Public Speaking

  • Day 1: This block of instruction focuses on delivery—how you say what you say. This class will help you present with confidence, with authenticity, and with the greatest impact on the audience.
  • Day 2: The second block covers how to structure and organize an effective presentation. Using storytelling and other formatting techniques, Lofton will help you present your topic so that it is clear, understandable, and memorable.
  • Day 3: This final block centers on persuasion, including persuading an audience that may not have the same social, political or cultural orientation that you or your client does. Lofton will show you how to present any topic in a way that establishes your credibility with the audience, assembles material in a way that is engaging, and provides the emotional hooks that are necessary to persuade.

Because this class is online, a lot of flexibility can be built into the scheduling and the length of the class, upon request.

Why people need to learn public speaking

Are you terrified of public speaking? If so, you are not alone. Three in 10 Americans fear speaking publicly,* and those numbers likely rise among the legal profession. For lawyers, public speaking is almost always in a tense environment, whether it is before a judge, a jury, or an emotional audience at a public meeting.

So, it’s easy to understand why lawyers feel high stress when they are making a public presentation: their audience may range from skeptical to hostile. They are usually attempting to persuade that skeptical audience, with relatively high stakes. Yet many lawyers are engaging in a skill that they don’t practice much and for which they have little training.

Typically, lawyers have been formally trained in skills such as legal research and writing, and most lawyers do these well. But how many lawyers in your office have had a formal course in public speaking? Speaking well is a skill—and it’s a different skill than writing, managing client issues, or even trial advocacy.

So, if your adrenaline spikes when you even think about delivering that opening statement or standing before the county board of supervisors, you have come to the right place.

Jim Lofton can help you learn to speak with confidence and to deliver a presentation with clarity, passion, and authenticity. Lofton has helped hundreds of lawyers improve their speaking skills and deliver their messages in a way that is understandable, memorable and persuasive.

For more than a decade, Lofton has taught trial advocacy and public speaking at the Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center (the NAC).
Now you can access what was previously a two-day, in-person communications skills workshop as a three-day, three-hour per day online course.

In this nine-hour online class, Lofton teaches the three key aspects of effective speech. Instruction is given for the first 90 minutes each day, then for the second 90 minutes each day, the participants break into small groups, and they get to practice what they have been learning. Each of the students is asked to deliver a two-minute presentation that is timed and then critiqued by a facilitator.

In this “safe” environment, where there are no consequences, students are encouraged to get outside of their comfort zones, and many students make enormous improvements in their speaking abilities with newfound confidence.

Because this class is online, a lot of flexibility can be built into the scheduling and the length of the class, upon request.

* “America’s Top Fears 2019,” The Chapman University Survey on American Fears, https://www.chapman.edu/wilkinson/research-centers/babbie-center/survey-american-fears.aspx