank you so much for all that you do.
"Fearful," "Inadequate," "Miserable" RPR Reporter Finds Hope and Enablement with Mark's Methods
As I referenced in the subject line, this as an overdue email, since I have been a member of MSC [the Magnum Steno Club] for over a year. I am a working RPR and have been for over ten years. For the first few years of having my RPR, I thought that that national certificate meant I was "good enough" to be a reporter. My brain never reached the realm of thinking that I could be an "awesome reporter." The reason for that is because I felt this profession was just too hard. After all, I drop sometimes, and, well, to be frank, some days they mop the floor up with me in depositions.
These occurrences caused me to feel inadequate, and they caused me to start feeling fear and anxiety over what I may be walking into when going to a job. My biggest fear, by far, has been getting asked to read back and I have dropped or just didn't get it, either because I wasn't good enough or I lost concentration. I know I share these feelings with one or two others out there.
I realized I was feeling pretty miserable about my job and either had to do sometime about it or do something else for a profession. The future of reporting is definitely becoming even more demanding on us to be perfect. And so I turned to you, Mark Kislingbury. No pressure, but I decided you're going to have to be my saving grace. (smile)
Seriously, I have looked at about every improvement tool out there. I tend to do my research because I do not like to have my time wasted. Who does? For some reason the name "Mark Kislingbury" has been stuck in the back of my mind for years. I even stumbled upon some information that I had printed and stored in a folder many, many years ago, and it was from you. I must have found it on the Web or something.
Needless to say, I have purchased your book and read it twice, and I have also purchased the MS dictionary. [Note: The Magnum Steno Briefs CAT dictionary comes free with the purchase of the Magnum Steno book, upon request, after two weeks. - MK] The dictionary has been heavily used. So has the website. The two resources have a perfect wealth of information. The way you talk to us on the website has made me, in particular, think that if you, of all people, talk about messing up sometimes, then maybe I've been way too hard on myself.
You also make me reassured that this actually is doable, "this" being the reporting profession. I think that you are brilliant, and I find it amazing that you have devised such a perfect, simplified system. AND YOU'RE SHARING IT! Some things were just meant to be. ...
Thanks for listening, Mark, and I can't wait to get a solid grasp on your system. I think some amazing things are going to happen when I do. You are truly genius.
(name withheld), RPR
Student Discovers Magnum Steno Club and Sees Immediate Results
On Saturday, I watched the instructional videos down to "Mark's Brain is Different." I also tried out one of the high-speed dictations from the archive just to see what they are like. Blew me away pretty much. But I took to heart dropping my filters, staying on top of the dictator and getting something for everything. Sunday I practiced for about 1-1/2 hours at no lower than 160, usually closer to 180, but in about 15-minute increments. Then Monday, I also practiced for about an hour, but again, no longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. I also went through the first 2 brief videos and just browsed through the site.
Well, last night's class was very different that all the other classes. My teacher made a comment about how seamless and quick my read-back was. He wondered why I am still in his class, me too! Well, we test every night. I test for 5 minutes at 140 WPM. I felt I stayed with the speaker but just was not sure how I did. I don't know if I passed yet, we grade them the next night. BUT, I always do a word count. So, at 140, I needed 700 words. If I don't have at least 680 words, I usually don't scour through the document and turn it in for 'credit only.' WELL, when I did the word count, I had exactly 700 words!!!! I am not sure if they are the correct 700 words, but I am so happy that I stayed with the dictator and got something for everything spoken!
Hope I'm not being a pest, but I am so happy and excited. After just 3 days with Magnum Steno, I am amazed at the advances I have made already. I will sign up and make the commitment to sign on every day and be a permanent member of Magnum Steno on Friday. Please feel free to share this. Bless you! Also, thank you for sharing your gifts with other court reporters. I know I greatly appreciate this blessing already!
Reporter Finds True Mark's Promise that Reporting Will Become Fun Again
You promised me my job would become fun again as I shortened my writing and practiced with the club, and you were 100% right, it's become easier and fun. The days when I feel really beat up and struggling are getting fewer and more time in between them.
I recently worked with an attorney that I last worked with in February of '11. I really struggled at that time, and the transcript preparation was so hard. He is very fast, and all the reporters in my office dread having him. But this time when I took him down, I didn't drop and only interrupted two times in a four-hour depo, and it was because he is also very soft-spoken, not only fast. My confidence level went up a few notches that day.
Thanks again for showing me a new way.
Lisa H. Breiter, CSR, RPR, CRR
160s Student Learns from Mark's Seminar and Magnum Steno Club and Graduates Little Over Year Later
I've been wanting to write this for some time, just got busy with graduation and beginning my new career as a CART provider. So here goes!
I went to a seminar where Mark was speaking when I was a student just at 160. I was very impressed with Mark and wondered why the schools did not incorporate this "writing short" concept, because it is amazing! I started with listening to his instructional videos and incorporating the word endings (ed, ing, es, s, etc) into my writing.
When I had mastered that, I started the Briefs 101 videos. They are wonderful! Then I would incorporate more concepts as I went along.
Needless to say, a little over a year later I passed that final 225 and graduated school. I truly believe I could not have done that without this concept of writing short.
To this day, I am still incorporating more of Mark's theory and concepts into my writing, and I use his book every week. Mark is very helpful and encouraging. He wants everyone to do well and to be better writers. Mark honestly has a gift, and he wants to share it with no ulterior motives. Mark and his website are truly a godsend, and I encourage anyone wanting to improve their writing to give Magnum Steno Club a try.
If you are a beginning student, I urge you to contact Mark about his school. Learning Mark's concept of writing short and at high speeds definitely helped me graduate sooner and is continuing to make me a better writer.
Thank you so much, Mark, and keep up the good work!
Student Qualifies for State Test Using Magnum Steno Club
I wanted to share with you that I just QUALIFIED!!!!! I will be taking the state exam in November. I wanted to thank you for your help. The Magnum Steno club has been very helpful. I also wanted to tell you that I really like the 10-minute [endurance] videos you have added. Again THANK YOU for all your help.
I am practicing daily to the Magnum Steno videos and also trying to incorporate briefs to my writing. Thank you so much!!!!
Club Member Passes RMR With Flying Colors
Last year I wrote a testimonial for Mark after re-attaining my RPR and then passing the CRR, thanks to the Magnum Steno Club. Now I have more to be thankful for - I passed all three legs of the May 2012 RMR exam (because of NCRA longevity rules, I won't officially be an RMR until January of 2013).
I've been thinking about how to define precisely how the Magnum Steno Club has benefited me. The daily speed dictations are of course a large part of it. So are the briefing videos and the briefing advice given on the dictation videos, which combined with the Magnum Steno Book have allowed me to systematically shorten my writing. Additionally, Mark was kind enough to send me his dictionary file. I merged it with my personal dictionary, so that when I'm on the job, CaseCATalyst's Brief-It feature will prompt me with Mark's briefs when I write a word in more than one stroke.
But I think the biggest benefit for me has been Mark's emphasis on daily speed practice for working reporters, and on the importance of writing short. These two concepts were wholly foreign to me for much of my reporting career. I thought that once I started working and had passed the RPR, I would never need to do speed practice again. And it never occurred to me to learn a lot of briefs; it always seemed unnecessary to learn a brief just to save one or two strokes on a specific word. Of course I was missing the macro perspective - by learning briefs for thousands of common words, you will write significantly fewer strokes throughout the day, with all the advantages that brings (avoiding physical wear-and-tear, making it easier to keep up, less time spent editing, etc.).
Mark is truly a pioneer and a visionary in the field of court reporting education. While I'm delighted with the progress I've made and the tests I've passed, it's also frustrating to imagine how much easier reporting would have been for me if I had learned his methods from the beginning rather than more than two decades after starting work as a reporter. I envy those students who have an opportunity to learn it the right way from the beginning.
If you're a student or are considering becoming a student, the best thing you can do for yourself is to study with Mark or with a program that utilizes Mark's methods. It will put you light years ahead of students who learn from other methods.
If you're a working reporter, the best thing you can do for yourself is to join the Magnum Steno Club, do the daily dictations, and put in the effort to shorten your writing. It does take a certain amount of time and effort (a manageable amount, though). In return, your skill level, ability to attain certifications, and your experience on the job will improve dramatically.
Lee Bursten, CRR, RMR (as of 1/1/13)
[Note from Mark: Lee's scores were fantastic: Lit: 99.900% (one error); JC: 99.667% (4 errors); QA: 98.000% (26 errors)]
Reporter Uses Club for 30 Days to Likely Pass CRR and Two Legs of RMR
Good Sunday morning, Mark,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you. I became a member of Magnum Steno 30 days before test day. I did not feel I had time to "change" my writing style, so I listened to all of your instructional videos and then began the daily video practice. I have taken the CRR twice before and realized I did not have enough speed to write the 200 Q&A perfectly with nerves.
Because I was going to be practicing at high speeds, I also decided to sign up for the RMR. Well, as of yesterday, my estimated scores were 98 on the CRR, 98 on the 200 literary and 98 on the jury charge. My estimated score was 89 on the Q&A. The content felt a little dense and I did not care for it -- however, I knew with the speeds I had been practicing, I probably had not been practicing high enough to pass that one.
So this fall, I will take the Q&A, and I know that when I practice for at least 30 days sped up versions of your high speed practice, I will confidently walk in and pass that final leg of the RMR. I shared your site with everyone who would listen yesterday as I am a firm believer in your methods!
Jean M. Crawford, RPR, CCR, CSR
Reporter Follows Mark's Briefing, Practicing, Stay-on-Speaker Advice and Notices Huge Improvement
First off, I just want to thank you for encouraging us to practice again. I have been reporting for 20 years now and I would never practice. I stroked out a lot of words that I used to brief. I don't even know why I started doing that, but I did. I was laid off from my freelance job last April, and I was hired into the Common Pleas Court as an official.
On top of adjusting to a full-time fixed schedule, the judge that I work for speaks faster than anyone I have EVER reported in my career, adding onto that that we are in a beautiful 1800s courtroom with horrible acoustics, and needless to say I was hopeless in my job. I was dropping, absolutely could not keep up and just felt like I was dying every day I came to work. However, I had been praying so hard about what I was to do. I was thankful for a job, felt like this is where God wanted me to be, but struggled horribly every day I was at work.
When I went to the Ohio Court Reporters Association spring seminar, I was so glad that you were speaking. I have been practicing and using your tips. I forgot how to fight for every stroke, to stay on top of the speaker, to learn new briefs and to practice. After a week of incorporating these things into my life, WOW, what a difference! Briefs are coming back to me that I used years ago, things are getting so much better!
I thank God for you and that you were at that seminar and reminded us to work on our skill. Now I feel like not only can I survive here, but I can thrive in my job and be an excellent reporter.
Once again, thank you so much, and may God richly bless you:)
Carolyn D. Ross, RPR
California CSR Sees Great Improvement after Mark Seminar and Joining Magnum Steno Club
I've been wanting to drop you a note telling you I tried out the Magnum Steno Club after the Monterey, CA, DRA seminar in February, and I've since signed up for the MS Club and have been working on my writing (almost) every day since then. I can't tell you how amazing it has been to learn to write shorter and faster. I have definitely seen great improvement in my writing. I just think you are a godsend to us reporters. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Okay. I think it's a brilliant idea that you incorporate takes full of briefs in the daily dictations. I think we would all benefit GREATLY with that kind of training. I love when you throw out some briefs before a take; it makes it a lot easier to get through when it's so fast. Or even when you do that afterwards; I like to add those briefs and then repeat the dictation...
Thanks, Mark! ...
RMR/CRR Reporter Sees Improvement on the Job with Club
I just want to tell you how much I'm enjoying the Magnum Steno Club and having fresh speed building dictation every day. I have my RMR and CRR, but I can tell that I'm getting better and faster and sharper with my writing doing just like you say, working on more briefs and phrasing than what I was already using and just the high-speed dictation.
Yesterday is when I could see how I have improved. In court, I had a very fast doctor on the stand with multisyllabic medical terms, most of which I did not have a brief for. So because I was phrasing other things, I had time to come up with one-stroke briefs for many of these terms and get something down for everything without hesitation. When the doctor asked me if he was going too fast, I was able to say no (even though I was barely hanging on and would have LOVED for him to slow down).
But also, I've been meaning to write to tell you how I love your demeanor and how encouraging you are on your dictations and the extra trivia-type information you give. it's a really good and positive way to start the day, not to mention you remind me a lot of my brother!
Student Uses Mark's Principles to Finish School and Qualify
This is Kenya Shields. I don't know if you remember me, but I attended your spring boot camp last year and sat in at your school over last summer to practice along with Jessica K. and a couple of my other classmates from Alvin Community College.
Well, I just found out that I passed my second mock and am now qualified to take the state test in June! Yay! Finally, after 7 long years, I am finally meeting my goal.
I just wanted to thank you for taking time out all those months ago to talk to me about improving my writing and giving me tips. You helped me to improve my concentration skills and briefing skills, and I believe that helped me get over the hump and pass my mocks.
And I wanted to thank you most of all for your positive attitude and the encouragement you give constantly on your website. Knowing that somebody has the faith that we struggling students can become good court reporters makes all the difference sometimes, especially when we aren't sure of it ourselves.
Keep up the good work!
Reporter Improves Speed, Accuracy, and Determination in Club
I just want to quickly thank you for your wonderful recordings. I don't hear you speak of them often on your daily recordings, but I love to go back and listen to your "Mark Speed Method" ones. It's a good refresher of not only what your method is, but a good refresher of the "why" of your method and other great points. I also listen to the sections of Test Week over and over again regardless of how close I am to testing. And, yes, I listen to the other ones too.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark. I cannot adequately express how much your words of wisdom mingled with your many words of encouragement and faith in God have helped me improve my speed, accuracy, and determination.
New Club Member Sees Results Immediately
I attended your seminar in San Diego on the 10th of March, which was also my birthday, and it was the best gift I've ever given myself!
Today was my first depo since, and it was 260 pages, and at the end I could have done another 100 easily. I've only practiced on your Magnum Steno Club three times and have only begun to implement some of your suggestions, such as incorporating the endings and staying right on top of the speaker and phrasing as much as possible.
I'm both shocked and so excited to report that it's already working! I noticed a HUGE difference in my writing. It was so much cleaner and smoother.
And you were right about the difficult strokes, I had so much extra time because of briefing and phrasing that they were easy and came out clean.
