Want to Become a Better Speaker in and out of the courtroom? Read this…

Presenting in court is the ultimate test in public speaking: your on stage in front of dozens to hundreds of people, with a few dozen listening intently & scrutinizing every word out of your mouth, with millions of dollars at stake.

Vivek Wadhwa breaks down some critical steps in delivering your presentation.  i’m particularly found of this one:
“If you use a PowerPoint, just put the highlights on it and don’t read from the slides. Have the PowerPoint supplement and substantiate what you are saying and give the audience—and you—a roadmap of what your talk is about. Graphics are better than words.”

Your visual strategy should be prepared as diligently as your oratory presentation.

This came with practice and perseverance. Let me share some of the lessons I’ve learned.

  1. Don’t try to memorize every line—it is a hopeless cause. Have notes in your hand or use a PowerPoint presentation which highlights the key points that you want to make.
  2. Know your material and rehearse it several times beforehand. Record yourself giving the talk and note what you did right and wrong. Have your friends critique you.
  3. Make it personal. Talk about yourself, what you think about the things you are speaking about, and most importantly—what this means for the audience. This means that you have to know your audience—who they are and what they are interested in. Remember: this is for them—not for you. Don’t do what most academics do—impersonalize the material and repeatedly give the same dry, dull, and boring lecture.
  4. Tell a story…..

Read more here:


Portray Your Client As a Hero in 17 Easy Storytelling Steps

Much has been written about the hero’s journey as Joseph Campbell described it in his seminal work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In this 1949 book, Campbell asserts that storytellers worldwide, in their best stories, have for centuries used a story structure that he calls the monomyth. From Beowulf to Ulysses to Luke Skywalker, the pattern is seen over the ages.

Leadership speakers, filmmakers, theologians and literary authorities use the 17 steps described by Campbell to tell stories that have multi-generational staying power. I had the pleasure of attending a TEDx event last month whose theme was the hero’s journey.

…humans are moved by stories at a primal level. Tapping into this human need for drama by using storytelling in the courtroom is an easy (but not simple) method of persuading your judge or jury.

Keep reading here:


by Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

heros journey client storytelling trial litigation lawyer

5 Ways to Become a Better Speaker Overnight

You’re asked to speak at an important event. It’s an incredible opportunity. You should be thrilled… but since you rarely speak in a formal setting, all you can think about is bombing.

The ability to captivate an audience is a skill that takes years to develop. If you don’t have that kind of time, here are five unconventional ways to become a better speaker almost overnight:

1. Find one thing no one knows.

I have never heard someone say, “I was at this presentation the other day… the speaker’s Gantt chart was amazing.”

I have heard someone say, “I was at this presentation the other day… did you know when you blush the lining of your stomach also turns red?”

Find a surprising fact or an unusual analogy that relates to your topic. Audiences love to cock their heads and think, “Really? I had no idea…”

2. Share a genuinely emotional story.

Read more here:


By: Jeff Haden

Ghostwriter, Speaker, Inc. Magazine Columnist

Can the Slow Pace of Trial Keep Up with Our Fast-Paced World?

Rushing through the C terminal of SeaTac Airport hoping to catch an earlier shuttle to Portland, I was pleased to see that every business and service around me attempted to accommodate my jet setter lifestyle. The Massage Bar enticed me to relax with a “15 minute short shot;” Butter™London promised a “waterless express manicure,” and Beechers suggested I, “Rush in and grab lunch to go.” I didn’t have time for any of those things. I was too busy eyeballing the “standby list” eager to get home an hour earlier than planned. Alas, the 2 p.m. flight came and went, and there I sat next to a 20-something kid who provided me with 30 minutes of entertainment and the inspiration for this blog.

It occurred to me that this kid, living in his double-screen world, could very well end up sitting in the jury box of your next trial. If he’s lucky, there will be a single foam-core poster board proudly displaying page 4 of a key document. And if he’s really lucky, there may be a PowerPoint show containing 40 bullet-pointed slides explaining the expert’s opinion. But, there won’t be interactive games or FaceTime connections with friends four states away.


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12 Astute Tips for Meaningful Mock Trials

I have led or helped lead over 400 mock trials in the past thirty years. In that time, I have learned what works and what does not. Below, I share twelve of the best lessons that I believe litigators can take from all of my accumulated experience.

1)     Don’t pull punches on the opposing side.

In mock trials, we often see counsel hone their messages and themes, as well as throw their best ammo at their own side’s presentation, but come up short when preparing the case for the opposing side, whether intentionally or unwittingly.

2)     Use balanced litigation graphics for both sides.

Understandably, in an effort to contain cost, as well as their natural desire to make the best case for their client, counsel often creates more and better-aimed litigation graphics for their own side, but may make an anemic attempt, if any, to create punchy graphics to drive home opposing points.

by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.

Read more here:


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The Power of Simplicity

What if I told you that you could predict the success or failure of stocks in the first few weeks after their IPO, knowing nothing about the company other than their name? What if you only knew the ticker symbol? A team of psychologists investigated this question and determined that you can, in fact, predict early stock success on name alone [1]. Specifically, the fluency of a name matters, in a positive way. Companies and ticker symbols that are fluent, or easy to read and pronounce, outperform those that are not. For example, with all else being equal, Sprint, with the simple ticker symbol S, will outperform Pfizer, symbolized by PFE.

The psychological reason: humans prefer simplicity. This same effect has been found in various areas of impression formation and human interaction.


Read more here:


The Five Do’s and 12,000 Don’ts of Opening Statements

By Rich Matthews

I sat through some opening statements the other day, and can only just now talk about it. Even now, at some points in the story, I feel like pointing to a doll to communicate exactly where and how the two men in the black suits hurt me.

They did some good things – they actually had crafted some themes and frames that might still turn out to be pretty effective. But as an interested professional, I was looking for those things and was willing to sniff through a hill of crap to find the truffles. Fifteen jurors and alternates, I noticed, did not write down a single one of the themes that I thought were good.

What made these opening statements so bad? Well, the common lawyer tropes that make most opening statements so lousy.  Look, just because you have heard something from older lawyers about How To Do Things, it doesn’t mean they are right about it. As I point out to people who proudly declare themselves “old school,” there are usually good reasons they tear down old schools and put up new ones. So let’s go through those vampiric clichés that suck the life blood out of a speech and never quite die.

Read more here: http://juryology.com/2013/05/17/the-five-dos-and-12000-donts-of-opening-statements/

6 Secrets of the Jury Consulting Business You Should Know

By Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.
Jury Consultant
1)     Anyone can call himself or herself a “jury consultant.” There are two basic types of jury consultant: those with appropriate credentials . . . and everyone else. Those with appropriate credentials have a background in a relevant field, such as psychology, sociology, or the law, with the training, skills and knowledge to provide bona fide and reliable data collection and interpretation. This includes knowledge and respect for appropriate research design, statistics….

Read more here: http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/65332/6-secrets-of-the-jury-consulting-business-you-should-know?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=social&utm_content=279952


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