When it comes to mastering shorthand there is little you can do but practice, practice and more practice. Unfortunately there is no other way of doing it. There are plenty of shorthand dictation tapes out there on the web, or from your course centre for you to pass. You should be practising for at least an hour a day if you want to get your 100wpm. However, there isn’t an endless supply of dictation and the passages can become familiar after a while. It is always nice to try something different to spice up your shorthand relationship, so why not try these five on for size?
Shorthand to the beat
It is possible to take down teeline to a song and it can be a novel way to change up your practice routine. Try and pick songs that have clear lyrics and a tempo that isn’t too fast for your shorthand speed. Not only will it help your shorthand but transcribing the words back will help you learn them for your next karaoke trip as well.
While watching T.V
Finding time and motivation to churn out an hours worth of shorthand practice can be difficult at times. But as all you need is a pen and paper sometimes it is nice to encorportate it into other activities like watching T.V (or listening to music). Taking down teeline to the news, or a chat show can be good practice at the faster speeds. Even if you are only at 60wpm trying to keep up for 30 seconds is still good practice.
On the move
If you take the train or the bus anywhere and you have left your Ipod at home, don’t worry. You can still practise your shorthand. Take down what you hear and try and get it back, it could be a mobile phone conversation or the radio on the bus (not sure if the bus plays the radio, to be honest) but it all helps towards that 100wpm.
Ask a friend to read to you
Probably the most unlikely of the five to happen on a regular basis. But if your flatmate or partner is around with nothing to do, asking them to read at a certain pace is a good way to break things up. If only to get you away from the usual shorthand passages and voices.
OK so it’s really a top 4 but it cannot be avoided. Your shorthand dictation passages provide the best way of practising your shorthand and getting up to speed. The above methods are good ways of getting away from the dictation when they become monotonus or familiar but the passages should never be kicked to the curb. Take a break from them to try something different, but keep them close at hand, they really will help you pass.