Founder Mark Kislingbury

Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting Staff

Mark Tod Kislingbury CSR, RMR, CRR was born in Ames, Iowa, and now currently resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife of 24 years and three children. He was educated at the American Institute of Business in Des Moines, Iowa, beginning in 1981 and departing in January of 1983. Throughout his career, Mark began developing a new style of writing, combining different strokes to form complete phrases and words where standard teaching theory demands several strokes per phrase and word due to the theory of always phonetically spelling out. He set out to prove that writing shorter created more productive and successful professional court reporters and through his Academy, would produce a higher graduation and achievement of licensing rate. He describes his career goal as “using the gifts God has given me to His glory and not my own”, and through this academy, and training both professionals and students alike on his popular website,, he is sharing what has been one of the keys to his success.

Career Achievements and Experience

In 2004, at the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) annual convention, Mark set a new Guinness World Record for a one-minute take by writing and transcribing a one-minute, 360wpm Testimony with 97.22% accuracy.

He has since beaten that one-minute record in 2022 with a 370wpm Testimony with 95.405% accuracy.

Most recently he has set a new five-minute world record, in 2023, for a 320wpm Testimony with 97.375% accuracy.

NCRA Speed Contests and Realtime Contests are kind of equivalent to the “Majors” in professional tennis. Mark has won seven NCRA Speed Contests and five NCRA Realtime Contests, for a total of 12 “Majors.” Two people with the second most “Majors” have 7 total.

Over the years, Mark has presented approximately 75 seminars on court reporting speed, accuracy, and realtime that have been attended by thousands of professional court reporters all over North America.

He founded Magnum Steno, Inc., which provides other products and services helpful to the court reporting/captioning profession, including the popular Magnum Steno Club, a members-only site for students and court reporters to practice dictation at all speeds.

In 2014 he published Magnum Steno: Beginning Theory, his “magnum opus” of his entire writing short system for students and professional reporters. Mark is also the author of My System: The Road to Realtime Excellence, published by the NCRA in 2001 and The StenoMaster Theory, published in 2004.

He has also written articles for and has been featured in several court reporting industry journals, such as the Journal of Court Reporting, The Texas Record, S*T*A*R, and the book “Inside Captioning,” by Gary Robson. Mark also has been involved in direct consultation, development, and sales of CAT software and a consultant for the testing and improvement of steno machines.

Mark has over 40 years in this career included 18 years as a freelance court reporter, 15 years as a broadcast captioner, and many years of performing realtime for display purposes in depositions. Mark also has provided realtime for display for multiple lengthy and high-profile trials, which has given him the reputation for being extremely accurate and unafraid to tackle any job. As a captioner, he has provided captioning for:

  • Creation in the 21st Century on TBN, a show studying the science behind creation and evolution
  • Dove Awards
  • The famous Kasparov vs. Deep Blue chess match
  • The 2001, 2004, and 2007 NCRA Annual Business Meetings
  • Live events for worldwide internet viewing such as speeches given by Bill Gates, Microsoft, Steve Jobs, Apple, NASA scientists, and the Father of the Internet, Vint Cert
  • NFL Football, NBA, and NCAA basketball
  • 1998 Superbowl Pregame Show
  • Election returns in Quebec for national Canadian television
  • Live area events such as Sesame Street Live, ice shows, circuses, and university commencements
  • Several pro bono cases such as Sunday services with Second Baptist Church in Houston, providing close captioning for the hearing impaired at various meetings, functions, and educational settings, and monthly meetings of the Houston chapter of Self Help of Hard of Hearing
  • Participated in the Texas Court Reporters Association task force for creating Texas’ first CART test for court reporters
  • Southern Baptist National Convention in Salt Lake City, 1998
  • NBA Houston Rockets basketball
  • The Rush Limbaugh and Clay Travis & Buck Sexton radio programs
  • Seventh-day Adventist General Conferences

He currently provides realtime in patent litigation depositions as well as teaches his theory and other courses at the Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting.

The Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting

Mark started his school in 2011 and today has over several hundred students who are a combination of on-site and online. The school has several dozen graduates, the majority of them averaging around two years. Mark believes his brief-intensive, short theory, the Magnum Steno Theory, is the key to helping students gain speed quickly and achieve graduation speeds and beyond. His students are performing well in the court reporting field, many of them already providing realtime in their daily work. Many court reporters have sent their children to Mark’s school and seen them graduate in record time, several in 18 months or less.