Thank you so very much for sharing all that you have and continue to do. I loved my job before, now I'm going to love it even more. I also feel like realtime is not as far off as I thought it was last week. I'm looking forward to your next seminar!
Angie Messenger, freelance reporter
200s Student Discovers Magnum Steno, Shortens Writing, Passes Qualifiers, Straight to CART Realtime
I thought I would also share my experience with everyone as well since I am yet another testimony to your shorthand concept that really turned my writing around; in turn, making that graduation date come much faster than it would have otherwise.
I did not have knowledge of Magnum Steno until I was in my 200s. It was at that time that I joined the Magnum Steno club and started adopting a shorter way of writing. After dictionary building for 4.5 years at that point, you could say it was a bit of a temporary setback. I not only started practicing this shorter way of writing, but then changed and added and edited my dictionary to coincide with my new briefs and phrases.
Another thing I started doing, and it was a VERY short time before I started to see a Significant improvement, was writing REALTIME. After about three months, I was back in the game but this time with a new lease on my work product. I would say another two or three months after this I passed my first qualifier. I passed six more, nearly all back-to-back following my first pass.
Getting my dictionary up-to-par combined with shortening my writing and watching my screen as it was tranning then gave me the confidence it took to become a captioner at a junior college (for hearing-impaired students) for the last 8 months of my schooling. Everything was tranning beautifully and I was Oh, so proud of my work and committment. The short setback was worth its weight in Gold and I can't tell you how proud I was of myself for making that leap and stepping outside of my comfort zone.
I regret I hadn't heard about you sooner. You could have saved me thousands in student loans because that way of writing would have saved me at least ... LEAST 2-3 years in school. Thanks to your help and encouragement and MOST of all, your "theory" of writing shorter, I am another success story.
It paid off, and it paid off BIG TIME.
Thank you, Mark, for all of your efforts and time and energy you put into shedding light on how to most effectively reach our goals.
I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
Tiffany Billingsly, CRI
Golden State College of Court Reporting & Captioning
Official Reporter Inspired to Shorten Her Writing
I had heard you speak on three occasions and had bought your first book and studied your lecture materials. About 10 percent stuck on briefs, but I
did incorporate -ed and -ing and -s through scrunching. I joined Magnum Steno as soon as I tracked down where to find you. I got lost for several
years! I'm thankful I ordered your latest book because I feel that it is the education I never got on shorthand technique.
I am concentrating on your phrases and have input almost all of them this past month into my personal dictionary. This is making CaseCATalyst's
suggested briefs more pertinent to my brain. I am going through my hearings/trials and making lists of words that were stroked out syl-la-ble
by syl-la-ble. Then I look them up in your book and practice those last thing before sleep and first thing upon rising at night. It's all starting to click.
My judge is getting my realtime feed starting today and he's been happy. The only boo-boo that stands out today is I have changed to your way of
writing "thank you" instead of the way I learned years ago of T-U. He wanted to know why I'm hearing everybody say "at you" today!
Official Reporter and Creative Shorthand Student and
Software Programmer of Itty Bitty Details
working in a courtroom, now my laboratory, in Independence, Missouri
Student Passes Final Test, Qualifies for CSR, Credits Magnum Steno Club
Just wanted to let you know that I passed my final test at school yesterday and will be sitting for the CSR in June. I do believe that your advice and my focusing on MS phrasing every day last week on our quarter break was the driving force that pushed me over the top.
Fortunately I'll have about four months to really hammer down those phrasing concepts so that they are automatic for me at 200 and higher. Thanks again. See you in Monterey.
Newly Inspired Magnum Steno Reporter Passes Two Legs of RMR and One to Go
I just wanted you drop you a few lines to tell you how much you and your Magnum Steno Club have helped me to finally feel that RMR is attainable.
I've been a reporter since 1989. I am an RPR and a CRR.
In 2008 I was a mentor for a provisional reporter in New Mexico where I work for the court system. She was having a difficult time passing the RPR which is needed to become certified to work as a reporter in New Mexico and was in danger of losing her provisional and we were in danger of losing a qualified court reporter to another field of work. Long story short, we flew to Phoenix to attend one of your seminars. The light bulb went on for both of us. She then practiced at higher speeds and she passed the next RPR examination she took!!! She is now a working reporter.
I had taken the RMR -- actually it was the CM -- back in the 1990's. May 7, 1994 I passed the written knowledge, failed the literary and the jury charge and did not even transcribe the Q & A. For me, it was never going to happen. I could listen to it and it was so fast, I knew it was beyond my reach. I figured what was the point and I gave up.
Then came your seminar in 2008. Well, again, long story short, I have been a member of the MS Club since attending your seminar and practice high speed dictation and briefs daily.
On November 5, 2011, I passed the Literary and the Jury Charge portion of the RMR!! And now I feel that the 260 Q & A is definitely within my reach. I've decided to work on phrases now -- I don't, I can't, you don't, you can't, etc., among other small-word phrases. I am setting a goal of November of 2012 to become an RMR reporter.
Wish me luck!!
Burned-Out Reporter Now Loves Reporting and CART After Mark's Training
First I would like to share with you that since I've adopted your theory - and that wasn't easy to change after eight years as a freelance reporter with the longest EVER theory - I fell in love with my work as a court reporter. I did pass the RPR after your boot camp and am now doing realtime whenever possible.
I also did a few CART jobs for a hard-of-hearing DA in USDC here in Brooklyn where I live. Donna Clark, who I met in Texas at boot camp, has a captioning company and has contacted me to cover this job at USDC. And guess what? I LOVE IT. I LOVE CART. To me it's like no homework by not scoping.
So.... now that I am turning 51 years old, I am thinking ahead when I'll get older. I don't see myself wanting to run all over Manhattan to cover jobs - it's tiring for me even now - so I'm gearing up to be able to work as a Broadcast Captioner or CART provider and/or anything remote writing. I would love to retire somewhere rural; I love the mountains, so I am dreaming of being able to work remote from wherever I choose to eventually move to.
I do practice speed, and I feel quite ready to take the RMR in May. I should be able to pass some, too. I also try to do every day about 15 minutes of CNN news...
You are my idol. Really without your theory of short writing I would have probably always thought of my job as just a job to pay the bills and not have loved my job as I do now and taken such pride in it. I mostly felt very isolated, lost and alone struggling to be a better writer but had no idea how to go about it.
Your direction of mastering steno writing has given me a path that I keep seeing results. My work on the realtime screen is clean and perfect. At this point I am trying to master your theory for numbers. The way I was taught in school was to not ever use the number keys but to always write out all the numbers. Can you imagine? Gosh. That school should be closed down.
Goldy Gold, RPR
Clay Frazier - Huge Success Story, Young Reporter Writing Mark's Theory
I would like to share a little of my son Clay Frazier's success story with you. I am so grateful for your theory and the MS Club, what it has done to help advance my writing skills, and, more importantly, what it has done for Clay's.
Clay started theory with me in May of '06. He faithfully came to my office at the courthouse I work at during my lunch hour and a half for three months straight. He started Cypress College in So. Cal. in August of '06 and passed his 60 wpm theory test to challenge the theory class the very first time he was given the test.
Clay and I went to your weekend bootcamp seminar in Dec. of '06 in L.A. He was 90 wpm at that time. That (you) really is what put him on fire. I think it was so exciting for him to hear from the guy that wrote the theory he learned. I'd been telling him how lucky he was to have gotten the chance to learn the StenoMaster Theory, but he definitely put all the dots together that weekend.
The following summer we went to Texas for the NCRA convention. That is where we purchased Clay's software and you took him up to your hotel room and gave him your CAT dictionary -- the one you had just won the Speed Contest with. Now that was pretty cool!! :)
A friend from school called him when we were at the convention and let him know he passed a one-minute 200 that he turned in right before we left. Clay says it was a slow one minute, but Clay has a tendency to downplay most of his accomplishments. He's just that kind of guy.
The school held Clay back from taking qualifiers for a long time due to the fact that he had academic classes that still needed to be completed. Upon being able to attend the CSR qualifying class, he passed a qualifier right away. I believe that was in March of '08. The school did not allow him to take the June CSR that year because Clay still had to complete a couple academic classes. He took the Nov. '08 CA CSR and passed with five errors.
It took Clay a little while to get work. Depos were slow, so he also started to work in court for the county I work in. Due to my county's nepotism policy, Clay could not work at the courthouse close to our home where I work, so he had to drive two hours away. He provided a realtime feed to judges right away. Last Nov. '10 he moved to L.A. so he would have better work opportunities. He just finished up his first year in L.A. He is on staff for an amazing agency in L.A. and also covers jobs for other top-notch agencies when he is available to do so.
Clay passed his RPR shortly after the CA CSR. He passed CA's realtime test [CCCR] on the first try about a year later, and he just found out this past week that he passed NCRA's realtime exam (CRR) with 25 errors. It was the first time the test was given in Q & A format. He was one of two reporters in the state of California to pass it and one of 13 nationwide.
It is such an amazing feeling for me to see him being so passionate about being a court reporter. He is loving what he is doing and truly strives for perfection. I am so proud of him.
Thank you again for everything you have done for him. You have been a wonderful mentor. We both appreciate it so much!
Tami Frazier, RMR, CRR, CA CSR
Another Student Club Member Passes RPR
I just nervously opened my mail today from the NCRA and I PASSED all three tests!! I am so excited and relieved. I really have to thank you because you were a very big part of my passing.
I was so down on myself a month before the test, and I wasn't passing any of my school's tests, which made me feel worse. I went on an internship around that time with a working court reporter and I was telling her my troubles. She mentioned that a friend of hers was a member of the Magnum Steno Club and maybe I should give it a try.
Well, about a week later I Googled your name, and up came your website, and I did the free trial week. Well, I've been hooked ever since.
I actually enjoyed practicing again. The icing on the cake was your boot camp in November, where I know for sure my speed went up. That was great, but the thing you did for me was boost my confidence. After boot camp I went into that test and nailed it. I can't thank you enough!!!
I am proudly a member of your club, and I look forward to it every day. The only thing I need to do now is pass the written exam in January, and I will be "Maureen Revie, RPR."
You are greatly appreciated!
Official Reporter Conquers Nerves and Uses Club to Finally Pass Q&A Leg of RMR
I graduated from court reporting school in 1986. Later that same year I took the RMR. I breezed through the literary and jury charge and - suddenly - I realized I was going to pass the RMR! You can guess what happened next. I am an extremely nervous tester. My hands shake so violently that I am unable to place them on the correct keys. It is incredibly frustrating. So, I bombed on the third leg of the exam. I retook the test several times over the years with a similar, very disappointing, outcome.
About two years ago I began working on my theory in order to shorten it and become a more efficient writer, with the added goal of finally mastering the Merit exam. Although I was taught a relatively condensed theory in school, when I began working as a reporter, realtime was in its beginning stages and I wanted to be part of the fun. I dutifully began writing everything out, convinced that would resolve conflicts and make my realtime translate beautifully.
After more than 20 years of practicing this method, I realized I was working much harder than my colleagues. I was tired and more inefficient than before. What could I do?
I've been following Mark Kislingbury for years. He would conduct presentations on his shorter theory and efficient writing style. But I couldn't write like Mark. He was, well, different. Except that I was, well, tired. So, I began by buying his book Magnum Steno: Write Short - Write Fast!
I took it to the office and began by changing some of my writing, just a few words a week. I couldn't believe that I could write investigator in one stroke, for example. I was well on my way. Eventually I joined the Magnum Steno club and began practicing with Mark every day. Just about 10 minutes a day was all it took. I could tell a difference, and I would get so excited to find a brief for something that I had always used three (or four or five) strokes to write.
Last May I signed up for Mark's Boot Camp at his new campus, Mark Kislingbury's Academy of Court Reporting. For one week we wrote dictation, practiced briefs and exchanged ideas with other reporters preparing to take the RPR or RMR. It was an extremely gratifying experience. I also enjoyed the benefit of meeting many other reporters and students who are as serious and determined as I am to be a better reporter.
This fall, I signed up for the Merit exam once again. It was held on November 5, 2011. I knew I could write the material. I was confident and, of course, nervous. When the one-minute warm-up began, I thought to myself, "This is going to be a breeze. All of the practicing and hard work is going to pay off, and I'll be finished with this forever!"
Then the test began. My hands immediately began shaking and moving all over the keys. "Oh, dear, this can't be happening! I've worked so hard!" I did everything I could to focus, but my hands were still uncontrollable, and my mind was unable to send the message to my fingers to get it together. Precious seconds were ticking by. I was still pounding away, but it was really, really disappointing and disconcerting. However, I recalled what Mark constantly teaches: Don't drop. Stay on the speaker. And my own thought to just hang in there and give it all I had.
I did have a couple drops in the first minute or two. Was it enough to make the difference? I wasn't sure, but I knew I had done better than ever before. The trembling in my hands was reduced, and I knew that the worst was over and I could possibly pull it together and finish the take successfully.
On December 13, 2011, I received the news: Carrie Logan is now an RMR!
Practicing is now part of my workday. When I arrive at the office, I log on to the Magnum Steno Club and write for 10 minutes or so with Mark. I never thought I needed to practice until I began practicing and I could see the huge difference it made in my speed and accuracy in the courtroom. I am constantly working on my briefs and still become very excited to find a shorter way to write something!
Carrie Logan, RMR, Official District Court Reporter
Club Member Passes RPR
With the help of the Magnum Steno Club I've passed the RPR!!
I really feel as though practicing with you every day has helped me immensely. I have learned many new writing concepts that have helped me shorten my writing. Having written a stroke-intensive theory for many years, it was very difficult to break that habit. I still have a lot more work to do, but I know that I can do it.
The high speed practice has been so beneficial for me. It not only gives you the finger speed needed, but it also trains you to hear and process the information faster. In the beginning I could barely hear and process the dictation. It's truly amazing how far I've come.
Also, thank you for your words of encouragement. I'm ready to start working on another certification.
Rosita DeCarlo, RPR
Student Credits Magnum Steno Club for Passing California CSR
My name is Miles Lendway from the San Francisco Bay Area. I really wanted to take the time to simply thank you for all that you do. I joined the Steno Magnum Club approximately in late August. I watched your videos on a regular basis in order to prep for my CSR exam this last October.
After taking it for the sixth time, I finally passed. I know it was because of all of your help and support. So again, thank you. I plan on remaining a member of the Magnum Steno Club, and becoming the best reporter that I can be.
