Court reporting is a skill. It requires a certain personality type to be a court reporter and really do well in that job. As you may imagine, if you possess certain skills or qualities, it may be easier for you to succeed in this field.
However, the best court reporters are not always born. Plenty of people can learn the skills and develop them to be better at their job. Experience can always help but actively pursuing and working on the necessary skills and requirements of the job and being organized about it can certainly help.
Today we are going over it all, so read on and find out more about the skills you should be developing. If you can work on these skills you will be a better court reporter, so scroll down and see what we mean!
Be early and on time.
You know that saying– if you’re early, then you’re on time, but if you’re on time, then you’re late. The reporters that have respected standing earn it by showing up early. Being early is on time and showing up late will get you a poor reputation. Get a good reputation and be early!
The best court reporters leave all the information that they typed down at work. Repeating is not only illegal but it will lose you your job. Work on being tight-lipped and professional about your position.
Stay focused on your job and neutral while working.
Your job is to provide an accurate transcription. Consider everything else irrelevant. Your job is to record what is being said and catch every word and pay attention to the judge. While working, stay neutral and focus on recording what is happening and not your feelings about it.
Practice good etiquette with all involved.
Be social and polite at all times with colleagues or anyone you may encounter.
Dress for the day.
Dressing in a way that is professional and not flashy or in poor taste is imperative. Your outfit, hair, and even makeup is one of the only things that many people will notice about a court reporter as they are largely silent in the court process. Dress appropriately for a business setting in neutrals and muted colors with coverage and layers for optimal comfort.
Work on your grammar, proofreading, and punctuation.
Working on these skills will make you a valuable reporter. Applying punctuation and proper grammar to the spoken word will make the text more readable and proofreading well will prevent errors or typos as well as a misplaced comma or period (or lack of one).
Know when to speak up.
Sometimes a court reporter does need to speak up. Never hesitate to request things when it is necessary, whether how to spell names or places mentioned.
Focus on being organized.
Being organized can be tough to do for many people, but balancing your schedule and duties while working is going to be crucial. You’ll also use them for transcript prep and getting your transcript delivered punctually. You need to be organized as a reporter and beyond that, reliable.
Practice great customer service to your clients.
Having good customer service is necessary. Having a good working relationship with clients past, present, and future keeps you in business! Make sure you get those transcripts in on time and prioritize everything to meet the expectations of the job and your clients too.
Perfect your shorthand writing.
As it is a highly technical skill, it can be a valuable one too if you get it down. A good court reporter works to get their shorthand down, trying to achieve ever-increasing higher levels of skill, competence, and certification. You’ll write faster, be more accurate, and be more hirable than ever.
Practice good time management.
Court reporters need to utilize time outside of the job wisely too. Good court reporters will organize their schedule and always know where they need to be and prepare for that accordingly. Manage time so that you have time to eat, sleep, take care of your personal life and errands, and get to the courtroom and turn in your transcripts on time too.
The best court reporters understand what is needed of them and work to provide it. They are early and prepare for work the night before. They respect the confidence that has been placed by them and strive to improve their reporting in every area and practice mindfulness and attention while working. If you can keep that in mind and follow the above tips, you are sure to be successful.