The ‘Art’ of Public Speaking and Presenting


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If you have three or more candidates or you would like to run this course as an in-house programme, please contact us.


It is a mistake to think that the need for communication skills is confined to certain industries. Communication skills are the foundation for any successful lawyer in any field. In fact, research conducted by Lawyer Metrics Foundation, with over 1,000 lawyers, reveals that oral communication skills ranks as one of the top “most critical traits” for high-performing lawyers.

Research shows that a high intellect is only half of the equation behind legal success. Lawyers are judged not only by the content of their message, but also by how that content is delivered. A lawyer who lacks the ability to influence the listener – whether it is the client, the company or colleagues, will not be perceived to be as smart or as effective as a lawyer with sharp communication, presentation and public speaking capabilities.

Having presentation skills and being confident in public speaking will increase your career opportunities, as delivering professional presentations to clients and business partners is becoming an essential part of today’s business world.


  • Learn about yourself as a public speaker – get in control of your feelings and emotions
  • Identify the reasons why we get public speaking anxiety
  • Learn how to deal with, control, manage and lose anxiety and fear
  • Look, sound and feel confident; encouraging a rapport with the audience
  • Know how to overcome fear of public speaking
  • Learn some of the hints and tips for public speaking
  • Ensure your key points and messages are put across professionally and with style and impact
  • Earn the respect of colleagues
  • Become a confident public speaker
  • Learn how to control and use your voice, sound interesting and achieve results
  • Know how to cope with difficult people who ask awkward questions
  • Identify the purpose of a presentation or speech, and the objective it is intended to achieve
  • Analyse the subject matter and choose the key information which will put the message across concisely and clearly
  • Structure the material logically
  • Organise and tailor the presentation to suit the profile and needs of the audience
  • Select and prepare the most appropriate visual aids
  • Deliver the speech with a memorable opening and closing
  • Use proven techniques to maintain audience interest and encourage participation


Below is an example of the course content. The content can be ‘tailored’ to meet the exact requirements of the client. Please also note that this workshop is based on the book ‘The Articulate Attorney’ – Public Speaking for Lawyers by Brian K. Johnson and Marsha Hunter.

  • Three vital components of Public Speaking:
  • Your Body
  • Your Brain
  • Your Voice
  • Practise
  • Exercises to use for warm-up
  • How to manage the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response
  • What happens to our bodies when we are ‘thinking’ about public speaking?
  • Introduction
  • Use of visual aids
  • The main body of the speech
  • Bringing the speech to a close
Walking on the Stage
  • The first 30 seconds
  • How to walk on the stage
  • Calming your nerves before you start
  • Diving right in and do not stop until it is over
  • Start with a bang and end with a bang!
  • If you want to be interesting, be interested!
Maintaining Control of Your Lower Body
  • What constitutes the lower body?
  • Feet
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • How do you use your lower body? – this section will be videoed and critiqued
  • What to do with your feet?
  • Moving with determination and intention
The Upper Body
  • What constitutes the upper body?
  • Hands
  • Arms
  • Head
  • Shoulders
  • Stomach
  • Face
  • Eye Contact
Body Language
  • Importance of body language and your voice projections
  • Body language exercise – being aware of your body language and how it affects the responses from the audience
  • Zone
  • Impulse
  • Position
  • Creating your own gestures
  • Greeting with gestures
  • What to do with your hands when presenting
  • Body-language and movement – how it influences reception of the message and you, when speaking?
  • Gestures: video yourself and watch it
Your First Time!
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • What is going through your mind?
  • How to calm yourself and overcome those fears
  • Staying relaxed when you present
  • Standing where you feel comfortable
  • Being able to think on your feet
  • How to ‘plan to forget’?
  • Scripting as a preliminary step to overcome the first 15 minutes
Top 6 PowerPoint Mistakes of Lawyers
  • Too many slides
  • Too much text
  • Reading to the audience instead of engaging them
  • Font is too small
  • All words and no images
  • Slides as handouts
Before the Speech
  • What are you going to say and how are you going to say it?
  • Identifying your audience – how well do you know them?
  • Matching the content to the audience’s needs
  • Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses; enhance your strengths and develop your weaknesses
  • Basics of public speaking – where to stand, when to talk, where to position the audience?
  • Generate ideas for creative delivery
Creating Awareness of Breathing
  • Control your breathing
  • Where to breathe from, when you are nervous?
How is Your Voice Quality?
  • Tone of voice: stand on the stage and ask someone if they can hear you from the back of the conference room
  • The Seven Deadly Sins for Lawyers
  • Talking too fast
  • Using filler (“umms” and “ahhs”)
  • Voice is too quiet
  • Sounding too young
  • Voice is monotone
  • Sounding “nasal”
  • Talking loudly
Delivering Your Speech
  • What constitutes effective communication?
  • The ‘golden rules’ for effective communication
  • Using your voice
  • Keeping the audience ‘awake’
  • Responding to questions
  • Dealing with resistant views
  • Using influencing language
  • Answering questions
After the Speech
  • Learn techniques for interacting with your audience before and after the talk
  • How to make yourself available to as many people as you are comfortable with, and to join and leave groups with ease
Internal Representational Systems
  • What is a re-presentational system?
  • How people re-present what you say into their own language
  • Techniques and strategies to communicate effectively with different systems
The Use of Visual Aids
  • Selecting the appropriate visual aids to complement your presentation
The 30-Second Presentation
  • Each delegate will work with a model that allows people to put across a powerful presentation in 30 seconds
How Many Slides Per Minute
  • How many slides to show in a 15-minute period?
  • How much content to include in a one-hour speech?
  • Dry-runs – at the venue, where the conference will be held and in your room, for your speech
  • How to make sure people can hear you?
  • Information to have on your slides if you are using them
  • What typeface is appropriate for on-screen speeches
  • Keeping the slides culturally safe!
The Audience
  • How to sense when the audience is engaged and when they are not
  • Adjusting your tone, speed and deliberate pauses throughout the presentation, and even skipping content when necessary
  • Handling questions and answers from the audience
  • Not understanding the question
  • The audience speaking in another language – how to prepare for this?
  • Time allocated for field questions
  • Keeping the answers/conversations with the audience to a minimum
  • Being aware of jargon that the audience may not be able to understand
  • How to find simple ways to discuss complex ideas
  • Using easily grasped metaphors and analogies
  • Audience arriving late
Dealing with the Media after the Conference
  • Different types of interview:
  • Face-to-face meeting or over the phone
  • Live or pre-recorded
  • In TV and radio, many interviews are done ‘remotely’ so you cannot see the whites of anyone’s eyes. How might that impact you? How is the interview to be used? It might be edited to become part of a bigger story, and if so, in what context will you appear?
  • Anticipating interviews and understanding their impact on your ability to perform well can mean you are not ‘wrong footed’ by broadcast technology
  • Basics on what to ask and how to prepare for an interview
Final Checklist
  • Have a checklist of what to remember when presenting
  • Identify contingencies in case of ‘disasters’
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