Learning to Lawyer: 6 Tips for Compelling Communication

by Kristen Pavón

Hello! We are back in Washington, D.C. after a fun-filled week in “weird” Austin! If you’ve read last week’s blog posts or you were in Austin with us, then you know about the fabulous delicious BBQ programming at NALP’s Annual Education Conference.

One session I attended — “Be a Compelling Communicator” — had some great tips on delivering more effective presentations. Public speaking is one of those “soft” skills that is crucial to lawyering at basically every phase of litigation — with clients, adversaries, witnesses, senior/supervising attorneys, in court, etc. It also doesn’t hurt to have some communication tricks up your sleeve when networking and/or interviewing.

Here are a few nuggets of truth from Brent Baer‘s session:

1. What kind of speaker do you want to be? Good speakers inform their audiences, while great speakers influence them.

2. What are compelling communicators made of? Compelling communicators are engaging, confident, inspiring, knowledgeable and memorable.

3. Don’t make your audience yawn! Use the classic question, “How many of you…,” to include and engage your audience.

4. Get to taping! Record your presentations, then watch your performance to find out where you need improvement.

5. Take it easy! Focus on improving one skill per week.

6. Fashion matters. Speakers look most credible in navy, black, and gray.

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