Event Calendar

Bar Conference Center
Beyond Eye Contact: Persuasive Presentation Skills for Lawyers
presented by the
South Carolina Bar-Continuing Legal Education Division

Live at
Bar Conference Center
Columbia, SC 29201


also available via individual live Webcast

This seminar qualifies for 6.0 MCLE credit hours.
About the Seminar
Attorneys are faced many important presentations in their career, from client meetings to business development to courtroom arguments before judge or jury. Just presenting yourself well is not enough. You need to persuade your audience. Being a persuasive advocate isn’t something you’re born with, it involves specific techniques, which can be learned.
  How do you, as a lawyer, make sure the listener sees the same picture and comes to the same conclusion about the information you’re presenting? From stage presence, to the sound of your voice, to the structure of your story, this workshop will help you use the tools that professional actors and directors use to paint a clear picture. You’ll learn the most common presentation mistakes advocates make in and out of the courtroom and the simple changes you can make to lead your listeners to one, inevitable conclusion.
 As presenters, most people underestimate their strengths and misjudge their weaknesses. Where we think we do something very well, we’re actually the weakest and we are the strongest where we think we do something poorly. This workshop will build your confidence – you’ll know what really works, what you do well and where you should work to improve. 
8 a.m.–Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:25 a.m.Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:30 a.m. The Actor’s Secret – Look Confident and Engaging, No Matter What You’re Feeling, No Matter What the Situation, No Matter Whom Your Audience
  • What is Stage Presence?
  • Control This and Control the Room
9 a.m.Credibility is Everything
  • Building - And Keeping - Your Credibility
  • What Behaviors Do Jurors Find Most - And Least - Credible? The Answers May Surprise You
  • Current Studies on Gender Discrimination: Does Gender Discrimination Really Play a Role? Sure, The Jurors Talk About Her Shoes, But Does It Affect Verdicts? What Does Gender Bias Mean for Lawyers (Male AND Female) & Their Clients?
9:30 a.m. Vocal Persuasion
  • Volume - More Volume Equals More Credibility. But How Loud is Too Loud?
  • What You Say and How You Say It: Clarity and Annunciation - How They Affect Your Message
  • Setting the Tone - How Your Vocal Inflection Affects Your Listeners
10:30 a.m.Break
10:45 a.m. How Your Physical Presence Affects Your Legal Arguments
  • Is Your Body Language Contradicting Your Argument?
  • Using Your Body Language to Persuade
  • How Your Body Language is Affecting Your Credibility
  • Reading the Body Language of Your Audience: What it Really Means
  • Witness Credibility: It’s All in Their Demeanor
12:00 p.m.Lunch
1:00 p.m.Controlling the Visual Focus of the Room
  • Eye Contact: With Clients, Partners, Witnesses, Judges and Jurors
  • When and How to Use Eye Contact to Build a Relationship with Every Listener
  • How to Focus the Attention of the Trier of Fact
1:30 p.m. Understanding Relationships in the Courtroom: How to Direct the Scene
  • Building positive relationships with your listener(s)
  • What the Fact-Finder Learns from the Relationships You Create
2:30 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m.Storytelling Skills for Lawyers: The Secrets of Hollywood's Screen Writers Revealed
  • Leading the Trier of Fact to One, Inevitable Conclusion
  • Making the Most Complicated Case Simple and Compelling
  • The Six Elements of a Great Story
  • Story Analysis: What the Fact-Finder Needs to Know and When
  • The “Availability Bias” and What it Should Tell You About Structuring Your Argument
4 p.m. Adjourn
Lisa DeCaro and Leonard Matheo, nationally known speakers, trial consultants, communications specialists and co-founders of Courtroom Performance, Inc., (CPI), a trial consulting firm dedicated to improving oral advocacy. They co-authored the popular book, The Lawyer’s Winning Edge: Exceptional Courtroom Performance (Bradford Publishing, 2004). A national trial consulting practice specializing in defense of civil cases, CPI provides jury research (mock trials/focus groups), witness preparation, theme & narrative development, presentation training and trial consulting services.
Ms. DeCaro and Mr. Matheo experienced in hundreds of cases from simple to complex litigation have prepared attorneys and witnesses for trial, deposition (video and paper), arbitration and mediation. They have assisted in complex commercial litigation in product liability, trademark infringement, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, breach of contract, medical malpractice, insurance bad faith, patent law, personal injury and legal malpractice. CPI consultants have assisted in victories involving many Fortune 100 companies. Clients include counsel for Sprint Communications, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Motor Corporation, Toyota, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Coors Brewing Company, American Family Insurance, Chevron, Vail Resorts as well as many others.
Both are active members of the Association for Continuing Legal Education. Ms. DeCaro is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants. They are frequent speakers at regional seminars and national conventions (including the annual conferences of DRI and the ABA Litigation Leadership Section) and have served as faculty for colleges and conferences nationwide. In addition to their book, they have authored for national legal publications (including ALI-ABA’s Practical Litigator, The Jury Expert, ABA’s Tips from the Trenches, The Brief, Lawyers Weekly USA, and DRI’s For the Defense). 


950 Taylor Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 | Phone (803) 799-6653 | Fax (803) 799-4118 | scbar-info@scbar.org