Essential Speaking Skills for Lawyers

conferencespeakerCLE Credit:1 - 3 substantive (60 - 180 minutes in length)

Most lawyers are required to speak to a small or large group at some point in their careers but are ill prepared to effectively communicate their message. Whether presenting to a group of 5 friends or 5000 strangers, the core concepts remain the same. Veteran attorney and seasoned speaker Cynthia Sharp will share time-tested speaking strategies and techniques that attorneys will be able to use immediately to improve any type of professional presentation.


Contexts for presentations

  • Community groups
  • Attorney education
  • Professional venues
  • Client meetings
  • Informal appearances
  • Criteria for self assessment


  • Identify target audience
  • How to land key presentations
  • Create core message
  • Research/Handout preparation
  • Effective slide decks
  • Strategic rehearsal
  • Centering prior to presentation


Focus on the Body

  • How to enter the platform
  • Breath control
  • Posture/where to stand/when to move
  • Eye contact
  • Hands/arm gestures
  • Distraction of nervous habits

The Mind Game

  • You may not be a speaker but you ARE an expert
  • Overcoming fear and jitters
  • Why you shouldn’t be yourself
  • What to do when everything goes wrong


  • Controlling pitch
  • Getting rid of “filler” words - uh, um
  • Speeding up/slowing down

Content presentation

  • Capture audience attention with strong opening
  • Ending presentations with a Call to Action
  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • How to tell memorable stories
  • The art of oratory and rhetoric


  • Techniques for audience engagement & interaction
  • Difficult audience members
  • Learning from evaluations
  • Staying connected with attendees

*Dean of the Speaker’s Academy of the National Speaker’s Association (Philadelphia Chapter) 2015 - 2016