The #1 vexing on-the-job challenge for reporters is the need to interrupt speakers to ensure the integrity of the record. Stories abound on social media that (1) people are speaking faster now; (2) some attorneys are clueless of the record they are making; (3) some quietly or blatantly disregard reporters' requests to slow down, speak up, and not talk over one another; and (3) litigators who do not understand the crucial role reporters have to protect the record tell agencies not to send back those who interrupt “too” often. A reporter’s need and legal requirement to capture an accurate record creates a dilemma in which a choice must be made in the heat of the moment between uncomfortable alternatives: Interrupt, Drop, or Rely on Backup Audio Media—sometimes all day long. Since it is your duty to produce a verbatim transcript, your fear of incurring attorneys’, judges’ (and witnesses’) wrath by interrupting their “flow” creates an inner conflict which results in over-the-top stress; doubt about your writing ability; dropping; and/or reliance on audio, with devastating consequences if the file is corrupted. In this presentation, you will learn the “art” of interruption; how to overcome insecurity and defensiveness; quiet the negative voices in your head; calming techniques; and how to speak up for what you need while managing your emotions -- and the room -- instead of their controlling YOU.
My first (and second) workshop(s) for CCRA took place at the October 2015 Convention. That July, my article, The Court Reporter’s Dilemma: Interrupt or Drop, was published by the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF). Court reporters from throughout the U.S. messaged me with war stories of their experiences in depositions and court, where attorneys and judges disregarded their requests to slow down, etc. Coincidentally, the Court Reporters Board of California published its Best Practice Pointer #1: How to Interrupt Proceedings, stating the laws and requirements of reporters to interrupt. In my CCRA Online article published in January 2016, How to Interrupt Proceedings: Feel the Fear and Speak Up Anyway, I shared some reporter stories, two award-winning litigators’ views on reporter interruption, and how to gain control of emotions, negative self-talk, and the room. With five more years of personal and professional experience under my belt, this workshop will dive even deeper to assist reporters in mastering the art of interruption and asking for what they need.
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