“Acting Skills for Lawyers" is an interactive and immensely helpful course that allows students to increase their effectiveness in any legal situation involving a presentation. The course revolved around a 3-minute presentation where we were tasked with convincing an audience to agree with our point of view. We repeated this presentation four times throughout the semester with the goal of improving and eventually perfecting our speech.
Our three professors were experts in their respective areas – the body, the voice, and the dramatic structure (or the story) – and they provided their expertise on how to be persuasive presenters. We learned tips like how to use our breath to say each sentence effectively and not “fry off” at the end. They also showed us how to use our bodies and different “feeling centers” to convey our points and command an audience's attention. The most helpful tip for me was learning that in order to persuade your audience, you must first connect with them, which requires you to speak with them instead of at them.
The course was a great way to conquer a fear of public speaking and to learn effective presenting, which is a skill essential to the legal field. “Acting Skills for Lawyers” gave each of us the tools to achieve these goals. And by the end of the semester, it was extremely rewarding to see not only the improvement in my own presenting but in my classmates as well. I am looking forward to using what I learned in my future career as an attorney!
Article by: Tamy Dawli