StenoFest 2019

Marc Greenberg’s been a real ally for the stenographic community. He runs Simply Steno, created the For the Record documentary, and most recently came out with StenoFest 2019, a virtual conference and webinar hub that let us start court reporting and captioning week off with a bang. I’ll be the first to admit, I dropped the ball and didn’t advertise it on here, and didn’t contribute to its success this weekend, February 9 and February 10.

They had tons of speakers and influences from all over the stenographic community. I couldn’t be present for some of my favorite steno personalities like Dom Tutsi or Mirabai Knight, but my understanding is I’ll be entitled to watch those on demand soon.

I did get to catch Mark Kislingbury talk on Sunday about shortening writing. I very rarely correlate a person’s success to their ability to help others succeed, but Mark had a very interesting theory and mathematical concept I think everyone should learn and know. Take your strokes per minute, divide that by 60 to get your strokes per second. He basically posited that writers will fall somewhere between three strokes a second and five strokes a second. He then said look at your strokes per 100 words. If you take multiple strokes for every word, it makes it much harder to reach high speeds even if you have very high finger speed. If you are phrasing and briefing, and you are getting many words into a single stroke, then you can achieve very high speeds even if your strokes per second are low. I support all writers, whether we are writing it out or briefing, but it is definitely worth taking the time to consider the math. If you are writing 3 strokes a second and every stroke is a word, that’s 180 words per minute. If every two strokes is a word, you’re down to 90 words a minute. It makes that much of a difference.

Bottom line: StenoFest was great. On Sunday, I saw over 300 people logged in from all over the world, including Australia. I think there was a lot to take away from it and if you have any interest in any of the seminars that occurred throughout the day, I advise you to look into getting it on demand. Everything from the pain of vicarious trauma to the future of court reporting was discussed, and it can all be relevant to how you live and work as a stenographer. Thank you, Marc, for StenoFest. I know you will inspire more webinars, more sharing, and a larger community.

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