Best “Article” I’ve Read This Week: Crushing Your Comfort Zone

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Till talks about how he overcame many of his own fears and how everybody can step out of their comfort zone. It all started with Till lying down on the floor in a public place. And it resulted into a world wide movement called “Comfort Zone Crusher”. Till explains his psychological concept of comfort zone crushing and how it helps so many people to tackle their fears.

“Till H. Groß … wildly crushes comfort zones.

As soon as Till finished high-school he took his education in his own hands. After reading the whole psychology section of the small town library in his city, he set out to personally meet the authors of the books that thrilled him. In 2011 he started to consciously seek out the best psychologists, therapists and coaches all over Europe in order to learn from them. Having the best teachers possible enabled him to give talks throughout Germany at the age of 19, hold a guest lecture at the University of Vienna at age 20 and conduct his own seminars, found a startup and work as a coach at the age of 21. Now he’s helping hundreds of people all over the world to tackle their fears and step out of their comfort zone.”

Consider How You Come Across With the Volume Off

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:

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We know communication is visual and not just verbal. But when litigators think of that, they tend to think of demonstrative exhibits and technology. But what about themselves? As a speaker, you’re making a visual impression as well. Most know the basics: stand up straight, look the jury or judge in the eye, use a few gestures. But in practice, attorneys want to expect that in court, content is king and what we say matters more than how we look when we say it. But some surprising research shows that more than we expect is coming through the visual channel.

The studies use the technique of asking research participants to assess a communicator without the aid of sound. Watching a music competition with the sound off, for example, (Tsay, 2013) both amateur and professional musicians were able to correctly predict the competition winners, and did so at a level that was better than those who heard and those who both heard and saw the performance. Similarly, experimental participants unfamiliar with the candidates were able to identify the election winner after simply watching ten-second silent video clips of a gubernatorial debate (Benjamin & Shapiro, 2009). As with the music competition research, turning the sound on tended to worsen the accuracy.

 

Read more here:

http://www.persuasivelitigator.com/2013/09/consider-how-you-come-across-with-the-volume-off.html

Nailing a Presentation in the First 60 Seconds

Whether you are making a presentation at your local library or to senior executives at your firm, the first 60 seconds set you up for success or failure.

Everything most precious to me in this world is the result of the first 60 seconds of a speech I gave on a cold day in Philadelphia. It was my turn to speak during a Wharton MBA Toastmasters program; I would be given a topic, and then would have to begin without advance preparation.

My topic: explain why MBAs aren’t all greedy jerks.

Terrified of boring the audience, I decided to flip the topic and embrace the dark side. My speech was a rant about how MBAs are all-powerful masters of the universe (note to readers: I was kidding.)

The first 60 seconds you spend in front of an audience are pivotal. If you’re nervous or too excited, time can be a blur. But this is when the audience decides whether or not they like you, and it’s your best opportunity to get in a groove that will guide you through the rest of your presentation.

I’d like to make the following suggestions:

Plan your opening in advance. You should know exactly…

Read more here:

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130918033719-36792-nailing-a-presentation-in-the-first-60-seconds

Displaying Patent Language in Patent Litigation

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As lawyers, we are always arguing about documents, and we often need to display those documents in court. In patent cases, displaying documents is particularly important because the patent’s language describes the invention. In today’s post, I’ll talk about how to display this language in an understandable, readable and trustworthy form for the judge or jury.

Importance of the Patent’s Language

The primacy of a patent’s language comes from the patent statutes. For example, 35 U.S.C. § 112 requires that inventors describe their inventions fully and clearly, and that they point out their invention in the claims:

In light of the key role of patent language, patent litigators often need to display patent language in court to argue about the meaning of the language.

The Three Requirements: Understandable, Readable and Trustworthy

Whenever you display document language in court, you must make sure that (1) the audience understands what is being shown; (2) the language is readable; and (3) that the judge and/or jury trusts that you are displaying the language accurately.

Displaying Your Patent Language: Slides vs. Live Presentation

How do we recommend presenting patent language? First, you need to decide if you will be presenting prepared slides, or showing magnified documents live on Trial Director, Sanction, an Elmo, a poster board or another live display technology in court. There are advantages to both approaches. In this post, I’ll assume that you have decided to use pre-prepared slides of patent language, and save for another day the discussion of Trial Director or Sanction versus prepared slides.

Read more here:

http://cogentlegal.com/blog/2013/08/displaying-patent-language/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CogentLegalBlog+%28Cogent+Legal+Blog%29

Patent Language Display Sample

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

Timeline Design for Litigation: When to Use a Static Timeline

“I need a timeline.” This is how litigators often start in asking for legal graphics. This start to the graphics conversation makes sense because timelines are perhaps the most common type of legal graphic, and the most familiar to many litigators. This starting point also makes sense in light of a litigator’s goal—a litigator needs to tell a cohesive story, and the relative timing of various events can help the litigator knit those events into a pattern.

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To design a timeline, we need to understand how the litigator will use the timeline to tell his or her story. In this blog post, I’ll introduce some of the design questions we use at Cogent Legal to help litigators think about their timelines.

To assist in this discussion, below is a “static” timeline illustrating events in two related pieces of patent litigation, one in the ITC (the International Trade Commission), and one in district court:

Read more here:

http://cogentlegal.com/blog/2013/07/timeline-design-questions/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CogentLegalBlog+%28Cogent+Legal+Blog%29

Timeline

Five Tips to Keep Trial Tech on Course: Rules to follow when you’re in charge of courtroom presentation.

My favorite quote from this article is “If you want to see the worst of someone’s personality, go to trial with them — especially those who are only in trial once a year or less.

A little OCD can go a long way. Making sure everything is in order before you go to sleep at night will help you rest. Waiting to finish something in the morning can lead to other problems if something goes slowly, or additional work comes in. One point should be very clear — this is not a 9 to 5 job.”

By Ted Brooks

The option of using the tools of technology for trial presentation is no longer an issue for debate. Once thought of as running the risk of appearing “too slick,” juries and judges now expect to have the ability to view the evidence — even in bench trials.

With this acceptance comes an increased level of expectation. Where it was once not uncommon for an attorney to spend a few minutes digging through a stack of exhibits or boxes to locate a desired exhibit (and sometimes not finding it), it is now only a matter of seconds from the time an exhibit is mentioned until it is on the screen for all to view.

This bridge between attorney and evidence is often referred to as the “Hot Seat.” Like the attorney who could not find the important exhibit, the Hot Seat operator shares in the burden and risk of disturbing the flow of the trial. Although it looks like a well-rehearsed performance when done properly, technology glitches can cause a delay — or even a mistrial.

Here are a few things to include in your “insurance policy” that can help prevent a courtroom meltdown.