• Oleg Voronko

Speak like a lawyer

Would you like to speak like a lawyer? Achieving that level of fluency in public speaking means learning special skills, and then practicing, practicing, practicing. VR+voice recognition can completely recreate the real-life conditions of a lawyer addressing a jury at a courtroom trial. With the tips on performance provided thanks to Phonal AI, your performance will improve dramatically.

So how do lawyers attain such success at public speaking, what makes them sound so convincing? We have all seen televised lawyers making a brilliant address to the jury, and unquestionably the powerful rhetoric and drama they employ teaches much about getting people on your side.

But a corporate lawyer making the case for a tax loophole uses a different kind of rhetoric – and he/she has to be equally persuasive.

Lawyers are taught special expository (how to persuade) and forensic oratory (how to deliver) techniques that prepare them to do their jobs. Great lawyers are masters of all these techniques; lesser lawyers at least apply them as best they can – and then they both practice, practice, practice if they want to succeed. Many practices in groups like Toastmasters, but today they often make use of more sophisticated electronic tools.

What makes a great lawyer?

The first special technique lawyers learn is the Socratic Method. Named after the Greek philosopher, it’s a form of critical thinking that involves relentless questioning. Those who have seen the film, The Paper Chase, have seen a terrible parody of the Socratic Method.

It’s not about tormenting people with questions. It’s about leading them on a logical, step-by-step journey to agree with your position. And it’s one of the most formidable public speaking tools ever invented:

“She could see that he was trying to teach the other men, to coax and persuade them to look at the factory's operations in a new way. He used the Socratic method: He prompted the other directors and the middle managers and even the foremen to identify the problems themselves and to reach by their own reasoning the solutions he had himself already determined upon.” (David Lodge, Nice Work. Viking, 1988).

You can apply the Socratic Method to your own speeches, and make them convincing. Write your speech, and then practice it intensively using the supplemented virtual reality on Phonal -- it opens a depository of cases covering the vast corpus of constitutional, civil and criminal law. And it recreates the conditions of courtroom sessions, giving you the vital sense of being ‘right there.’

Phonal's Immersive Mode puts you in the courtroom

Another skill that lawyers are taught is the exercise of quick situational analysis: They consider whom they are addressing, and adapt their delivery to the audience. Maybe it’s a judge, giving them a hard time with counter-argument, or a witness who is resisting interrogation. Phonal puts you right in the courtroom to practice these skills.

Voice recognition from Phonal is a powerful tool for training for interrogation skills and intuition. VR enriched with voice recognition tools, also builds both the visual and auditory aspects of use-case presentation skills and helps to exercise necessary verbal skills and quick situational analysis. A report by Arizona State University and the Santa Barbara, CA-based human behavior research firm Anacapa Sciences, the trainees in their soldier study showed 17 percent better results from Game-Based simulation programs in comparison with traditional training methods.

But there is another aspect to analyzing your audience: You need to address their feelings. Most successful arguments to audiences (not to judges), lawyers are taught, are made by painting an emotional picture. So, a vote for gun control is not about social change, it’s about saving lives. Or a vote against gun control isn’t about the dangers associated with firearms, it’s about liberty.

You can learn these techniques, and then you hone them with lots of practice using Phonal AI to refine your delivery and broaden the range of feeling you can project.

Projecting your personality

Lawyers also are taught in law school that much of success in public speaking isn’t about what you are saying. It’s about projecting confidence and amiability. A lawyer has to be able to show confidence even when saddled with a nearly hopeless case. He has to make the judge like him/her, because antagonizing the judge means almost certainly losing the case. And when it comes to a jury, any jury-selection expert will tell you that, if they hate the lawyer, the defendant is going to jail.

How do lawyers learn to project confidence and amiability? They spend a large part of their time in law school in public debates, mock trials, class presentations – by dint of relentless work, confidence is strengthened.

You can develop these skills using Phonal AI as well. Again you find yourself on stage, and you can practice projecting the amiable good feelings that lawyers project. Like lawyers, you practice this as much as you can, so that it becomes effortless, and your skills convince your audience, bringing them around to your point of view.

Phonal will help you to speak like a lawyer. Learn more here.

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© 2019, Phonal Technologies