Tips for overcoming realtime writing fears

Overcoming the fear of writing realtime can become easier if you follow the tips and suggestions shared with attendees of a session led by Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE, during NCRA’s 2015 TechCon event held in Denver, Colo.

Everhart told attendees that to help overcome their fears of writing realtime, they need to understand the three parts of the process: writing, connectivity as it relates to hooking up other people to be able to see the realtime being produced, and self-confidence.

“If any one of these parts is troubling for you, then you will have problems with producing quality realtime,” Everhart said.

Everhart said a good way to improve the quality of realtime writing is to make a commitment to practice writing for 15 minutes each day, followed by an analysis to see what mistakes were made.

“Don’t just do it; check it to see what mistakes you are making. Fixing something will improve your skills,” Everhart said. She suggested keeping a diary of mistakes. Writing the mistakes correctly will help increase quality by creating positive muscle memory and teaching the brain to stroke the right keys and avoid the same mistakes.

Other tips Everhart shared included:

  • Consider your translation rate. Stop and take a look at it right way. If you don’t remember hearing a word that you have written, proofread your practice with the audio.
  • Keep current with technology and learn everything about the software you are using and all of the features it offers.
  • Ask other reporters who are already writing realtime to help you learn how to connect your realtime system.
  • View webinars and attend seminars that offer realtime information and training.
  • TRAIN groups are free. Join one or start one.

Everhart also said that it is important to teach clients about realtime and its benefits: “Show it to them and create a market for yourself. Go to someone you really like. Tell them the benefits, to them and their clients, and the return on their investment in realtime. Provide them with a realtime feed for a portion of their deposition or depositions so they can experience it for themselves.”

By doing so, realtime writers can better educate their clients on how realtime works as well as show them that while it is also not always perfect and that some terms might not come up correctly, the end product will be accurate, Everhart explained. Set your clients’ expectations, she noted.