The Rules of Speech Practice for Lawyers

August 24, 2011 | By

To make it easier for busy lawyers to practice their speeches, here are the Official Rules of Speech Practice for Lawyers.

Now there can be no arguing about the best way to practice a speech before setting off into public… no arguing!  Just practice.

The Rules of Speech Practice for Lawyers

  1. Practice means standing up and speaking out loud
  2. Practicing in your head does not count (everything sounds good in your head)
  3. Spend 60% of practice time on the first 5 minutes of speech
  4. Practice your whole speech out loud 2-3 times for timing & transitions
  5. Videotape your practice after a few run-throughs
  6. Use note cards with an outline, citations, quotes – not a script
  7. Practice with small faux audience for high stakes speeches
  8. Practice your client stories or examples 10x – they are crucial
  9. Check your stories and examples with someone who knows your audience well
  10. Reduce your speech content by 10-25% and your audience will retain more

Obviously a lawyer who practices his or her speech will feel more confident and be less nervous.   And of course the lawyer speaker will make a much better impression on the clients and potential clients in his or her audience.   We all know that.  And still most lawyers don’t prepare or practice properly before giving speeches.*  We hope these Rules of Speech Practice for Lawyers will make it faster and easier for lawyers to practice their speeches.

*Some executives don’t practice speeches properly either. Only 25% of executives surveyed said they spend more than 2 hours practicing for a “high stakes presentation.”  And yet 86% of the executives agreed that communicating with clarity directly impacts their careers and incomes.  (Survey by Distinction Services. 2009., quoted in Resonate: Present Visual Stories the Transform Audiences, Nancy Duarte (Wiley 2010)).

Filed in: Public Speaking, Top 5 Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author (Author Profile)

Marsha Redmon is a former practicing lawyer and television journalist who has been teaching lawyers to get the business and recognition they want through business development, communications, video and media interview workshops and coaching for the last 16 years. Contact her at: info [at] marsha [dot] com or 202.251.3390

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