Does the idea of speaking in front of a group of people turn your knees to jelly and cause you to sweat like a cold beer sitting out in the Houston sun? If so, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. However, public speaking, like legal research or writing, is a key competency for attorneys because there is a good chance that, at some point in your career, you will have to speak in public, whether it be to a group of colleagues at a CLE session or to a trial judge. So, take a deep breath, relax, and read Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys by Faith Pincus.
Advocating her AMI™ method of public speaking, Ms. Pincus, an experienced public speaker, trainer, and attorney, launches into a discussion of how to improve presentation skills by keeping the three key principles of audience, message, and image/delivery at the forefront. She explains why the audience matters and describes how to create a memorable message for that audience. She also talks about the importance of the image you are projecting and the style of your delivery.
While the first part of the book is applicable to anyone looking to improve her presentation skills, the second part of the book addresses attorney-related speaking situations, such as oral arguments, opening statements, and closing arguments. There is even a chapter on media relations.
Still nervous and anxious? Have a look at chapter eight where the author discusses overcoming your fear. (Hint: it involves more than simply picturing your audience in their undergarments). There, Ms. Pincus provides some practical ways to manage and face your fear.
If you are looking to improve your presentation skills, be sure to have a look at Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys.