Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Steno Keyboard & Mark Kislingbury

Here is what the keyboard of a steno machine looks like. Of course, the keys aren't marked with letters or numbers. They are just blank. If they put the letters and numbers on them it wouldn't help anyway. It's not like you can "hunt and peck" like on a QWERTY board.
To write a word or phrase in steno you first have to learn your steno theory. There are several theories out there and you have to decide which one is the best fit for you. I'm not here to put down anyone's theory. They all have their own merits.
I made my decision to learn the Magnum Steno theory. The Magnum Steno Theory is the brainchild of the National Speed Champion Mark Kislingbury. Mark's theory teaches you to write short which means it can be stroked (typed) faster with less key strokes. Someone who has won the speed championship as many times as he has, has to have something on the ball right? You bet! I began learning my theory on October 6th, 2008 and at this point I'm on chapter 8 of 33 chapters. I've learned a lot so far and still have a long way to go but I'm getting there with a lot of hard work and study time.
If you are considering going into the field of court reporting than I would highly recommend the Magnum Steno Theory. Here is the link to the website for more info:
My ultimate goal is to go into closed captioning and work from home. In order to be a captioner you have to be able to type very fast. 300+ wpm is the average. In order to do that you have to either be a very fast steno writer or learn a theory with short strokes, or write short. Magnum Steno fills that order for me. ;D


kalea_kane said...

This sounds HARD!!!!! I wish you the best though. I always thought that being a court stenographer would be an interesting job. Close captioning would be fun too. I cannot imagine 300 wpm!!!!

Kathy said...

I am medical transciptionist with 13 years experience and electronic medical records are putting me completely out of work (independent contractor working at home). I have thought about close captioning also but would have to learn the machine. Questions: How much do the steno machines cost?, and do you know if close captioning at home pays well? If so, how much. I made excellent $$ in medical transcription and would hate to take a pay cut. Thanks for any info!

Cloud 9 said...

If you go to the website called Cheap and Sleazy (it's an excellent steno website...don't let the name fool you!), you will find 2 articles by closed captioners that tell you about their day and pay, etc. You can also google search the pay for closed capitioners. I want to be a closed captioner because I want to stay home to do it.
You earn very good money being a court reporter or freelance reporter. That depends on where you live though.
The cost of the machine depends on what you are buying. It is recommened that you purchase a "student model" to see if it's something you like or can do. I started on an old model and very quickly picked up a Lightspeed which is not only state of the art but it is what Mark K. uses. It's awesome. A very stoft touch is all that's needed. There are several articles on my blog about court reporting/captioning that explain some of these things in detail.
My lightspeed was just over 2K and that is a very low price as far as state of the art steno machines go. It doesn't use paper, and doesn't need a lot of the maintenence that the other machines need. I recommend it very highly.

tatyanalis said...

Since you've worked with both StenoMaster Theory & Magnum Steno books, I'd like to ask, do they essentially provide the same info? I'm a beginning student and would like to learn this theory but I'm somewhat confused as to which book I need to buy..
Thank you!

Philp said...

I think you might want to rethink the 300 wpm. It might put people off. Mark, fantastic, terrific reporter that he is and speed record holder could only manage 360 wpm for I think it was 2 minutes. I think you meant to say 200 wpm, though I think merit speeds are always helpful, which is 260 wpm on testimony and 200 on literary, with 240 on a jury charge. Good luck in your studies though! Sounds like you will be a great success!!