Looking to Engage Multiple Audiences at Trial? Try this…

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:

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If you returned with me to Shakespeare’s original theater, the Globe in London around 1600, you would notice one important architectural feature: There is a gallery and there is a pit. The gallery, the seats in the bleachers that ring the outside of the theater, are the pricier seats occupied by the more well-to-do theater goers. The pit, the straw-covered floor of the theater, is where the less affluent would stand and watch the show. Based on this class difference, there is also a difference in the kind of show that each audience wants to see….

A recent panel at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco focused on what Shakespeare had to say to lawyers (it turns out the ‘first, kill all the lawyers” thing is presented as a route to tyranny). I wasn’t able to attend, but I do wonder if the panel touched on this “multiple audiences” lesson from Shakespeare. Litigators addressing a jury have the same need for complexity in focus. But in addition to addressing differences in social class, age, education, race, and gender, attorneys are also speaking to differences in whether jurors are naturally favorable or naturally skeptical of your kind of case.

Read more here:

http://www.persuasivelitigator.com/2013/08/learn-from-the-bard-engage-multiple-audiences.html

Communicate More Effectively: Tune Your Witness’s Tone of Voice

Tune Your Witness’s Tone of Voice

By Dr. Shelley Spiecker:

Speaking Bubbles

A few days ago I was helping prepare a successful CEO for testimony in an upcoming arbitration. The case boiled down to a dispute between two shareholders with one advocating for dissolution of their agreement and the other seeking to keep the agreement in force. My client’s testimony and credibility would be crucial to the case. A high self-monitor, he quickly picked up on my recommendations for posture, eye contact, and other key nonverbal credibility cues. One impediment remained – a tendency to end sentences with an upward vocal inflection. While infrequent, this “uptalking” had the overall effect of making him appear uncertain and less believable than desired.

Ironically, while vocal characteristics speak volumes in terms of impression formation, they can often be one of the more difficult aspects of witness presentation to change. Sager suggests that scientifically voice sounds different to the speaker than it does to the listener, a key reason it can be difficult for many witnesses to self-correct their vocal cues.

Recent research suggests that making the effort to assess vocal quality and enhance vocal effectiveness can pay off.

Read more here:

http://www.persuasivelitigator.com/2013/05/what-are-your-witnesses-saying-when-they-speak.html

How Great Leaders Communicate and How It Applies to Litigation

This article addresses ways in which great leaders communicate within their businesses, but if you read closely, you’ll see parallels where these communication strategies can be used inside the courtroom as well.  For example, “Bringing the vision to life” is not only about being able to support your mission statement in business, but also creating supporting anchors for your themes during trial.  You can also view “Ask smart questions” as a way of exposing opposing counsel’s weaknesses, but posing questions to the jury about what they are missing.

What other parallels do you see?

by: George Anders

I’m in favor of traveling 70% of the way down that road with Groysberg and Slind, without becoming so chatty that you lose the ability to stretch people’s horizons. Over the past 25 years, as a business-book author and writer for the likes of Forbes, Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal, I’ve seen a lot of corporate leaders in action. Here are seven ways that the best leaders increase their effectiveness by the ways they communicate.

1. Bring the vision to life. Anyone can write a mission statement, full of lofty words that sound good. But you aren’t communicating that vision unless you repeatedly signal how those values translate into concrete actions. What people learn from your routine decision-making matters far more than what you pack into your speeches.

A case in point: Jeff Bezos’s insistence that Amazon.com is “the most customer-centric company in the world.” Nice slogan. What does it really mean? Hang around the Amazon CEO for a while, and you will notice that he vetoes sassy ads that mock customers. He insists that mid-level meetings include one person serving solely as the customer advocate – with the power to veto actions that undermine customers’ interests. And when Amazon reorganizes departments, which it does fairly often, each regrouping is justified as a way of serving the customer better.

In the same spirit, bring your bedrock values into the daily workplace. Salute other people’s actions that reinforce what you prize. Call out conduct that doesn’t. And infuse these principles into other people’s thought patterns by referencing key values as decisions are being made.

2. Ask smart questions. In his new book, “To Sell Is Human,” best-selling author Daniel H. Pink cites studies showing that when you want to persuade someone, questions can be more powerful than statements. The reason: you engage another person’s heart and mind more strongly. You get him or her thinking about the ideal answer – and then all the steps necessary to get there. By being less dogmatic, you let people on your team build game plans that they believe in, rather than trapping them in a helpless state until you issue your next command.

Read more here:

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130120173044-59549-how-great-leaders-communicate?trk=eml-mktg-inf-m-top13-0827-p7

How Interactive Timelines Build and Strengthen Opening Statements

By

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Timelines are probably one of the most common things we create at Cogent Legal for clients in all types of cases. Employment, business and personal injury cases are ideally suited for laying out the facts in chronological order to enhance jury understanding. When discussing the various options of timelines with clients, there are basically two main types to consider: Static and Interactive.

A static timeline can be done on a blow-up board and shown to the jury during any key moment of the case. The downside of a static timeline is that, unless it is really simple with only a few entries, you risk overwhelming the audience with so much information at once that it can be hard for them to understand.