Write-It-Out Mother Finally Emulates Short-Writing Daughter's Success. Sees Progress After Joining MSC
As you know, my daughter Candice started CR school right when I attained my CSR in 2005. I had heard about your theory but, unfortunately, never really checked into it; so I sent Candice to a school that taught a very stroke-intensive theory. Luckily, she met a friend in school who had learned your theory [Clay Frazier], and she witnessed how fast he progressed; so she started incorporating your theory.
After seeing her progress at an alarming rate, I asked her how she was doing it. I'll admit, when she told me about your theory, the concepts, the memorization, I didn't want to even hear it because my brain was so used to writing by sound and being able to read my steno notes phonetically. I knew -- or I should say "I thought" -- my brain wouldn't be able to memorize all those concepts and briefs. [Ed. note: Both Candice and Clay breezed through school and scored high 99 percents on the California CSR while striving to write short.]
Time went on, and as I was in my first years of reporting, I witnessed Candice fly through speed tests, pass the qualifier within the first week of being in qualifiers, pass the CSR on the first try with 6 errors, and then shortly thereafter pass the RPR. Her notes were beautiful, hardly any untrans and of course she got every word. She wasn't afraid to take doctors, experts etc. during her first year.
Her excellence made me feel like I shouldn't even be reporting. I had untrans everywhere and each job was a struggle and workout. Candice finally encouraged me to just try your concepts. I looked at her StenoMaster book and became very overwhelmed and gave it back to her.
Time still went on, haha, and I was seriously feeling like a CR failure. Candice, again, told me just to try your theory by incorporating endings into the first stroke, i.e., tucking the -R for -er and the -G for -ing. That came pretty easy, so I continued to learn more of your concepts. After about six months, when I wrote a stroke, if I had an extra finger I used it on the first stroke no matter where it was. My brain was finally starting to think the way your theory works.
Candice encouraged me to join the MS club, which I did back in March. Every day, along with the daily video, I would do an instructional video, as well as the Briefs videos. After a few weeks of your daily encouraging words and noticing how the high speed practice was helping me on the job, I thought I might just have a chance at passing the RPR, something I had in the same category with going to the moon. I had taken it over four times in the past, and they always had stopped grading. I had given up on trying to pass it.
I took the August RPR, and I was thrilled when I only missed the Lit by 12. I was really amazed at how calm I felt, how slow it sounded, and how your MS Club really did work. Your club has given me confidence again, and I continue daily to shorten my writing. I really have no idea how I ever passed the CSR writing everything out the way I did. The MS Club is something I look forward to every day, and it's actually really fun. I love going to my jobs now to see how much progress I've made.
I am so thankful for you and all the time you spend giving to us CRs, sharing your knowledge, passion, and love of court reporting so we can be the best. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Reporter Sees Mark as Trainer and Takes Notes on Instructional Videos
Just wanted to wish you and your loved ones a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
I have so many things to be grateful for, and you and Magnum Steno are at the top of my list!
Wanted to let you know that my husband is my sideline coach. He tells me you're my trainer! He really likes what you have to say in your instructional videos. I do, too, and have taken notes on every one of them that I've viewed, and that's a lot!
Thanks for all your tireless hard work and efforts. I know your zeal because I have felt the same way! I pray that God continues to give you the strength you need for your future endeavors in this great profession.
God bless you, Mark.
Barb Bourbina, CCR
Student Passes Three Speed Tests After Joining Club
I just wanted to tell you that I have been a member of Magnum Steno for only a few months and I have passed 3 speed tests! I passed a 170 Lit, a 170 2 voice,
and now today a 180 2 voice. It was taking me months to pass ONE test before I joined. I just wanted to say thanks and you're a GENIUS!!!
Student Passes Texas CSR Using Magnum Steno Club to Prepare
How are you? I just wanted to email you and let you know that I'm now Jessica Kim, CSR!!!!!!
I want to thank you for helping me by making me practice dense/fast materials [in the Magnum Steno Club]! I truly believe that helped me with my concentration. Thank you, Mark!!!
I'm still and will keep practicing to Magnum Steno Club.
Thank you for what you do!
Jessica Kim, CSR
Reporter Raves About Boot Camp and New Love and Excitement for Reporting
Wow! That's how I feel right now! I just finished the boot camp last week and couldn't believe how hard I worked. It was so much more than I expected. My arms were sore the first few days, but by the end of the week, no soreness! I couldn't wait until Monday so I could take a depo and use some of this awesome training! But of course, my job cancelled as I was pulling out of my driveway. :(
I came home and practiced some more briefs!!! I can't get enough. I called my colleague at work and couldn't stop gushing about all the great briefs I had learned in boot camp. I was sharing with her the "try to" family of briefs and just wouldn't shut up when she finally said, "Debby, I have to go!" Oops! I just can't help myself. I feel like they need to know this too!
Finally, I got a job on Tuesday morning. A simple car accident, but that's okay, I'll try all my small word phrases that I have a hard time incorporating into my high-speed practice. It was AMAZING!!!! I felt like I was in a dream. How could my writing be so much better? I was smiling and wanted to tell the attorney, "Hey, hey, look! I just briefed 'trying to' in one stroke! I just learned that last week."
Don't worry, I refrained. I just kept writing and concentrating on briefing. I really can't believe how much more I loved working today.
Thank you so much for renewing my excitement for court reporting after 18 years of doing this! I am going to pass the next test in May! I want my RMR and my CRR! Thank you for sharing your gift of shortening your writing. It has been a true blessing in my life! And it's contagious.....my colleague said, "Oh, you make me want to go home and practice." It's so much fun!
Thank you so very much!
Debby Bonds, RPR and OR-CSR, and soon-to-be CRR and RMR!
Club Member Beat Nerves, Does Well on RPR, After Mark's Boot Camp [See above, she PASSED!]
I took the RPR today [Nov. 2011] and felt really good. I wasn't nervous which is VERY unusual for me. Your visualization method really helped me and I actually played your video on that as my warm up right before the test. Also, after doing [your] boot camp this week I felt really good this morning during my practice of your high speed takes.
Lit came first and I was not nervous, stayed on the speaker, did not drop, and got a stroke for everything. I got a little cocky during the jury charge and lost concentration a little bit and dropped and had to catch up so I'm not sure how I did on that which is really silly because if I had stayed on the speaker, I would have got it. I got myself together on the QA , stayed on the speaker and did not drop. I think I did really well on that.
As I told you before, I can't thank you enough. Since joining your club and doing the boot camp, my confidence has gone up, my speed has definitely gone up, and now I want to go further and start practicing for the RMR. You have definitely inspired me.
My Magnum Steno book arrived today and I look forward to getting started on that...
Just wanted to tell you how it went today. Thanks again. I really enjoyed the boot camp, it was a lot more fun than I had imagined.
Reporter Shortens Writing and Gains New Love for Court Reporting
I just have to drop a note about my dictionary. I started Magnum Steno April of this year. My dictionary has gone from 180,000 down to 130,000 words, not exaggerating. It's from deleting all the multi-stroke misstroke entries and replacing them with the writing short theory.
[Mark responded: Wow! Didn't you want to keep them just in case when it gets fast you might
sometimes revert to writing out?]
[She responded:] Scary, right? I'm now a one-stroke addict and can't be stopped. Sometimes I would have like 50 to 70 misstrokes for one word! I can't believe I was writing like that. I only delete the ones that I know I have in memory. If I do write out a word on accident, it just comes out as an untranslate, which makes it stick that much more in my soggy brain.
Thank you, Mark. I have a newfound love for court reporting.
Club Member Improves in Boot Camp and Loves Writing Short
Just wanted to say thanks again for holding this [Nov. 2011] boot camp. I am enjoying myself so much. I wish you could know the amazing difference I feel being with you and others who love briefs and love writing fast and love your style, as opposed to those who don't want to teach or write briefs, never dictate or write over their goal speeds, and don't want to hear your name mentioned.
This week has been such a breath of fresh air! So the battle rages over the best way to write and to practice. But I am encouraged.
I loved the stuff the Brief Catcher designer had on his website calling reporters to learn and practice briefs.
I love that the DRA convention had a CA CSR (Marla Sharp, with whom I'll be having dinner tomorrow in LA) speaking about the joy -- and addiction -- of briefing.
I love that you'll be at the next [DRA] convention in Monterey in February.
Surely your methods will win out. The word is spreading, and so is the enthusiasm. Thank you!
Student Advances in Speed, Loves Magnum Steno Club and Mark's Online School
I would just like you to know that I have just moved up to the 200 class. Final class in my school, we need 11 tests to be done: 4 at 180, 4 at 200 and 3 at 225. I would like to thank you!!!
I love my online class, although I mostly have to watch the videos, and my Magnum Steno Club, I would not be there without you.
I love, love, love writing short, and I sit with people who are going on their third semester in that class. Why? Because they write everything out. I would imagine it is going to take them quite a while. I am going to start interning soon. I can't wait.
Thanks again!! See you in class.
Student, After 10 Months of No Passing, Passes Two Back-to-Back 225s After Joining Club!
I'm so sorry to keep emailing you all the time, but this I just HAVE to
tell you. Mark, I've only been doing your club for one month, and I
passed TWO of my 225 tests!! I have one more to go and I'm done with
speeds! I've been working on 225 since October of last year, nothing
but QA 225, and I have not been able to pass a single test. In just one
month in your club, I have now passed two tests back to back.
Words cannot even express how grateful I am to you for doing this for
all of us! I'm a lifetime member, Mark! Thank you!!
Student Credits Magnum Steno Club for Graduating from School
I've been a member of the Magnum Steno Club for probably a year now.
I'm writing to you to thank you for your words of encouragement to the members
of the club. Your advice has helped me push through school, too. I graduated
today! Passed the last test needed.
I'm not sure how I would have gotten through school without watching your
Student Passes 225s by Self-Imposed Deadline Using Magnum Steno Club
I am 27 years old and I have been in school since Oct. '09. In February my husband and I found out that we were going to be blessed with our first child, due 10/10/11.
I knew I had to kick it into gear in order to finish school before our daughter came! By July, I was at 200 and realized that I only had a few weeks before my semester ended on Aug. 11th. The next semester would not start until mid-September, a month from my due date, so I was determined to finish by 8/11.
I read about the MSC [Magnum Steno Club] in a JCR article. I joined because I was looking for good dictation material, which I found. In addition to that, I found a wealth of advice and insight... You responded with the suggestion of practicing at 280 [to master 225] in preparation...
Glory be to God, I was able to pass my 225s by my deadline! I truly believe that your advice was the key to my success.
Your videos have also inspired me to continue my speed building. I now realize that 225 is just the beginning, and I just want to keep learning and growing.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience!
BBC Captioner Becomes Brief Convert with Magnum Steno Book and Club Videos
I really am enjoying your videos and book. And I now agree - "it's best not to have too many short forms in captioning" is a myth! I used to be so precious about not having too many ghastly short forms in my pristine captioning dictionary. I trained at the BBC, and I'll always be grateful for being trained in fingerspelling, punctuating on the fly - opening and closing quotes, hyphenating etc - and being very sophisticated with prefixes and suffixes. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have such a clean dictionary. But how ridiculous that I would write "temporary" in three strokes!
I was overwhelmed when I first got your book. It was simply daunting. So I started off with something that just made sense. And the "squeezing the R" was where I started - longer, stranger, bigger. Just crazy that I wasn't doing it already! Then I went to longest, strangest, biggest etc. I really like the FAORD for afford and SAORT for assort. I can't believe how little of the steno keyboard's potential I use. Crazy! And exhausting!
The videos are so positive, and have truly helped with my speed. I think speed development for me has been about being comfortable with being uncomfortable when writing - being comfortable with not being so in control of writing. No pain and discomfort, not gain. I've just enjoyed it so much, and thanks for sharing your passion for writing.
Reporter Passes All Three Legs of RMR, Credits Mark's Pennsylvania Seminar
Guess what? I passed the RMR skills tests, all three! I just wanted to say a big thank you because I would not have even come close if I hadn't changed some things about my writing as a result of hearing you speak at the Pennsylvania Court Reporters convention in April.
THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR INSIGHT WITH OTHERS!!
May God richly bless you!
Experienced Reporter Finding Club Gives Speed, Endurance, Confidence, Relaxation, and Joy
I just wanted to let you know how well your Magnum Steno Club works for me. I have been a reporter for 31 years now, and for the last 6 years, I have been an official reporter. After practicing with you almost every day and practicing my briefs every day, even on vacation, I can now write all day in court and am not tired...at all!
Last Monday, we had a jury trial. We picked a jury, had opening arguments and then testimony until 5:00. I wrote 300 pages for that day. And both attorneys spoke really fast. The defense attorney spoke so fast, I couldn't understand him sometimes, but still I wrote "something." No matter how fast, I kept my hands calm and rhythmic. I tried as best I could to use my bazillion phrases and briefs that I had picked up over the last year or so. I walked out of that court feeling like I could write for another 7 hours. It was an amazing feeling, one I had never felt before.
So, thank you for all your work in helping us all have a better life as a reporter. Reporting is still tough sometimes, but I feel so much more competent and relaxed. Reporting has always been fun, but now it is pure joy.
Reporter Loves Writing Shorter and Practicing High Speeds
I totally agree with what you said yesterday about writing short versus having multiple strokes for one word. Ask anyone I went to court reporting school with -- I wrote everything out, I mean, everything. I had that mentality you were talking about. I wrote "tomorrow" in three strokes not too long ago!! I don't know how I ever passed the test doing that.
I've been a court reporter 20 years. I have changed my theory four times and this is now five. But I don't really consider Magnum as changing it, more like tweaking it. I had a generic theory to start with. It was called Stenograph Theory or something or other 1983; that was high school.
Then I went to court reporting school. Even though I had been through theory, I took their theory class. The owners of that school had invented their own thing - Maxim Theory. Like TD was -er; so "mother" was MOTD. Then a new teacher came aboard and forced us to change our theory - yet again for me. I was in my 180s.
Then I decided I better keep up with the times, so I went to a realtime theory, Sten-Ed. I did this in 1995ish while an official in district court. My writing for a while was shot. That was a very scary time, because I hesitated on every stroke.
I get a rush out of learning a brief and then going into my dictionary and deleting the multi strokers and the hundreds of misstrokes for it. My dictionary has been actually getting smaller rather than larger. Funny. My favorite is a simple brief (two or three keys) for a really long complicated word. Awesome!
