“The success mechanism within you can work in the same way to produce ‘creative doing’ as it does to produce ‘creative ideas.’ Skill in any performance, whether it be in sports, in playing the piano, in conversation, or in selling merchandise, consists not in painfully and consciously thinking out each action as it is performed, but in relaxing, and letting the job do itself through you. Creative performance is spontaneous and ‘natural’ as opposed to self-conscious and studied. The most skilled pianist in the world could never play a simple composition if he tried to consciously think out just which finger should strike which key- while he was playing. He has given conscious thought to this matter previously- while learning, and has practiced until his actions become automatic and habit-like. He was able to become a skilled performer only when he reached the point where he could cease conscious effort and turn the matter of playing over to the unconscious habit mechanism which is a part of the success mechanism.” -From, “Psycho-Cybernetics” By: Maxwell Maltz
When your body feels stress, it releases the hormone cortisol. When your cortisol levels are high, your memory is adversely affected. High stress levels are accompanied by lowered concentration levels, and a lowered ability to retain and recall information. Therefore, take a deep breath and try to be as relaxed as possible while you are testing and practicing. This will help to get your brain working for you instead of against you. Relaxation is key.
A great way for theory and low-speed students to practice is to write to “Learn to Speak English” audio recordings and videos. This is such a great way to practice because the speakers are usually speaking at a fairly slow and steady pace due to the fact that they are trying to teach someone to speak a new language (just like us learning steno). Also, the speakers are usually using vocabulary that is on the basic or intermediate level- just what you need as a newcomer to steno.
There are also great “Learn English” videos that contain conversations between people. This is a great resource for students who are just becoming acquainted with Q & A.
You Tube is my favorite place to access “Learn English” videos. Here are some channel names and links you can visit:
Learn English Conversation: https://www.youtube.com/user/englishlearnspeak/videos
Learn English Fast 1: https://www.youtube.com/user/LearnEnglishFast1/videos
BBC Learning English: https://www.youtube.com/user/bbclearningenglish/videos
Pod English: https://www.youtube.com/user/podEnglish/videos
Speak English With Mister Duncan: https://www.youtube.com/user/duncaninchina
Simple English Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/vickihollettvideo/videos