How to Deal with Performance Anxiety as a Professional Court Reporter

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) held its 2015 TechCon convention this month in Denver, Colorado where speaker Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE spoke to attendees about overcoming the fear of writing in real-time.

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Everhart explained that writers must try to develop a level of connectivity relating to other people seeing the real-time writing as it is produced while feeling and conveying self-confidence in order to ensure quality output. Everhart suggested court reporters practice writing in realtime for 15 minutes every day and then analyze the output to determine corrections that are needed as a way to increase the quality. “Don’t just do it; check it to see what mistakes you are making. Fixing something will improve your skills,” she said. She also suggested logging the errors found and targeting them, stating that it will help create muscle memory. This aids in teaching the brain how to hit the correct key strokes and avoid the wrong ones.

Everhart gave attendees several other suggestions to reduce performance anxiety, including keeping current with technology trends by learning the software inside and out, asking for help from other reporters, attending realtime training seminars and webinars and joining a TRAIN group.

TRAIN stands for Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide. These groups encourage free membership, with the stated goal of not just teaching realtime, but helping reporters overcome performance anxiety. It has also set a goal of increasing the amount realtime court reporters across the country by providing the tools needed to become proficient.

Everhart concluded her speech by stating the importance of TRAIN groups and encouraging court reporters to promote these groups among peers: “Show it to them and create a market for yourself. Go to someone you really like and tell them the benefits,” she said.