We are planning a trip out of town, and I don't want to leave Magnum Steno. It's the best investment I've ever made. Loving every minute of it! I do get discouraged every single time, because I have never been able to keep up on the high speed... YET. But then you always say something inspiring which makes me feel better. If you don't say something inspiring, it's something pretty darn funny which still makes me feel better. The French accent video cracks me up every time.
Student Has Positive Attitude and is on Right Track
I have every bit of confidence it takes to pass. As long as I have God, you, your club, your suggestions, me and my positive attitude and my determination to follow your suggestions. I believe I was put here in this situation for a reason and so far I have benefited more from your club in 2 months than I have in 4 yrs at that school. So yes, I agree with you, I do have all the tools I need...
I also wanted to mention, Mark, this school never once looked at why I was not passing my Qualifier. It took a friend of mine to suggest I look to your site for help. As it turned out, when you mentioned "write short" I knew writing the word "nervous" in three strokes was my trouble. Amazingly I was [still] able to keep up [anyway]. You can imagine how many other words and phrases I don't do. I don't need to go any further. I've just begun writing short now. About 3 months' worth.
Like you have said, you enjoy writing more when you use briefs. I feel the same way. Nor do I feel hand and wrist pain anymore.
I really appreciate your offering to figure out why I am not passing the RPR...
Thank you so much. Once again I shall go back over every inch of your site to take on your advice to where it's all second nature to me. (Now that I have the briefing down, it's really my mental mindsets that keep me from being at my best)
Thank you, Coach Mark.
Reporter Reports Great Results on the Job from Boot Camp May 2011
Thank you, again, for your beneficial boot camp.
I wanted to send you an email regarding my first job since boot camp. Let me just say that I've never written like I did today at a job. I got to the job about 45 minutes early. After setting up, I ran through my Excel spreadsheet of new briefs I learned from your science briefs video and day 1 of briefs 101. Then I had put in my earplugs and pressed play on today's Magnum Steno dictation. I wrote my little heart out. I took a quick break to grab some coffee, and then I started prepping for today's job. I put in my include pages. I started writing one-stroke briefs for the names I already had, Zachary, Jonathan, Kaitlyn, Gayle, Margaret, last names, attorneys' names, and my speaker identifications.
One of the boot camp participants had too many margaritas the night before one of your classes, so I put margarita and margaritas in my dictionary, MARGT and MARGTS. Well, the brief for margarita would also be good for Margaret so I stuck an asterisk with it, MA*RGT. I did toy with the idea of job defining it, but I decided not to. Luckily I didn't since they said both in my deposition! If it wasn't for your boot camp, Margaret would have been two strokes and margarita would have been four strokes.
Things I learned from your boot camp that I used in today's job: buckle down and go into my "new gear" during the fast testimony, brief on the fly, get something for everything, don't drop, stop analyzing my old strokes or hesitating and keep moving. I realize I used to look at my screen and see I didn't stroke something right and I'd back up to fix it, but then I would end up dropping in my attempt to catch up.
I told a group of freelance reporters I'd like to have lunch on Wednesday to do a brain dump of what I learned with people who understand what I'm talking about. Eight reporters said they'd be interested. I can't do your boot camp justice in one lunch, but I hope to encourage them to inspire them to be better (and shorter) writers.
As Matthew 25:40 says, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Thank you for giving back. May God bless you!
Boot Camp May 2011
Reporter Inspired by "Mark's Brain is Different" Video in Club
Thank you for your video "Mark's brain is different"!
This video made a huge impact on me this morning. I think that although I believed from day one your methods and approach to success in steno writing are superior, I have always believed you, Mark Kislingbury, speed champion, are just different, innately different than I, and that you have some advantage I can never really have.
I know well from previous life experience that hard work and perseverance pays off and that natural talent alone doesn't always lead to success. I've always been an extremely hard worker in everything I do, but something about mastering steno machine writing has left me feeling inadequate and frustrated. I know hard work is the only thing that helped me graduate court reporting school two and a half years ago, but I think I have always secretly believed I could never really master the machine since I'm not a "naturally talented" writer like other reporters I know.
You really spoke to me through this video. Thank you for being so direct and speaking with such clarity. You explained that focused, daily, high-speed practice and focused, daily study of brief forms are the real keys to your success in machine writing. To hear you say this was like receiving a gift! Hearing and understanding this helps me believe in myself, the hard worker, again, and realize those same practices will also be the keys to success in my work to become a better writer and pass the RPR. So my next set of goals are actually achievable for me, not just for the speedy-fingered "phenoms" and "natural writers." What a relief and much-needed inspiration!
Thank you for all you do to inspire, motivate, and teach me.
Burned-Out Write-Everything-Out Reporter Rejuvenated, "Sees the Light" in Magnum Steno Club
I've been using Magnum Steno for a couple of weeks now, and I just want to thank you for a great website! I have enjoyed logging on in the mornings and writing to your videos. I have also been using the archived videos when I have extra time.
I listened to your Martial Arts video today, and it struck me so I wanted to share. I was a reporter for eight years (seven years as an official) and totally burned out. I left court reporting two years ago to complete my Bachelor's Degree, intending to leave the court reporting field completely. After praying about it over that time, I've decided to re-enter the field and to take the CA CSR in June. I'm on [a well-known write-it-out] theory, and I write EVERYTHING out. As suggested by one of your archived videos, I started going through my most frequently used words. To my surprise, some of my most frequently used words have three or more (sometimes five) strokes!
No wonder I burned out so quickly! I always said court reporting was such a hard job for me, and I'm beginning to understand why I was exhausted every single day. In fact, in today's speedbuilding video the word "Internet" was used. I write that out in three strokes, versus other theories write it out in one, SPW-NT. My theory doesn't even have a brief for "Internet" in our dictionary...
Thanks for your time, and thank you again for a wonderful website. You have me excited and optimistic about court reporting again!
God Bless, Amy R.
Experienced Official Reporter Loves Boot Camp and Feels She Improved Greatly
I want to let you know once again how much I thoroughly enjoyed the boot camp experience. I feel as though I have improved as a court reporting professional a hundred times over.
At the end of class yesterday you asked me about the difference between the Magnum Steno Club and the boot camp. My initial response was that you reinforced for us the same tools in boot camp as you did MSC. However, I want to elaborate on that. The boot camp experience is obviously much more intense. One result of that is that I have come away from these past few days with those thoughts replaying in my head stronger than ever: Stay on the speaker, get a stroke for everything, give 100 percent, just to name a few. So, though you do say those things in our daily practice with MSC, I think I can finally integrate those tools into my everyday thinking and utilize them to empower me to be the best reporter that I can be. I can sense a difference in my thinking already. As I was making breakfast this morning, Mark-isms were running through my brain. Oh, no! You've invaded!
An added bonus that I could not possibly anticipate was the amazing energy and camaraderie of the entire group. I spoke with many of the participants and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. I loved how unique every one of them are. I loved their stories of how they became court reporters as well as the students who are striving to become the best they can be. Most of all I am feeling truly blessed to be with reporters who all want to be excellent.
The biggest take-away for you, Mark, is that you are the one who has created and is constantly improving upon the most efficient and effective teaching methods for our profession. In addition, all of us come together to be with you to benefit from your teaching and our learning from one another. What could be better than that?
Have a wonderful weekend. Did I tell you I've scheduled a sub for the next boot camp?
God bless you and your family and your school and your students and Gromit and...
Club Member Practicing Daily and Benefiting in Reporting and in Life
Thank you for your fun video today! I just wanted you to know I practice every single day! And when I don't I feel horrible about it. Hey, I think it's a fantastic idea to let you know about those days that we don't practice so you can get on us to not ever do that again! Some of us need that. :)
Your club, advice, encouragement, training, reading, wisdom, knowledge, everything has really helped me progress and see instant progress since becoming a member to your club. Thank you so much for helping me be a better me not just in my reporting career, but in my life in general too. You're just a wonderful genius, Mark!
Student Working on 200wpm Digs Many Gold Nuggets out of Club
Wonderful. Your instructional videos entitled Test Day 1-5 are fantastic. I really think you're right, I'd benefit from visualizing passing my test. And thanking God is going to be helpful too.
In #4 you talked about "when I write I feel His pleasure." I 100% agree with that. Such good solid points you have. I took the time to make notes in Word of all your helpful instructional videos. You're one of those guys where everything you say is important. And there's a lot of info in there, and I just want to learn from it all!
I have to tell you about my test today. My test went awesome. I'm so pleased with my progress. And I give you all the credit because I did everything you have told me to do and applied it to today's test and I can honestly say I could not have done a better job today.
For one thing, for the first time I did not have a bad middle part of the test. At the end of the 12 minutes, I was ready for more, in fact!
I've been learning about 10 new briefs a week diligently, and quite a few of them came up in my test today. "Shoulder" I'm learning this week, and it came up in the test, and I didn't hesitate, I didn't freak out, I wrote it with confidence, cleanly and accurately. That's such a great feeling.
Also, when I made a mistake, I considered it "water under the bridge" and moved on. That really helped that you have mentioned that. "Champions overcome this." Your advice is just incredible, yet simple.
Also, I've heard you talk about be ready for the test to speed up at any time. I applied that, and it helped significantly. I applied your many other techniques too, but I specifically remember those helping tremendously.
So I'd say I see my progress comes from a combination of solid concentration, motivation, applying your techniques, and God working in and for me. I'm very pleased that I can honestly say I have multiple victories to celebrate tonight.
...I did not hesitate on any words because I just did what you said and kept going, not messing up that rhythm I had, and you're right, the words become readable in context :)
Thank you, Mark, for making such perfect sense with your techniques. You've made me a happier person not just in my writing, but in all areas of my life because I'm more confident that I can do this hard stuff! These methods can be easily used in other areas of our lives, not just with court reporting. So that I'm appreciative of, too.
Oh, one last thing. I'm a big hockey fan. I just love hearing you talk about Wayne Gretzky in your Olympic instructional video. I can't tell you enough how enjoyable and helpful that topic of discussion was for me. I think it really made things click for me hearing you talk about athletes are similar to what we are doing with court reporting...
Club Member Says Mark Saved Her Career, Club Gives New Inspiration
...last night I finally decided to join your Magnum Steno Club. Yesterday and this morning I did the welcome video, and a few others, including some of the briefs. I just finished listening to all four parts of the Mark Speed Method videos.
At this point, I believe you may have saved my court reporting career. All year long I have been thinking I might give it up. I've been in and out of CR schools going back ten years. I quit a very good, well-paying job last year to go back to CR school and barely saw any progress. I quit school and had to go back to work this year (much lower pay), telling myself that I was going to give it a little more time before I quit for good.
In just two nights working with you and watching your videos I feel a renewed vigor. It's like having a coach and mentor right here with me helping me to succeed. Mark Speed Method Part 4 nearly brought me to tears, it was so motivating and inspirational. I know it won't be like this every day, but for a change, I feel as if I can do this again.
Thank you, Mark. I look forward to attending one of your boot camps one day. I really can't wait.
Reporter Successfully Stops For A Year and Learns Mark's Theory!
First off, I want to tell you that I was an official reporter and just was using a theory that was too stroke intensive so I decided to step down, stopped reporting, purchased everything from StenoMaster, and on my own I completely switched my theory. I was off work for one year doing that. It was the best thing I've ever done.
I am going for my realtime test so I looked you up again and found Magnum Steno. I LOVE it! It is absolutely wonderful because I write exactly like you so any new idea you have I just soak it up.
I just watched for the second time the focused practice and the concepts with I, you, he, she, who (that one is a hard finger stroke but I will get it), we, and they on the initial side. You are absolutely BRILLIANT!!!!!! It is awesome. After only listening to it twice, I will immediately be able to implement it in my writing every day with no hesitation. Again, it is BRILLIANT!!!!!!
Club Member Loves "I Don't You Don't" Phrases Video
Oh my goodness, Mark!
I just finished the "I don't" video and it is awesome. I have the Magnum Steno book and I have always been afraid to try the other phrases outside of the "I" phrase. But when I saw this introductory video I was excited!
When you break it down to me in the video so basic that I can do the phrases, I'm not intimidated by those other phrases now. I love them.
I was thinking, as I work through them with you, "Am I going to be able to write these phrases when I hear them?" And you told me I will because you do. And I believe that. This week I am going to drill on these phrases along with the ones I've already been working on.
Thank you for this, Mark. It's a joy to go through my book with you. I feel like I'm your own personal student. Thank you.
Member Realizes We All Can Learn to Write Shorter
I just heard someone in the court reporting world say something to the effect that you have a superior mind, and that's why you can absorb all those briefs. This presumes the rest of us can't. Gosh, I'm doing it, and I don't consider myself to have a superior mind. I just keep at it.
Anyway, there may be reporters who feel this way. That's why I'm telling you this. What I've learned is that your briefs aren't, for the most part, random. I see a real system at work here. And it's the systemic nature of the briefs which makes them possible to absorb easily, I might add, once one gets the hang of it.
See, I've changed my whole way of writing based on your system for writing short. And that's what it is -- a system for writing short, not just briefs.
Best regards, Carole Francis-Swayze
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club for Passing RPR, Enjoyable Work, Faster Editing
I was taught in school to write everything out, which grew old very fast. I dreaded every job I took because I could barely hold on for dear life.
Then I found out about Magnum Steno. I worked hard briefing and practicing at high speeds and it has paid off! Working is much more enjoyable now and best of all, editing does not take hours and hours to do anymore!! This has really been a breakthrough in my reporting!
Mark has been there for me, coaching me along the way, answering all my questions and most of all, encouraging me to help me become the best reporter I can be.
I am thrilled to say that I passed all three legs of the RPR, and it's only because of Mark and this club that it happened.
Thanks again for everything,
Note: Pearl was one of the first Boot Camp attendees in November 2010, just before passing the RPR.
Seasoned Freelancer/Captioner Uses Magnum Steno Club to Pass Exams and Improve Significantly
I have been a realtime deposition reporter and a captioner for 22 years. When I left reporting and became a full-time captioner, I studied the then-conventional wisdom and consequently threw out ALL my phrase briefs and wrote ALL inflected endings on a separate stroke.
I did okay for myself -- my statistics put me certainly within the top 10% of the company's captioners -- but I could have done a lot better if I knew then what I know now. My accuracy was very good but my speed could have been better. I was the perfect example of what Mark calls a "write perfect and drop reporter."
