The Persuasion Edge—Legal Communication Training With Eric Oliver

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The Persuasion Edge—Legal Communication Training With Eric Oliver 

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November 11, 2011 - November 12, 2011
AAJ Headquarters
Washington, DC

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Experts as diverse as Harvard Professor of Law, Arthur Miller, to wordsmith and opinion maker, Frank Luntz, agree that lawyers, as a group, are ineffectual (if not some of the worst) communicators.

Today, as trial lawyers put supreme effort into developing, selecting, discovering and preparing cases, it is a real shame that in so many instances, those efforts are all for naught because of a poor and often inadequate delivery. It's a problem easily averted through teaching.

In the fall of 2010, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) invited Eric to adapt his tried-and-true two-day Mental Edge program to the exacting standards of their trial colleges, incorporating AAJ's hallmark: small group, hands-on workshop sessions in which attendees try out each skill demonstrated that morning. That first program, now aptly titled The Persuasion Edge for Legal Communication, was well-received and will be presented again.

Attendees will have the opportunity to apply what they've learned in the morning session to a current case. It's practical experience with instant application since you'll be working with one of your cases.  Participants will be divided into practice groups, each with its own facilitator.  Eric will move through all these groups, helping to guide the practice session. Because of the afternoon skills rehearsals, attendance is limited to 24 plaintiff attorneys

Note: Here's how The Persuasive Edge works:
Each participant will be asked to submit, in advance, a short narrative describing a particular case he or she wishes to work with during the program. While the case work helps focus the training team's efforts and the group's real-world concerns, the skills presented apply to almost every aspect of legal work that relies on effective persuasion with a decision maker —professional or juror—for success. Since the majority of civil cases settle without ever going to trial, the tools you will need must be equally as persuasive for judges and adjusters as they are for witnesses and jurors.  


Friday, November 11

Registration (Continental Breakfast Available)
7:30 - 8:15 am  

Morning Session
8:15 - 11:45 am  

Morning Frame: Rapport and Mirroring
Discover how to take your natural talent for making strong, sometimes immediate connections from personal settings to the professional arena.  Learn how to take a listener from a position of suspicion or disinterest to at least attentive, if not fully engaged, without changing anything you would have said—or not said.

• Introduction to Mirroring—Video and Live Examples 
• How Mirroring Is Done Correctly
• Where and When It Must Be Done To Achieve Rapport
• What You Risk In Legal Presentations Without Rapport 

 Individual Practice Sessions: Using Mirroring and Rapport with Judges, Mediators,
         Witnesses, Your Clients, Adjusters, Jurors, and Other Lawyers

Lunch (practice tools and techniques in a real world setting)
11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Afternoon Session
1:00 - 5:15 pm

Afternoon Frame: Case Story Sequence
If every story has three main steps, and every story is different, and “duty-breach-harm-damage” or “and then-and then-and then chronology” are not the most persuasive order in which to deliver your proofs, then what is the best sequence to present your case story?  Learn how much has to happen before the “bad acts” drop in.

• Introduction to Story Sequencing for Legal Cases
• Apply Key Elements of All Stories to Your Cases
• Sorting the Facts and Opinions into a Compelling Sequence that Plays to Your Story's
• When to Break Out of the Mold

Individual Practice Sessions: Arrange Your Own Case Story Sequence

Networking Reception
5:15 - 6:15 pm

Saturday, November 12

Morning Session (Continental breakfast available)
7:30 am - 12:00 pm

Morning Frame: Sense Systems and Case Stories
What is the most basic bias affecting every decision maker as they construct their own personal version of your case story?  Use the Sensory System preferences to increase influence in your case story delivery.  Learn the bias towards a visual, oral, or feeling preference for the building blocks of perception we all use to make meaning of any case story.  Discover how to confirm your own sensory preference—visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, and how to detect anyone else’s in short order.  Finally, learn the mechanics of a purely visual delivery of any case story point.

• Sensory Systems Preferences—Appreciating the Differences
• Three Components of Sense System
   - "Advertising" We All Do
   - Sorting Out Visual from Auditory Delivery Skills
   - Using Both Pure Visual Delivery and Visual Aids Together

Individual Practice Sessions: Deliver Your Case Story's Strong Point in a Purely Visual
         Manner—"Doubling" It's Perceived Impact

Lunch (practice tools and techniques in a real world setting)
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Afternoon Session
1:00 - 5:30 pm

Afternoon Frame: Anchors, Frames, and Themes (Oh My!)
How do you frame the delivery of key parts of your client’s case story to not only present them well or even to overcome a weakness, but also turn certain weaknesses into strengths, using key phrases and images (anchors) already available to you?  Practice putting all the persuasive parts together at once:  making connections with each listener, presenting the case story equally strongly as a targeted set of sights, sounds, and sensations, while putting across the anchors and framing you’ve just developed to turn a case story weakness into a strength.

• Sorting Anchors, from Frames, from the Theme
• Frames in the Story Sequence
• Reframing In—and Out—of the Case Story Context
• The Difference between Framing and Semantics

Individual Practice Sessions: Delivering the Goods—Reframing Case Story Weak Points
         Within the Story Sequence

• Final Thoughts and Participant Case Specific Questions


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