The ability to write brief forms automatically and fast is one of the ingredients in improving your shorthand speed. To that effect, I recreated the following drill that appeared in an old Gregg recording. The sound files below contain all of the brief forms for all Gregg Shorthand series, dictated in alphabetical order at 100 brief forms a minute. To obtain the best results from these practice recordings, follow the following instructions:
1. Before you start to write, find a chart of the brief forms in alphabetical order corresponding to your Gregg Shorthand series and its respective key. Play the recording that match your series, following the dictation on the brief form chart. Do this several times until you are sure that you understand every word and know the shorthand outline.
2. These recordings are intentionally dictated faster than you can expect to write them at first because the practice is intended to build up your speed. You will do better at first to write only a part of the recording, probably about one minute’s dictation, practicing on that until you can write it fluently and accurately. Then add another unit, gradually increasing the amount written until the entire recording can be written.
3. Write once from the dictation of the recording the amount you have decided to use for your first unit of practice.
4. Check your first copy carefully with the shorthand key to avoid any possibility that you are practicing incorrect outlines.
5. Practice separately any outlines which were not correctly written.
6. Write each of the units on which you have decided until you can write it at the normal rate of dictation of the recording before attempting to write the entire recording. It is recommended that you read your own notes every second time you write any given material from the recorded dictation, reading the printed key after each alternate dictation to insure your use of the correct outlines.
7. When you can write the dictation from the recording in good shorthand, without difficulty, then try a faster speed!
Don’t get discouraged. You will gain speed only by fighting for it. Read and check carefully the notes taken from the recorded dictation. As the writing becomes easier, give special attention to improving your notes. Eventually you should write the matter easily and in good form.
Are you ready for the challenge?