In March of 2009, after nine years of captioning, I went back to full-time reporting, and I found that writing everything out was just not going to cut it. I also decided I wanted to re-attain the RPR that I had lost when I let my NCRA membership lapse. Although I had been working as a reporter/captioner for decades, I felt a bit uneasy about the RPR, because it had also been decades since I had taken a test, and test-taking has its own skill set that requires practice.
That's when I joined the Magnum Steno Club. Since joining the Club, I have shortened my writing about 35% from when I was captioning, although I'm still not what anyone would call a short writer. But my writing on the job is so much better now that it's shorter, it's a real pleasure. Writing hard material is noticeably easier now.
Practicing Mark's daily high-speed dictation definitely helped me to pass the RPR (all three legs). Three months later, I took the CRR and passed it easily. [Editor's note: He made only FOUR errors on the CRR! Truly an amazing feat - MK]
Mark has a great set of videos teaching a graduated sequence of learning briefs for shortening writing. I found them very helpful, and I also purchased the StenoMaster theory book and the Magnum Steno book so that I could strategize my brief-learning more systematically. I consider the money spent on the Club and on these two books to be the best money I ever spent in terms of improving my skills and furthering my career.
Besides being (obviously) a gifted writer, Mark is also a gifted teacher and coach. Members of the Club have access to Mark's many motivational and inspirational videos, but even in his daily dictation videos Mark motivates and inspires Club members to give their best effort. Machine shorthand is a difficult skill to learn and a difficult skill to improve on. It's very heartening to have a teacher/coach who understands the importance of encouraging and motivating students to learn the skill, and inspiring working reporters/captioners to improve that skill.
One thing that surprised me was that while I had expected practice to be a burden, in fact it turned out that I enjoy the practice and look forward to practice time, odd as it may seem. I feel more confident at the job because I've practiced that morning.
It's important to know that while Mark meets the Club member more than halfway with his dictation videos, motivational videos, instructional videos, and personal interaction, the Club member must put forth the necessary effort in order to reap the benefits. Mark is constantly exhorting us to 'give 100%.' After taking the RPR and CRR and experiencing that test-taking adrenaline rush, I realized that while I thought I had been giving 100% during practice, I really wasn't. Now when I practice I try to summon up that test-taking feeling, and it seems to help me do better.
I strongly recommend the Magnum Steno Club and Mark's books to any working reporter or captioner who is serious about improving their skills. If you put in the work, you WILL see the results.
Lee Bursten, RPR, CRR
Student Passes RPR, Credits Magnum Steno Club for Testimony Help
I just found out I passed the RPR and I just wanted to let you know that I credit the Magnum Steno Club for giving me the extra push I needed to succeed. I have struggled with testimony for quite a while and joining your club has given me the tools I needed to pass.
The information you provide on your site is very informative. I always did practice but I wasn't pushing myself at the high speeds as you suggest. I also have learned to shorten my writing a lot since joining your club.
Student Passes Last 225 Class Using Magnum Steno Club
I joined the Magnum Steno Club when I was in my last speed class and struggling to pass the 225's. At that time, I did not have a good speed building regimen. By applying the principles that Mark talks about in the Club, mainly staying on the speaker, not dropping and concentrating 100% to the extent possible, I passed my third 225 wpm test during the summer. I had listened to most of the instructional videos and the ones about concentration and test taking strategies were especially helpful to me.
Of course, the high speed and dense material that Mark dictates was and continues to be tremendously helpful in starting my speed practice sessions. In addition, I have found that the Briefs 001 list is an excellent way to separate daily brief practice from daily speed-building practice. By incorporating these common words and phrases into my writing, I have gained speed and these briefs are invaluable to me as I enter the field of deposition reporting.
I highly recommend the Club to all steno students who are struggling to finish school.
Sister of Boot Camp Reporter Sees Wonderful Change
You don't know me but I am Sylvia [R's] "old" sister. She took your class in Houston recently. When she returned from her week with you, I saw a renewed commitment in her. I had to ask her, "How was Houston?" As she recounted the hurdles she had to overcome to get to Houston, the challenges she faced in class, and the profound revelations she had at the end, I saw a new gentle courage in her. I know how hard she has worked to be ready to return to work and be able to help her family through these hard economic times. I know that your words "you're ready to get back to work" gave her the wings she needed to take flight and leave the fear, that she STILL wasn't good enough, behind! Her voice quivered as she shared each tiny miracle that took place, one-by-one, day-in and day-out, during that week. By the end of the story, it was clear to us both that God's hand was in this.
After we dried our eyes, she told me of your explanation of the picture on the back of your book. She shared with me that the old dying oak trees represented "old methods" and that the "new method" is where you will shine - in the light. I wondered if you realized that Sylvia saw herself in the shadows of her career, like the trees in darkness; I wondered if you had any idea that you, your lessons, your words, were a source of light for her? I wondered if you even knew that you made such a difference in this person's life. I wanted to be sure you knew - YOU DID!
Nelson Mandela said, "as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
You gave my sweet baby sister permission to shine! I just wanted to say thank you.
Boot Camp Graduate Sees Great Improvement
Since my trip to Texas my writing has improved tremendously. I guess it's cuz I try and do practice three 5 minute takes a day and most of all I'm writing short.
It's unbelievable how after working so hard for so long (for about a year) on writing short it sort of comes to me naturally now and am quite the genius of coming up with short forms on the fly. You really are and is a great inspiration to me.
My writing is so much cleaner these days that I almost feel guilty giving my jobs to my scopist. some days I do scope some of the work myself which I never did before. I also find myself being more conscious of punctuation while writing, and I think it's cuz I am much more on the speaker plus writing short and that leaves me more time to punctuate.
Student in Club Sure He Passed RPR Literary, Credits Club and Mark's Methods
...I am 100% sure I passed the RPR Lit. a few weeks ago.
I attribute this to you and only your methods and of course, my hard practice.
On RPR day, exactly one second before the dictation began, someone yelled out, "And don't forget as Mark Kislingbury says, "Get a stroke for everything!" Then they pressed play, and I proceeded to get a stroke for everything and transcribe almost perfectly.
Your generosity of spirit in sharing what you know is a diamond in the world of teaching. Most professionals are secretive and hoarding of their knowledge. You are not. THANK YOU!
Reporter Feels She Passed [SHE DID PASS!] Parts of RMR, Motivated by Magnum Steno Club
I took the RMR skills yesterday. I do believe I passed the Lit and JC. [Update! She DID pass those two sections! - MK] They were not perfect papers, but I don't think my errors will constitute failure. I thought I did well on the Q&A dictation also. However, I did not have time to transcribe it. My notes were just not clean enough to transcribe it within the time allowed. I had shadows and stacking and needed to refer to my paper notes to transcribe. Nearly 45 minutes had gone by before I even realized it, and I had only made it through about half the transcript. I did the best I could with the rest of my transcription time.
I would have loved to have passed everything on my first attempt, but I am happy with what I accomplished. I'm sure I would not even have attempted it without your guidance and encouragement. I think the finger-to-thumb relaxation trick really works. I used that, I prayed, I tried to stay positive.
Thank you, Mark, for your willingness to share. I hope your boot camp girls did well also. I prayed for them as well.
Student Finds Motivation and Inspiration in Magnum Steno Club Videos
I've been a member now of Magnum Steno for probably around 8-9 months, and I just wanted to let you know that, whenever I am feeling frustrated or unmotivated, I listen to one or two or more of your inspiring instructional videos, and I feel inspired and so much better.
Your authenticity and motivational words truly inspire me and give me the motivation I need to continue on this court reporting journey. You are by far the most motivational and inspiring person I've had the honor in talking with in this field. You are a gift! Also, thank you so much for always taking the time out to help me whenever I email you.
Student Credits Magnum Steno Club for Passing Mocks to Qualify for CSR
I just wanted to share some great news with you. This past Thursday I passed my
last Mock to qualify for the next state exam!!! I joined your club towards the
end of June this summer when I was struggling through 225. I have no doubt that
joining your club is what got me through my 225's in school!
So now I'm done with school and am continuing to practice to you daily, and hope
and pray I pass the CSR in January :)
Thank you so much for all that you do!
Reporter Finds Club Helping Greatly on Job
I've been a reporter for 16 years. Yesterday I started the day with making a lot of adjustments to my Mira, then doing a practice drill at 300 something testimony and 280 something literary.
I watched a lot of the instructional videos first and I just stayed on the speaker, to my fingers' surprise and my brain's consternation. Then I went to my job and wrote beautifully.
Whenever things sped up, I was there, ready for anything, and they always slowed back down long before they could throw me! It was one of those days where I could just about press print afterwards!
Best of all, the attorney asking the questions was positioned where he could see my screen and he answered all of my spelling questions at each break BEFORE I could ask them, because he was reading my screen and everything else came out perfectly!
So again thanks for the motivation and for sharing your brilliant ideas!!
Ready-To-Quit Student Newly Motivated by Mark and Club
I just wanted to email you and let you know how much the Magnum Steno Club is helping me! I spoke with you on the phone approximately 3 weeks ago. I was ready to quit steno all together. I am the SimplySteno student who is at 180 Lit and 190 2V. You assured me that I had not hit a plateau, and you gave me some excellent tips, plus a free two week trial to the Magnum Steno Club! I have to say that I cannot live without it now! I use it as a warm up to my schoolwork. It really gets me excited and in the right frame of mind to do my schoolwork.
I have to say the best tip I have ever received from anyone is your tip of staying on the [speaker]! Wow, what an improvement.
For the first time since I started learning steno do I not only feel like I can do this, I KNOW that I can do this...
Thank you again for helping me. Even my mom has noticed the difference in my outlook. It is so kind of you to take the time out of what I'm sure is a busy day to help others!
Sincerely, Jessica Mondello
Magnum Steno Student Passes CSR
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the Magnum Steno Club and your methods. I had been in qualifiers for several months when I heard that you were coming to town to do a seminar. I quickly signed up for your seminar. Leaving your seminar I knew I had the tools needed to pass my qualifier and the CSR. I told my friend during one of the breaks, "We're going to pass a qualifier this week." I bought your book at the seminar, signed up for the Magnum Steno Club, and practiced like crazy. Sure enough, the qualifier test was on the Thursday following the seminar and I passed it!!!
I continued practicing briefs and the Magnum Steno daily practice and the CSR test was actually easy. In fact, it felt slow.
I've been working for about a year now, and I continue to use the Magnum Steno Club. I plan on taking the RPR in August and eventually the CRR. I know the Magnum Steno Club will help me achieve those goals.
Thank you so much!!
Magnum Steno Student Passes CSR
Your MSC [Magnum Steno Club] helped me to pass my CSR in February 2010. I started working within a week and a half of getting my license # in April, and I have been trying to practice every day, though I had gone through two new laptops on three weeks, so I slacked quite a bit there.
I believe it has improved my writing and has given me the confidence to do the depo & court work that's thrown at me. Thank you!!
I believe that spending 15-20 minutes on MSC saves me at least twice the amount of time in editing alone.
Student Improving, Gaining Confidence
Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly and for all the great briefs!...
I just got into my 180 Q&A a couple of weeks ago and I don't foresee myself staying at that speed very long. I have one more 160 Lit and one more 180 Jury to pass. My goal is to pass the RPR 180 Lit and 200 Jury in August.
Recently has been the first time since I started school 20 months ago that I have felt like the RPR is actually attainable. That is mostly due to EVERY one of your phrasing techniques that I religiously use. I know in the future I will be able to move my fingers much faster than I am right now and I don't need to move them fast right now, because I feel like my mind is doing all the work.
This astonishes me when I watch everyone else's fingers moving in class (no one else uses your theory who is at my speed) because their fingers move SO MUCH faster than mine. I also feel like I write cleaner, more consistently (based on their read-back in class) and that it's only a matter of time before I get paid to do this for a living...
Again, it really means a lot to me that you return my emails so quickly, take an interest in how students are progressing, and that you open yourself to questions. Have a good day, and hopefully I will be talking to you very soon.
Captioner Sees Improvement in Accuracy
I joined the MS club about a month or so ago. I actually did the trial right before I had taken the RPR but didn't really tackle too much until after the test (long story short, I was disappointed in how much I kept "freezing" up during the test and decided afterwards to get back some speed and to practice every day). Anyway, I am up to Lesson 16 in the Briefs 101 and I am loving it!!
I am a captioner and I literally just got done doing the news a few minutes ago... and now that so many of the phrasing briefs are feeling more natural, I notice my hands seem much more calm, even during the very fast segments, and I am really getting so much closer to 100% verbatim. It just feels so great.
I think you really have a winning formula that you are teaching on your website. I can't wait to see where I will be in a couple months after I go through more of the videos, learn more briefs and keep practicing. Just felt compelled to send you a quick note. Thanks again!!!
Student Improving and Hopeful on RPR Results
I'm a 225 wpm court reporting student. We met at last Fall's GSRA convention. I really found your speed methods to make so much sense, and had been saying, "speed, speed, speed" in school, but their motto is real-time accuracy.
I am a pretty good real-time student though because I've been trained to be a "write perfect" reporter. It's nice that faculty always comes to me for steno demonstrations, but it was such a relief to hear you say to not worry about that right now as a student. I love briefs and people used to make fun of me for always wanting a brief for everything. So needless to say, I love your briefing ideas and have found them so helpful. I love your "YOU don't remember, YOU don't know, YOU can't recall...." just to name a few.
Also, I'm such a worrier. Your typical hands start shaking, breaks into a sweat kind of person when it comes to tests. I took the RPR this month and found your "Test Week" videos SO helpful! I wasn't even nervous for the test. I kept telling myself "concentrate and get something for every word." I also did NOT write to their "warm up," and tried to block it out so I could only hear your fast dictation right before the test, and you were right. The test did sound slower since I had been practicing 220 Lit right before the tests. I'm hoping that I at least passed the Lit and Jury.
I enjoy your Magnum Steno Club so much. It's hard to get fast dictation at school, so I don't know what I'd do without your site.
Thanks, Heather T.
Reporter Passes RMR With Hard Work and Prayer
I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know my thoughts on the RMR test. First of all, regardless of whether I passed, I thought it was a good, fair test. [Note: We found out she passed! See note below - MK] There was no difficult subject matter which might trip us up, in my opinion. So if I failed any part of it, it's all on me. Second, I can't thank you enough for everything you do for our profession and for your Magnum Steno Club members especially. I have suffered from test anxiety for a long time.
I attempted the CRR a couple of times a while back, but I gave up because my fingers would shake so much that I knew I could never write clean notes on my machine during the test. I took the RMR test one time many, many years ago and didn't even bother transcribing any bit of it because nerves got the better of me.
