Court Reporter Speaks To Long Beach Secretaries

There's an old saying that, What gets measured, gets improved. 
I think I heard that on the loud speakers at my gym... They were encouraging me to go weigh in and measure how fat I am or something.
But how true of a statement is that?  You can't just go blindly forward in a task and not gauge your performance.  In court reporting school, for example, there are speed tests every single day.  Every day!  As any working freelance reporter or court room reporter will tell you, the translation percentage rate provided by CAT software is a way of measuring accuracy too.
Last night I got to see if improvements in my marketing speech would be noticeable.  And I believe what I spent measuring last week did, indeed, improve.  Here's how it went down.  First, let me say thanks to the Long Beach Secretaries Association for having me last night.  And a great time was had by all at the Grand Long Beach Event Center.  Special congrats to newly elected President, Cathleen McGrath Siler, Legal Assistant at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. 
I think my speech went way better last night than the first time I delivered it.  You can read all about my speech to Orange County legal secretaries here.  All the revisions and cuts that I made to tighten it up really seemed to work.  The pacing was a lot smoother and I don't think anyone squirmed in their chairs.  One very nice lady said that I kept it light and entertaining and the whole thing flowed rather well.  Judging from the speaker evaluations I got back, my talk was a success.
How Do I Judge Success Or Not?
In order to gauge whether or not my speech was successful or not, I've got to ask myself some specific questions: 
  • Did my speech add value?
  • Was the content useful?
  • Did the quality level of the information meet expectations?
  • Was I engaging and was I able to develop a rapport with the audience?
  • Did my speech have real world applicability?
 The speaker evals came back mostly with Agree and some Strongly Agree for the above items.  Thank you LBLSA!  Still, how does this apply to you?  I would encourange every court reporting student and working professional to come up with their own measuring-type questions. 
  • If you're a court reporting student, be sure to always be measuring your accuracy.  Remember my motto:  Get accuracy first then speed will follow.
  • If you're a working court reporter or freelance reporter, be cognizant of your translation rate.  You can always build more entries into your CAT dictionary.  That's the way my dictionary looks.  It has EVERYTHING  in there.  Even my flubs. 
Finally, it was awesome to be so close to my Long Beach Court Reporting Suite.  If you ever need a court reporter in Long Beach, check this out:
LongDowntown Plaza
211 E. Ocean Blvd
Long Beach,  California   90802
(888) 566-0253

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

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