For this reason, we generally recommend attorneys start with an interactive timeline that shows events one at a time so that the jury focuses on a single point as the attorney makes it. The interactive format also allows for document treatments so you can choose a button to reveal key documents that relate to the timeline entry.

Read more here:

http://cogentlegal.com/blog/2013/03/interactive-timelines-for-opening-statements/

The Perils of Arrogance in Preparation

By:

Trial attorneys, by nature, have (or at least display) a great deal of confidence.  It’s an essential component of the job. Success in the courtroom demands confidence.  And this confidence is well-earned. After all, you must be doing something right to be where you’re at in your career. But don’t let that confidence create unnecessary barriers. A law degree is not a certification in effective communication.  Thinking through an idea is a fundamentally different task than communicating that idea. Attorneys supremely capable of the former still struggle with the latter, perhaps because communication is so fundamental to our existence that it’s easy to assume we are naturally skilled at it.  That would be false. Perhaps we tend to forget that, while our own ideas are immediately and clearly accessible to us in our minds, they need to be packaged as best as we can in words and images for others to  understand. The challenge is akin to trying to share with a friend the experience of viewing a Picasso by merely describing it to him or her. Even the best words fall short.  Here’s three areas where effective communication often departs from effective strategy at trial:

Read more here:

http://tsongas.com/blog-posts/my-38-minute-5k-and-the-perils-of-arrogance-in-preparation-buy-now-and-get-a-free-zimmerman-epilogue-and-keychain/

7 Questions You Must Ask Your Mock Jury About Litigation Graphics

by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.
Managing Director, Litigation Consulting
A2L Consulting

So, you’ve made the time, effort, and budget commitment to conduct a mock jury exercise to test your case before trial. In my opinion and in the opinion of almost every litigator I’ve worked with, all this time and effort is generally well spent. But if you fail to get the right feedback from your mock jurors, you’ve wasted your time and resources.

What is that “right” feedback and how do you get it?  Your jury consultant should lead the way in this regard (ours has a Ph.D. in psychology and over 30 years’ experience), but the feedback you’re looking for relates primarily to whether the jurors felt they understood your case, accepted your “story,” and trusted your theme – and WHY. If they did and the evidence made sense to them in relation to each of these aspects of your presentation, you’ve likely got a winner, all things being equal.

An important aspect of your case and how it was presented to the mock jurors is your demonstrative evidence and litigation graphics. These will likewise play a key role in your actual trial and its success.  It’s important to test the graphics you intend to use or are considering using at trial with your mock jurors. These graphics will have been carefully, professionally designed to track your mock “clopening” (a contraction of opening and closing) argument and should highlight the important themes, storylines, evidence, and expected testimony of your case.  Here are seven essential questions you must ask your mock jurors about your litigation graphics:

1.  Why Did The Jury Reach The Outcome It Reached?

Full Article here:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/65558/7-questions-you-must-ask-your-mock-jury-about-litigation-graphics?source=Blog_Email_%5B7%20Questions%20You%20Must%5D

testing mock trials graphics jury research

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:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/65359/portray-your-client-as-a-hero-in-17-easy-storytelling-steps?source=Blog_Email_%5BPortray%20Your%20Client%20%5D

by Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
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:

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130612120408-20017018-5-ways-to-become-a-better-speaker-overnight?trk=tod-home-art-medium_0

By: Jeff Haden

Ghostwriter, Speaker, Inc. Magazine Columnist

Do You Believe All The Research You Read? You Shouldn’t…

Recognize this graphic or possibly an iteration of it?  Read on…

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Full article here:

http://www.willatworklearning.com/2006/05/people_remember.html

People do NOT remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they see, 30% of what they hear, etc. That information, and similar pronouncements are fraudulent. Moreover, general statements on the effectiveness of learning methods are not credible—learning results depend on too many variables to enable such precision. Unfortunately, this bogus information has been floating around our field for decades, crafted by many different authors and presented in many different configurations, including bastardizations of Dale’s Cone. The rest of this article offers more detail.

After reading the cited article several times and not seeing the graph—nor the numbers on the graph—I got suspicious and got in touch with the first author of the cited study, Dr. Michelene Chi of the University of Pittsburgh (who is, by the way, one of the world’s leading authorities on expertise). She said this about the graph:

“I don’t recognize this graph at all. So the citation is definitely wrong; since it’s not my graph.”

 

How to Structure Your Next Speech, Opening Statement or Presentation

by Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

I frequently help lawyers craft presentations – whether it’s the opening statement of a litigator, a pitch presentation for a law firm, or a seminar presentation for a corporate lawyer. And I too am often called upon to speak at events or even off the cuff to a group.

After a good bit of trial and error, I have found two nearly foolproof ways of organizing any of these talks that I use almost invariably, whatever the context may be.

The great thing about these models is that you can use them in an off-the-cuff speech just as well as you can in a highly scripted presentation.

Read the full article here:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/64850/how-to-structure-your-next-speech-opening-statement-or-presentation?source=Blog_Email_%5BHow%20to%20Structure%20You%5D

opening statement structure order presentation speech outline a2l