However, I spent a good deal of time listening to your test week videos this week and really working more on focusing my mind on all those things you were teaching rather than worrying so much about just practicing on the machine. I am certain that those videos, along with all the high-speed practice, and the prayer made all the difference for me. Regardless of whether I passed the RMR today, I feel a certain level of victory in the mere fact that I was able to put all those things into practice and I was able to overcome, in large part, my text anxiety and I was able to actually transcribe all three legs!
So here's my rundown specifically of how the test went for me today:
1) While the warmup was playing, I prayed very loudly in my head during the entire minute, trying to really focus my mind and also trying to block out the warmup material so I would still be keyed up for faster dictation, as you suggested.
2) Literary started and I was a bit nervous, but I tried to breathe deeply and calm myself. I felt my writing was a bit rough because my heart was pounding so hard that it was a bit distracting to me. If I dropped, I don't remember it. I did have some spots where my notes were difficult to read, but hopefully not enough to make me fail the test.
3) Before jury charge, I prayed again during the warmup.
4) Jury charge started fine, but somewhere I lost focus and dropped a bit. I wasn't really nervous by this time, though. I wasn't exactly relaxed, but I wasn't a basket case either. When I lost focus, I made myself come right back as quickly as I could and regrouped, reminding myself to fight through it.
5) In retrospect, I'm thinking that it was either at this drop spot or another rough spot that was caused because I tried to correct a mistake. As soon as I hit that asterisk key, I knew it was a bad move. Again, I regrouped and went right on. I'm going to remember not to correct next time around!
6) I prayed again during warmup before testimony. When the testimony started, my mind was blown by how slow it sounded! My notes were beautiful for the first few lines at least. At the beginning is where I usually have lots of problems because of nerves, but not this time. It started off like a dream. There were several spots during testimony where my notes were difficult to read because I was fighting through a few places. I may have dropped a word or two mainly because I couldn't read my notes, but I don't think I had any actual drops. In other words, I had a stroke for everything, even if I couldn't quite read it.
There was only one other reporter transcribing the RMR today. We finished at the same time, but she only transcribed two legs. When it was over and we discussed the test, she marveled at how fast the Q&A was. I told her it actually sounded slow to me, and I used that opportunity to plug your website to her. I gave her the link and she seemed interested. I really hope she'll join so she can be sure and pass the test next time. I feel certain that if I didn't pass today, I will pass in November. Speaking of which, I think I'll go put in my practice for the day. I'm not going to start slacking now!
Have a blessed weekend!
[NOTE: As of June 9, 2010, we found out Dana PASSED the RMR!! - MK]
New Student Makes Progress
I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that it was truly a blessing to see you speak at the DCRA seminar on Saturday. I am fresh out of theory and in limbo between having finished my 60wpm tests and struggling to pass the 1st of my 80wpm tests. It's amazing how difficult it has been to increase my speed just 20wpm. I didn't expect it to be so difficult for me.
My first few attempts at 5-minute 80wpm tests yielded over 100 errors on a few of them which discouraged me to the point of considering a different course at the school I'm attending (Arlington Career Institute). Other tests were averaging between 60 and 75 errors as well.
However, after hearing you speak Saturday and utilizing my free trial to your club I have learned many new briefs that I think will help me tons, and have already. My tests this week so far have been 39 errors and 25 errors! That is a vast improvement from the disasters I was typing up just last week. I know I'll have less and less errors and soon pass all my 80wpm tests (and beyond) if I keep it up.
Not only have the briefs you introduce through the Briefs 101 videos helped me, but your encouragement and strategy in the videos goes a long way. The comparison to a tennis game, scrapping and fighting for every word, gave me a different perspective on how to take tests. I am guilty of being the "write pretty and drop" writer, so I am trying to stay on the speaker and scrap and fight for every word this week and the difference is amazing. My notes look horrible but I am able to figure out what I meant better than I thought I would.
This is the first time in my life that I've truly had to apply myself 100%. I have to say it's a bit foreign to me. I've always made good grades and performed well but it never really took the effort I'm having to make now. That is hard to admit.
So thank you for sharing your knowledge and inspiration with other aspiring court reporters. God certainly put me in the right place at the right time on Saturday. I'm very blessed to have had the opportunity to learn more about the field and get a glimpse of what I'm really working toward. I plan to subscribe to your club as soon as possible. Again, many thanks!
Member Credits God and Club for CSR Pass
I just wanted to share my good news with the Magnum Steno Club and list what I felt were the main elements that contributed to my success. First and foremost, I give credit to God as being the main reason I passed the Texas CSR this past January. My continued faith in Him was the only thing that kept me going. In addition to God in my life, I give credit to you and your speed videos as well as your instructional ones.
I believe there are two types of students -- those who we lovingly call "freaks" and those who have to work hard for every speed they achieve. Actually, let's not forget those students who quit. I was a student who had above-average aptitude for court reporting, but I had to work incredibly hard once I hit the upper speeds. After years of frustration at not being able to obtain the speed and accuracy necessary to graduate much less qualify to take the CSR, I decided at the beginning of this past school semester that I was going to do everything it took to get out of school. I practiced six to eight hours a day, even weekends. This resulted in a lot of stress, tension, and pain in my upper back. I started going weekly to a chiropractor as well as a massage therapist to try to relieve my pain. Nothing helped, but I continued practicing at this same intensity. I was determined to succeed if it killed me -- not literally. I would sit through testing with tears rolling down my face because of the pain in my shoulders and back. I made a mental adjustment and decided to give 100% of my effort regardless of the failures that I faced on a daily basis. I have never been challenged in life as much as I have in school.
I started Magnum Steno a week before I was to take the Louisiana test this past October. I had been passing tests in school all semester within state standards; but once it came to the actual Q&A that I needed to become a La. CSR, my hands started to shake uncontrollably for the ENTIRE five minutes. I fought for every word that I wrote. I had 85 errors on that test. Two weeks later I took the RPR. I passed the Jury and Q&A, but missed the Lit by three errors. Instead of letting this get me down, I remembered you saying in one of your videos that it didn't matter if I failed a test or not, that I just needed to do my best and give everything I had. There would always be another opportunity to test again. I felt no shame because I truly had given it my best effort.
On the day of the RPR, I realized what it was that was subconsciously holding me back. I was so worried about who in my life was going to be disappointed if I failed these tests. I finally decided that I had to do it for ME. From then on the only one I allowed to enter the testing room besides myself was God. From the middle of October to January 9th, I practiced your methods of giving 100% of my effort, to do my best to stay on top of the speaker, to block out all thoughts during the test, and to get a stroke for every word and make it the best stroke possible. I couldn't always prevent thoughts from popping in my head during a test; but with a little practice, I was able to immediately push them out. I was surprised to realize that the more I practiced the Magnum Steno way, the less time I actually had to spend on my machine outside of school. Both my speed and accuracy increased. This also alleviated some pain in my back. I was practicing smarter.
I apologize for being so lengthy, but I just wanted you to know that Magnum Steno played a huge role in my recent success. I continue with Magnum Steno because I still have a leg to go for both Louisiana and the RPR. I also plan on trying for my CRR. Thanks to you, I have full confidence in my continued success.
Corina E. Lozano
Reporter Helped Tremendously
Well, I guess some people think we are nuts! After a convention, I had bought [other training website], and it is great for students, not working reporters or captioners, so I felt it was somewhat of a waste of money.
But not so with Magnum Steno Club. It has helped me tremendously, just that extra little bit that I needed. My niece just passed her California CSR and wants to caption, so I refered her to the Club, too, to keep up her speed. The encouragement you offer is appreciated, also. We don't get that much working from home, but I do love working from home.
God bless you, and keep up the great work!
Reporter Improving and Loving Club
Thought I would write you a note and give you some feedback. I love the Magnum Steno Club and what it has done for my writing. I love the speed building and know it is making a difference, but I especially love the briefs. I'm through Briefs 101, the eighth session. I've had to make some changes, which are a process, but have been worth the time and effort.
When you're at a job and they come naturally, what a beautiful thing. I've looked at the ninth part and see that it is "me" and "my" in the right hand, which is fabulous. It means I need to change the final "m" from being my right-handed him, but that's easy enough. I've also used some of the other briefs practices, those and these in the right hand. Beautiful!!
That's been a tricky one, but oh, what a blessing when I get it at my jobs. I love, love "going to, going to be, going to have," et cetera. My, oh, my. I'm loving every minute of it, and I'm not doing it to prepare for a test necessarily although after 22 years, I really should be a Merit writer. I am doing this because I love my job and love it even more now.
I also love writing common words and endings in one stroke. I'm getting the hang of dragging the final l, with the k, which is so cool. I keep thinking why didn't I think of that? You have been a tremendous blessing to me, and I thank God for the gifts and talents He's given to you and that you are willing to share. I'm in this for the long haul. God bless you and your family and Happy 2010!!!
Member Reports Speed Gain, Beautiful Notes, Increased Confidence
I'm dying to tell you about my deposition yesterday. It was eight hours of an unhappy and very argumentative lawyer being deposed, not to mention the other two throwing in objection after objection. For eight hours I was not given the typical could you read that last question and answer back, please? No. It was can you go back to the place where I said "blah, blah" and tell this man exactly what I said followed by the questioning attorney saying, well, then repeat exactly what I asked to be fair.
A few weeks ago I would have been debating in my mind whether I should stop the arguing and upset them or whether to try and hold on for dear life and pray my untranslates and drops weren't so bad that they would see how unsure of myself I was as I stuttered through the mess and regretted the decision I made to keep quiet.
Not yesterday though. I was getting every single word no matter how heated it got. When I read back it was not small portions by any means, and I didn't have even one misstroke. My notes were beautiful. I had the arguments. I had the interruptions and the more it happened the better I felt. For the first time in my court reporting career I didn't feel the blood drain from my face when I was asked to read back. My confidence went through the roof! I kept thinking to myself I really am a super reporter! LOL.
I am so excited about the Magnum Steno program and the difference I'm seeing in my writing. That 10-15 minutes a day makes all the difference in the world!
Working Wonders: Student Passes 225 After One Week in Magnum Steno Club
Good morning, Mark,
Just wanted to let you know that your method is working wonders. I've still got a lot of learning to do, but I've only been at it for a week. When I got my first 225 under 25 errors, I thought I would never get another one. It turned out that I got my other one that I needed to graduate the next day.
Having said that, I REALLY didn't think I would get another one under 25 errors. If I take anything away from Magnum Steno, it's the ability to focus and block out all the mindless chatter that I usually have going on in my head during a test.
I was sitting in class on Monday, and the room was extremely hot. A third of the class is hot, a third of the class is cold and a third of the class is just right. Anyway, I didn't complain because I've already met my requirements for graduation. I didn't say anything in spite of the fact that I have to be constantly aware of my high blood pressure. I literally thought I was going to pass out and fall on the floor, but I wasn't going to say anything. The temperature is a REAL BIG issue at our school between the students and teachers.
I focused and got through the test, but I didn't transcribe it until later because I had a doctor's appointment. When I did get a chance to translate it, within the alloted hour, there were two kids yak, yak, yakking around me the whole time. I finally lost it and told them to HUSH. I got my results back the next day. I got a 21 on it. I couldn't believe it. I know I'm prepared for Saturday's test in Louisiana. If I could focus through nearly passing out and edit with kids around, there's no way I won't nail that test.
I've been going on an on and on about your website to my classmates. You should expect a call from a lot of the upper speed class soon -- especially since they've seen how it's worked for me so far.
Corina E. Lozano
Reporter Sees Improvement After ONE Day In Club
I am doing five 45-minute practice sessions a day [THIS is a dedicated reporter, folks! - MK]. I'm relatively confident with Jury Charge and Literary, but I am only able to do 225 on certain dictations, for about a minute, on a good day, if everything goes smoothly, etc. etc... So, that is where I need to improve. And, of course, fine-tune JC and Lit while I'm at it...
Since joining Magnum Steno I'm essentially using your archived speedbuilding videos as my sole dictations. I also own the Accelerator Series--Testimony, Captioning, and Jury Charge--from NCRA. I've also downloaded several 230 and 240 wpm practice dictations from NCRA. However, as you suggest in your Speed Method instructional videos, I am now only using the 230, 240 speeds to verify that I can still write accurately. Before MS I would work all week towards seeing progress in a certain dictation. For example, this week I had been working on a 240 and was only able to occasionally write it in spurts, and it felt overwhelmingly fast. But, after one day of doing MS I retried the same 240--and I remind you it was HORRIBLE before). It sounded slow after the MS speeds, and it was greatly improved. After ONE day! I can hardly believe that one day of MS could do that, but I was already "sold" on your methods after your seminar and now they just continue to affirm themselves.
I'm open to doing more sessions a day, but perhaps after my WKT next Thursday... I don't want to overshadow that portion and not pass because I didn't put in enough time. MS was the best purchase I've made--it even trumps my Diamante! I hope that it can be the "game-changer" in testimony for me! I just wish I'd started it sooner! November 7th is arriving all too soon! But, I also signed up for the Illinois CSR December 19th (sort of as a backup in case I didn't get the RPR first time), so I will continue to diligently prepare for that with MS.
Thanks for your help! I'm open to any suggestions you have. I'm actually excited to practice today--almost as much as I am about a big Alabama win this weekend over Ole' Miss! I'll keep you posted on my progress!
Student Stuck at 160 Discovers Club and Feels Set Free
Six weeks ago, I was wondering how on Earth I was ever going to be a realtime writer with the tools I had been given at school. I was very, very sad. I watched our bank account dwindle down by $15,000 over 2 years with no career in sight. I was doing everything right - went to school every day, practiced several hours every day, and could not understand why after 2 years I could barely write 180. Was I too old? Did I lack talent? Was it folly to think I could do this at my age?
Well, now I know - I was in a bad "arranged" marriage to a theory and school that were in complete conflict with my skills and goals. I'm sure similar stories and situations abound across the country.
Sorry to keep gushing like this, but I feel so at home writing short that my reaction is that of a prisoner set free after being kept shackled in a dungeon for 2 years with nothing to eat but moldy bread and fetid water. Well, anyway, you get the picture. . . briefs and phrases are like sunshine and ambrosia! - "M."
Reporter Sees Improvement After Two Days in Club
Mark, I wanted to tell you that I've practiced every single day since the TCRA convention when you gave a week's free trial to your Magnum Steno Club. I joined after just three days of the trial. I'm one of those write-perfect-and-drop reporters so I absolutely hate writing at the high speeds you're dictating but I saw an improvement after just two days of practice.
