Lately, I’ve thought a lot about how conditioning tends to override our thought process. We do things unconsciously (or with dim consciousness) that are counter-productive. If we could be more aware of these unconscious tendencies, we’d be better off.
For lawyers who go to court or make any kind of public presentations, there are a lot of unconscious movements. Paying attention to these movements and correcting them would be useful.
Recently, my friend Dane brought to my attention a book called The Articulate Advocate, by Brian Johnson and Marsha Hunter. The authors have studied the science of public speaking and they teach proper technique to lawyers. For example, every new Assistant U.S. Attorney works with Mr. Johnson at the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center.
I will report back when I’ve read the book, but as soon as Dane rhapsodized about it I ordered it from Amazon. Dane said he saw Mr. Johnson speak about the techniques in the book, and immediately ordered it. Dane said it revolutionized his approach to public speaking when he read the book two years ago.
Dane has always been an excellent public speaker, and frequently appears on television because the local media appreciates his quick but incisive commentary. When someone like Dane recommends a book on public speaking and says it’s one of the four best non-fiction books he’s read that book immediately goes on my radar, along with the book’s authors.
The book is available on the Kindle as well, in case you want to order it that way. If you’re hesitating to order the book check out this short video where he explains the main premise of his book: being ‘natural’ isn’t helpful in public speaking. He also addresses the common question: “what do I do with my hands?”
Trust me, if you’re an advocate or a speaker this stuff should be on your radar too.