Now, after three weeks of practicing every day, I've noticed lots more improvement. It's so motivating to actually be able to tell a difference in such a short period of time that I keep practicing every day. I almost skipped tonight after a long day in depositions, but finally set up my machine and did it.
See you in D.C.! - Lisa H.
Reporter Credits Mark's Methods for CRR and CSR Passing
June 24, 2009: Here is my story so far...
I have been reporting for 15 years and I am an MI-CSR and RPR. I recently moved to Texas and have to recertify in order to work here. I joined MSC at the beginning of June to get ready for the CSR. I watched the instructional videos and followed the instructions. I practiced every day. The great news is, I totally ROCKED on the Texas CSR today. I couldn't believe how absolutely slow the dictation seemed. Four weeks ago, I was struggling with regular test speeds, and today there were giant gaps between the words; so much so that I didn't have to use phrasing briefs if I didn't want to.
The precursor to the story is, this practice method helped me finally pass the CRR. Several years ago, I attended one of Mark's speed building boot camps. I had taken the CRR twice before attending the boot camp and just could not pass. Couldn't even turn the tests in. After using the method I learned in the high-speed boot camp I took the CRR in May 2008 and actually turned the test in. I didn't pass, but I only missed it by 10 errors. I took the CRR again in May of 2009 and I passed!!
This practice method absolutely, positively works. I am going to take the RMR this fall and I already know I will pass it!! I can't believe the HUGE difference in my writing in just four weeks.
Yaaay Magnum Steno Club and THANKS, MARK!! -- Rebecca Callow
Reporter Credits Magnum Steno Club in Fantastic 10-Minute Nevada CSR Pass
I was unprepared for the Nevada exam that I had to take. I hadn't taken an exam in 20 years. And of those 20 years, I took 12 of them off to raise kids. Ever since I came back to reporting a year ago, I relied a lot on audiosync. (Bad, I know, but this girl had to work.) Well, you can't use audiosync on an exam.
I only had one week before the exam. Someone suggested Magnum Steno, and I had nothing to lose.
Wow, was I glad I joined. I listened to Mark's instructional videos, and I took notes. Practiced his crazy, high-speed dictation, always with the "how to practice" instructions in mind. What a difference it made! The test was to be no slower than 200 and not more than 225
When they started talking, I couldn't believe it. I certainly had the speed. And Mark's words, "Get a stroke for everything" ran through my mind continuously for ten minutes while I got a stroke for everything!
I passed with only 8 errors. Magnum Steno is the way to become an excellent court reporter. - "K."
New Reporter Credits Club with Increased Skill and Confidence to do Job
I cannot thank you enough for putting together this website. I have been a member for less than a month, but I feel like I have learned so much, and I truly feel my skills growing every day!
I recently graduated school and was having a tough time transitioning from being a student reporter to a working reporter. I can't express how much all your invaluable advice, positive reinforcement, brief practice, and dictation has helped me.
I started practicing to your plethora of dictation material before my jobs. Your super-fast, challenging dictation gave me the confidence to finally begin working, and for that I am forever grateful.
Reporter Passes RMR Q&A After Joining Club - and 4th in NCRA Speed Contest Lit
May 2005 I sat for the RMR and passed the WKT.
May 2007 I sat for the RMR and passed the Lit and JC.
One or two more times I sat for the RMR testimony, but wasn't really close. Five minutes seemed so long.
April 13, 2009, I signed up for the Magnum Steno Club. The first time I gave up after only a few minutes. I was so frustrated. Then I listened to the instructional videos and focused on getting something for each word, instead of perfect, perfect, perfect, DROP, DROP, DROP. I practiced just about every day, if not every day, trying to practice 10 to 15 minutes at various times throughout the day, as you advise. It felt great to know that a little practice more often could be even more beneficial than marathon practice sessions.
May 1, 2009, I set my laptop up on my nightstand and listened to the test week instructional videos that I had missed, as well as some other instructional videos, before going to sleep. All that week I did the visualization of writing the test, writing through the hard parts, focusing, not caring how far into it we were because I was getting it, knowing I could write anything they threw at me, and how amazing I would feel when the test was over and I knew I had passed.
May 2, 2009, I took the RMR testimony exam, and when the last words were spoken, I could only smile.
June 8, 2009, it was confirmed: (full name), RMR
I really feel like Magnum Steno Club helped me get there! THANK YOU! You may not remember, but your advice at the Iowa Court Reporters Association in January 2002 is what helped me get out of Speed 175, which I had been languishing in for three months, and go on to pass the RPR 21 months after starting at AIB.
You rock! Thank you!
E.H., RMR :-)
[Editor's note: This young lady subsequently went on to the 2009 NCRA Speed Contest and placed 4th in the Literary and 6th in the Legal Opinion!!! - M.K.]
Elated Reporter Loves Reporting and Loves the Club
Mark, Thanks for the fast dictation !! I have been dreaming of having this kind of service for a long time. I appreciate it very much.
I am able to more fully and completely relate with this Chariots of Fire movie quote: "When I run I feel His pleasure." The runner's "high," the exhilaration and ecstasy !! Thanks for the opportunity to feel these same emotions as a shorthand writer. When I write fast (and especially clean) I feel His pleasure!!
Thank you for the opportunity to take the skill God has given me and perfect and strengthen it to such a high degree. Your life and work is a blessing to me beyond description. Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
Thank you for your passion and love of excellent shorthand writing and speed building. Thank you for the great innovations you have given us all and for the opportunity to have less fatigue as writers, cleaner transcripts, more time and money for our families and out-of-this-world phantasmagoric job satisfaction!!
Thank you for being the pioneer you truly are, for following your heart, mind and spirit by giving us and the world a higher standard to reach for, a more excellent way !! Thank you for the new life blood you have infused into this demanding work. It's obviously becoming easier and easier the more I incorporate your incredible briefs and phrases !! Bless you and your wonderful family.
Sincerely, Clark Edwards
Reporter Loves the Club
Mark, I have been practicing ALMOST every single day. I do weekends too. This club of yours is the best thing that has happened to me career-wise yet! I love it... My morning Magnum Steno practice tends to be 3-5 mins of brief review, running through your daily dictation twice, which takes me about 20 minutes. That's about all I have time for consistently on a daily basis.
Thanks for all you do! ...Kate B.
Reporter Sees Speed Improvement and Future RPR Pass
I still can't fathom that most reporters don't practice (and that I didn't!) You definitely came up with the perfect answer for working reporters, both time and cost factors considered. It definitely makes the day go better. Yes, I have noticed the increase in speed, and I WILL get the next RPR!! That's what made my mind up--the test should have gone better and it didn't. I will not be thwarted, especially since I now have your secret weapons--briefs--at my fingertips. In addition to all that, the speed has increased as well as the tran rate which, of course, means less editing time, etc.
Reporter Loving Having Discovered Magnum Steno Club
Yes! I've joined the Magnum Steno Club and I'm just getting started on the videos. I absolutely love every one I've gone through so far. You're so helpful with tips of learning briefs and psychological war was so true too. One tip that sticks in my mind is practicing a bit in the morning and then some in the afternoon, like learning a language, the more you use it, the better it sticks. Thank you so much, Mark, for taking the time to put this steno club together for your fellow reporters! I can really see how this is going to benefit me and my writing skills.
Reporter Seeing Quick Improvement
Mark, still going strong. This is already working. In court yesterday, my brain was much clearer and the work was easier. The first time I practiced today it was so much easier for me. I think I'm really, at times, getting something for every word. I try to all the time, but it doesn't always work, but I'm starting to hear these ridiculous speeds. Thank you.
Reporter Loves Club, Sees Progress
Hi Mark! Just a note to let you know that I really enjoy the Magnum Steno Club. I get online as often as I can between work schedules. While it is fast, it doesn't seem unobtainable to me. I really enjoy the speed.
I take this as a real positive sign in my progress. I just wanted to touch base, and let you know of my happiness with your program. I feel it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Thank you so much!
Reporter Now "Getting" Formerly Unwritable Witness
Just wanted to thank you for your club, and to thank you for helping me with my writing a speedy drug task force witness that I have to report at least once every couple of weeks. Before Magnum Steno, I thought he was simply unwritable for me. And when I'd see him coming, I wanted to duck and hide or claim "broken fingers" or something silly like that.
Last week he testified, and it didn't really dawn on me until about halfway through his testimony that I was keeping up with him (you know, "keep up with the speaker") like you'd taught me to do. It really wasn't much different than any other witness in the hearing! I knew immediately it was because of your help. So thank you for making this guy writable for me!! Thank! Thank you! Thank you!
Reporter Seeing Rapid Improvement
Yes! Yes! Yes! I do notice improvement in my work and in my practicing. My daily writing is incredible. It's clean. It's all there, and I find that I have lots of time to think about writing short. I am reviewing briefs each each and every day before I start my speed practice and just keep adding to my list.
This whole Magnum Steno Club idea was BRILLIANT! I have always been a reporter striving to get better, and this technique of yours gives me such results! I am thrilled!!
Reporter Seeing Huge Improvement in Notes
Yay! I got to PRA with the Club again yesterday. Thx for the P A FR D of the week from the Windy City, Chicago. Your April fool's selection was very fun. Can't wait to HEAR and WRITE DOWN AT VERY, VERY HIGH SPEED what you come up with next.
Guess what? I am editing a job taken March 25 (after the March 21 seminar and four days of diligent digit Steno Club speed building) and I can notice a huge IMPROVEMENT in the notes. Fingers are much more SURE of themselves and are hitting something for EVERYTHING very, very, very ACCURATELY. While editing the job later, it's entertaining and educational to look over at the steno notes -- just like you do on your highly-acclaimed 11 yr old notes series -- and say to myself "WHY ARE YOU WRITING THAT IN SO MANY STROKES, knucklehead???
SSC (reporting since 1983...Old dog rejuvenated by learning new Steno Trix!)
Captioner Gains 10% Finger Speed and Achieves 99% Accuracy with Club
Mark, I just wanted to tell you that I have been writing every day since I signed up, which I think was about December. I don't miss a day. Well, except the day that Paul proposed to me (I said yes), but I felt so guilty that I didn't practice.
I take my machine on vacation with me. I'm driving everybody nuts with the extra carry-on, but I don't care. When my friends/colleagues call me and complain that they might lose their jobs, there's not enough work, you know, worrying about something that hasn't happened yet, I always ask them one thing, ARE YOU PRACTICING? And then I refer them to you.
I have yet to see them sign up. Ugh. Frustrating. I have noticed my fingers are faster and closer to the keyboard and I am writing way more words in a half-hour newscast. I was stuck around 2,900 for a while and now I am up into 3,200 at 99%.
Thank you for this fitness club. It's the one thing that keeps me sane and writing like a champ. I laughed the day you told us that we were turning into champion reporters, now start acting like one!
I really appreciate the words of encouragement! Fantastic site, Mark! Thank you for thinking of it. And don't ever go away. I'll keep working on my friends.:) I'll break them soon."
Student Feels Invigorated to Finally Pass RPR
Mark, I am a want-to-be court reporter in Arizona. I took your seminar in Phoenix on Feb, 7th and the whole day I kept hearing bells dinging in my head and seeing light bulbs flashing.
I've been struggling for years to pass the RPR (it is required in my state to work). So many things you were saying were thoughts that I had, but didn't know how to act on them. Your practice method is working for me!!! What a relief it is for me...you have no idea.
For two years alone I have been striving to pass the QA portion of the RPR -- that's the only leg I need!! For two years!! I started court reporting school (at Gateway) in the fall of 2001.
I found the hardest part of school was the very end. And you taught me why! There is no speed building at 280 or higher!! The students complained too much when it gets to 240 and the teachers were influenced by that. I am now practicing every day to Magnum Steno and speeding my own material up to 280. Today I committed a sin and left the take at 225 for the whole thing (I'll repent later.) I just had to see how it was going. It was a cake walk!!!!! I feel liberated and victorious! This RPR is not going to defeat me! Bring it on NCRA! BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!
Captioner Gains 10% Finger Speed and Achieves 99% Accuracy with Club
Hi Mark, We met in Philadelphia at your December seminar. I had just joined the Magnum Steno Club. I am a captioner and I have to tell you, I'm [only] about 90 percent verbatim captioning. I prided myself on the verbatim skills I had as a reporter. However, when I transitioned into captioning, I lost that skill.
And now after three months of diligent practice with Magnum Steno Club, I have gotten my skill back and it feels great! I thought you'd like to know of my success! Thanks.
Margaret (Peggy) Goodman
Reporter Kind of Likes the Club
"I'm loving the Steno Club-- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS!!!!!!!! NEVER STOP!!!!! I'm going to NAIL my RMR Q&A May 2nd without a doubt. Thank you millions and millions!!".
MAGNUM STENO BOOK:
Reporter Fed Up With Stroking Out, Shortens with StenoMaster Theory and Magnum Steno Book
I just bought your Magnum Steno book... I've worn out my StenoMaster book, so I bought a new one... I originally learned RWG theory [RobertsWalshGonzalez Theory]. While it was a simple theory to learn, once you get to 240, it is just a lot of work to write.
Once I got out of school and got certified, I said, There's no way I can keep up in the real world with this theory. It has worked for people in my school, but not for me. In school we were taught that briefs were evil and to stay away from them and write everything out. They told us briefs would only add to our time in school.
Out of curiosity, I bought every theory book out there to see how each theory did things the way they did. When I saw yours, it scared me because it was everything my school said not to do. Not knowing any better, I decided to leave it alone.
But once I finished with school and got my certifications, I was fed up with all the stroking. I said, There's gotta be an easier way. I got your StenoMaster book out and inhaled it. I loooooooooooooove that book. It makes stenoing more fun and interesting. Thank you so much for putting that book out. I can't believe no schools out here use that theory. It makes me so frustrated.
And then when I heard you had a school, I got so sad. If I would have known, I would have made the move to attend your school. Oh well. The next best thing are your books, so I will be okay.
Anyway, thank you so much for your theory and your Magnum Steno book. It has made me faster. Now I have a shot at the RMR.
Name Withheld Upon Request
The Magnum Steno Book is a tome on better short writing. There's so much to study in it, I've just begun. I've just found, for example, there's a chapter just on using the word couple in phrases.
Initally, my favorite chapter is "-Z is Better than -S for Plurals," because I learned -Z for plurals and was always
trying to use the -S for some things.
Page 127, Merges, using all the word's letters seems to make those steno outlines much easier to remember. My theory taught the -GT for final -th, so your Philadelphia shift (-SD) is just a right slide from there. It might be a little easier for me to remember.
What's interesting is the way you pair don't with who. You wouldn't or you don't hear you don't by itself but
you do in phrases. It's a new brief starter for me.
The Magnum Steno Book is a great addition to my library.
Hi, Mark :).
I received your Theory book and the Magnum Steno book in the mail yesterday, and all I can say is OMG. I can't believe all the great info in these! Honestly, I think you're a little bit crazy....and I mean that in the most heartfelt way :). If it can be tucked.....you tucked it. If it can be flipped.....you'll flip it. And if it can be tweaked in any way, shape or form.....you will tweak away. I love it! I've managed to incorporate a few things today, so I am happily writing a bit shorter than I was yesterday. Much thanks!.
Laurie B. :)
I have to tell you, I attended your seminar in February in Atlanta and it has *literally* changed my life. Not only do I clock a lot of time with your book, but I also ordered a LightSpeed a couple weeks after your seminar. UNbelievable. (I can't believe I was, for example, writing "administratively" with FOUR STROKES for 25 years!!.
Anthony Lorenz, CRR-RDR
Thank you very much for sending me a copy of your hot-off-the-press magnum opus, "Magnum Steno: Write Short - Write Fast!" To coin a new word, it is ultrasuperlative. It's the last word in a book to help neophytes gain speed and for even veteran reporters to gain much-needed speed..
Sure, many good reporters write many words out, but they have to work quite hard to do so. As you said and wrote, if reporters write quickly (i.e., have fast fingers) and employ a mountain of briefs (i.e., one-stroke multisyllabic words), they will very significantly increase their speed. And that's a truism! .
I read every single word of the first 20 pages, and I was impressed especially with the figures that comprised your Top Speeds Table. You make a grand case for "short" writing and fast finger speed. Even though I ain't (oops) haven't reported for some 18 years, I truly agree that this duo ("short" writing and finger speed) is unbeatable and can greatly help reporters to work very difficult cases for long periods of time with less than the "average" pain and tiredness..
By the way, I like the way you handle "has been" on Page 325 (Scoot down right middle finger after -FPLTD is depressed.) Also, how in heaven's name did you think up single strokes for over 31,000 words and phrases? What a stupendous undertaking. And your proofing must have taken forever. As an author of two books, I KNOW how easy it is for gremlins to enter our wonderful words and subvert them..
Your book contains 528 pages, plus another 20 pages -- all with unbeatable info. To my way of thinking, that makes it the ne plus ultra of court-reporting books. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished in the past and right now with this book. I know that I am very proud of you and very happy that you are helping other reporters. You are a distinct credit to the court-reporting profession..
Thanks again for sending me your book..
Cordially, Santo J. Aurelio
MAGNUM STENO SEMINARS:
"One of the most informative seminars I've attended. Lots of pertinent/usable new information."
"Mr Kislingbury is a genius in his field. He is a phenomenal speaker, very knowledgable, informative, and thorough. He is also a great speaker with a good sense of humor and kept me interested throughout the whole seminar. The seminar was worth the money I spent." P.Y.
"It is hard work, but I came back to be tortured for the second time. I have been a court reporter since 1976...everything written out. Your seminar changed my writing. I will "never" be you but you are truly inspiring. It was excellent." Cheri Violette
"I was hesitant to branch out and learn new briefs and phrases before coming here. This seminar has made me change my mind and I can't wait to get started writing shorter. Thanks a million!" C.C.
"Excellent seminar, very inspiring and gave me a lot of ideas to work on." B.S.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. Mark is a great presenter and makes it easily understood." Paula
"Mark, you are the best instructor I've ever had in any court reporting seminar, and I truly mean that. You are an extremely patient and genuine individual. The fact that you really want to help us to be better reporters and you're not doing seminars just to make a buck really shines through!!! I appreciate the respect you have for each of us as individuals and the various software programs we use." Debbie Harnen
"I got so much from this day of new ideas and techniques. I know they will help me so much in future writing. What fun it is to find new shortcuts. The speed building ideas were also excellent. Implementing them will make us all extremely proficient writers! Thank you so much!" Lou Ann Parker
"I feel confident learning from someone who radiates such success! Indisputably, something is "right" with Mark Kislingbury's method, as is attested by his world record. Even using Phoenix Theory, there are still many "tricks" that I plan on incorporating into my daily practice." Laura B. Parker
"I love briefs, so this seminar was heaven for me. Thanks for all your advice. You're awesome!" T.A.J.
"Great motivation for a long-time reporter. Thank you so much, Mark! You are so kind. I got some great things to incorporate." J.W.
"First I want to thank you for the excellent seminar you presented in San Diego a few weeks ago. When I first decided to attend, it was because I needed points, and, what the heck, I might pick up a good idea here and there. I really thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about realtime reporting, and didn't think there was anyone better than I was at it. Well, as life always does when one's head gets too big, you really pushed me off of my self-constructed pedestal. So much so, that I have decided to pursue your theory." M.V.
"I've been a big fan ever since I first heard about your theory when you came to Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I know you won't remember me, or at least I wouldn't expect you to, but you signed my book with the quote "You can do it." I find myself continuously looking back at quote from Sept 18th, 2005, and remembering how I felt this book would change my fortunes. At that time I was on my 160s. I was doing well, but I knew that I needed something to change. A lot of time has passed since then, but I did finish my 225s in early February of 2006 largely due to your theory and went on to write in Sierra Leone. I'm now doing my dream job and living in Europe, which was one of my biggest goals that I had set out to achieve for myself. I wanted to thank you for helping me achieve my goals and being so open about your theory and sharing it with everybody. Your theory book - although I didn't incorporate everything - has made a huge impact on me and how I write. I just wanted to thank you. I'm sorry for taking so long to do so. I just have been caught up in other things :) Thank you for your time. And your "You can do it," signing actually did mean a lot to me." S.M.
"I was at your seminar in Houston this weekend and thought this would be a great way to try to implement your short writing style. (On the article you gave us to count our strokes, my total was 170!) I've been a reporter 17 years and learned Sten-Ed theory. I've done your brief and speed videos for two days and I'm loving it. I had a depo today with a fast talker and I could tell the difference in speed (my hands were warmed up already) and I started using some of the briefs, mainly adding in the endings to the word, for now. Thanks for providing this tool. It's something I'll definitely use, as it just takes up a small amount of time daily. Have a great day!" A.M.
"Who hasn't watched super-human Mark K. as he aced a speed contest or broke a world record? In his seminars, Mark humbles himself and shows us that he makes mistakes just like the rest of us. To that I can relate!" Karen Teig
"The seminar was very informative and enlightening. After learning a lot of the briefs and methods, it was like a light bulb going off in my head! I would definitely recommend it to anyone at any level of experience." Karrie Truitt
"Extremely informative. Well worth the money." Edie Daniels
"Wonderful! I really enjoyed it. Thanks for coming to Des Moines!!" Anonymous
"I enjoyed the four-day seminar. It was well worth the money. I would do it again and will." S.B.
"I liked the phrasing, dictation live. Great technology tools for us to see. Life stories were great to hear." Sheryl Stawski
"Exceptional! Inspiring! Rewarding! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Kim Folds
"Thank you so-o-o much you've really are a good teacher. I am now excited about the fact that I can do it. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING. I cannot tell you how much of a huge honor it was to meet you!!" Anonymously
"I have absolutely no criticisms of this seminar whatsoever. Nothing but PRAISE. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to our field and your contagious enthusiasm to encourage us to become more proficient and then, ultimately, HAPPIER court reporters. This was worth EVERY PENNY. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! God bless you richly." Dina Villis
"Great, Excellent, Bravo! Totally worth it! You + Samuel were great and very personal all through out every step of registration! Thank you, thank you, and thank you!" Pauline Garry
"The Seminar was a turnaround in my approach to writing. After the first weekend, I feel like a new reporter! I'm excited about my job and now this will make my job easier. Very clear in its presentation, the room was cozy enough that you could hear other's questions. I give this seminar A+ Change is fun!!!" Anonymously
"Mark, your enthusiasm and passion for writing short and writing fast is inspirational, grounded in humility and generosity. Your willingness to share "your secrets" has made this the best seminar of my professional career while reinforcing our duty to strive for excellence! You have really made it fun! Thank you so much." Sherrie L. Segall
"Thank you so much for everything. You've given me hope to become a great reporter instead of a good reporter. You made learning fun and human and really listened to our needs and helped us find a better way to do things. It has been a pleasure to meet you!" Laura Quinette
"Great-Fantastic-Learning how to speed build your way is great. CRR, watch out!" Anonymously
"Very exciting, quick results. Thank you for sharing." Jennifer Campbell
"I feel these two days already made my career easier. Mark is an inspiration." S.B.
"The Seminar definitely gave me some new methods to go back to use in improving my writing." L.P.
"You rock!!" J.E.
"Good location. Nice size group. I like that you are very motivational and not negative." Gay Dall
"Dear Mark: As I wrote a very challenging 200 pages today with 2, if not 3, people talking most of the time all day long, I kept thanking myself for taking your boot camp which just ended last week. I can NOT tell you THANKS enough for all the help you gave me in improving my writing style, learning to concentrate much better than I had been in the past, and staying right on top of the speakers today. Thanks for so many new briefs I learned that kept me "in the game" today!!! :) I've been reporting since 1969 -- AIB (Iowa) grad of Feb. 1969!!!! :) : ) == learned Berry Horne theory; first class at AIB to learn long vowels!!! (Began attending AIB fall of '67; my certificate is dated Feb. 28, 1969). So it IS possible for us "older, experienced" reporters to learn new things -- and apply them immediately!! :) : ) the only way I passed the CRR in 2003 (Reno) was with your guidance. Think how much better I'd be if only I had time for practice!! I WILL put some lists of briefs on my mirror to keep learning. :) :) : ) THANKS again!" Bev Herring-Black
"I appreciate very much the training, the knowledge and the personal care you seemed to have for each one of us in the boot camp experience that ended Thursday. Frankly, I do not think any teacher/instructor has heretofore given me that sense of his/her having a personal commitment and investment in student success. It makes a decided difference in the student's own approach to the endeavor. When you closed with the suggestion that we pray for one another's success (and I did), that was the icing on the cake. Your teaching ability is equal to your writing ability. I am very glad that I enrolled in your boot camp experience! I have learned a new approach, and I am eager to make it mine." Joan
"Hi Mark,! Here's the news! If you recall, I am working on getting my last leg of the RPR with the lit. I was just waiting for that fourth minute to hit me. You know the part I am talking about, right? Guess what happened! The test ended!!!!! I never felt it. Bottom line, this is the closest I have ever come to passing this test. I know I have several bloopers throughout the test, but I really do not feel they add up to 45 errors. I think I actually passed. Thanks again for everything! You are truly a Godsend!" Debby
"Mark, just a note to say I loved your boot camp. I have been really struggling with my writing for a few years, because I didn't have your teaching tools. Thought it was because of my age, but it was really practicing slow instead of fast and trying to be too perfect. Your great coaching and positive attitude were just the tonic I needed! Will probably take the next one, too. Many thanks." Dennis
"I just got home, but I didn't want to go to bed without telling you how much I enjoyed the teleconference tonight. I thought it was very, very helpful in pointing out your favorite briefs and those that you felt were the most frequently used. I marked those that you felt were really important, and I plan to focus on them with the new theory class. Sorry we had to go, but at around 11:00 the security starts coming around to see why we haven't left. There was one student who had a question, but she said she would email you with it. I heard another student say that this was the best conference of them all -- she felt like she got a lot out of it. I feel the same way. Just thought I'd let you know. Great job!" Dolores
"Mark, Wow! First off, I was sad to end our 10 sessions. Next, thank you so much for all of your help! I am confident that I passed my literary RPR leg FINALLY!! I had been missing the main key all along: SHORTEN MY WRITING. I followed your advice all the way, and cannot tell you how easy and how much in control I was. You are a Godsend, Mark, and I just want you to know that I owe my success this past weekend to you and your encouragement. I hope to meet you in person one day, and I plan on taking your classes again. I purchased your theory book and am anxious to start at Chapter 1 and go forward learning more and more about your theory. Again, much thanks and YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES." Kate B.
I had a revelation last night to why I wasn't progressing in my steno speed.
You remember, as I previously mentioned. that I've been at 140wpm for almost the last year. I really never believed in myself, that I could accomplish anything worthwhile...
Well, here's what I figured out. I was attending a behavior seminar for my son last night, focusing specifically on "Self-Esteem Issues." Little was I to realize that the seminar was more geared toward me than my son.
The speaker's name was Richard Lavoie, and the title was "When the Poker Chips Are Down." It is available on PBS and is priceless, as far as I am concerned, on how to build self-esteem in children.
He explained why so many children go through life without enough "Poker Chips (i.e. Self-Esteem)." At the moment he touched on a certain self-esteem characteristic, I broke out hysterically into tears and the whole seminar looked at me. I realized that the reason I was not progressing in life was because of the old "tapes" my father used to play to me (I.E. "You"ll never accomplish anything," "I'm so disappointed in you," or "Can't you do anything right?").
He taught, in the video, how to give positive feedback, and, amazingly, how to discipline, starting on a positive note, touching lightly on the negative, and ending on a positive note. It was truly amazing, and now I am surrounding myself with only positive people and truly now believe that I am a worthwhile person and I do DESERVE to be successful and to now positively, not negatively, engage in ALL areas of my life.
I thank you, Mark, for being an inspiration to us all, giving us just a taste of what's possible in life.
Today I start my studying again, and I am confident that I can now overcome any obstacle.
Thank you again, Mark, for your insight, wisdom, skill, and patience.
"Sunday night I got a call to take a job on Monday. The job lasted from nine to six in the evening. I wrote 433 pages! The whole time I was thanking the Lord and Mark for the speed building we did over the weekend. I made up many briefs during the day after learning the Mark Kislingbury mindset of SHORT STROKES! Ditto for Day Two, 425 pages, long day. 850 pages in two days and without the many wonderful ideas I learned this past weekend, I think, even after 28 years of reporting, I would have had two horrible days instead of just two hard days, which in court reporter speak is a good thing. So thank you, Mark, for a wonderful seminar. I got much more out of it than expected and used it much more and much sooner than I ever would have expected. Keep spreading the good word!" Marie McCracken