Posts tagged lawyer seminar
Pollyanna goes to business school: Lawyernomics 2013

Back when I was an  defense lawyer, this is how the firm got business.  The partners golfed with, rubbed shoulders at clubs with, went golfing and to four star dinners with insurance and corporate key persons.  The firm maintained these relationships and periodically was able to build a new relationship with yet another company.  These relationships could last for decades.

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Fargo - Yah

Head jerks forward.  Eyes open.  Where the heck am I.   Are we still in Minneapolis.   Can’t figure out if the plane has taken off.  Or is landing.  It hasn’t taken off.  Thirty minutes later we bounce down in Fargo North Dakota.

Alan the Executive Director of the trial lawyer association has texted me to call him.  I do.  The airport terminal is clean, new and small.  At the landing by the escalator, a big tall blond woman is hugging another big tall blond woman in greeting.  They appear to be sisters.  Talking in a language that is definitely not English.

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Overdosing on civility

There are some aggravating people in this profession.  That suits me just fine.  Being nice has its place.  But it is fun to wrestle with opponents.

Today am spammed with a brochure.  Touts a two day seminar on civility in the profession.  Sorry to say this pretty much brings up gag reflex.  Here's what it says:

In this intensive 2-day program we will strive to create a retreat-like seminar* to engage in a dialogue about civility. After we explore characteristics of civility, we will discuss the costs of incivility, the benefits of civility, the foundations of civility, and strategies to foster civility within our personal and professional lives. In addition to traditional lectures and presentations, this immersion seminar will include interactive and creative exercises.  *To facilitate a relaxed atmosphere please wear casual clothing and unplug from laptops, emails and phones.

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How to avoid boring your seminar audience

If you are sitting in the audience, watching yourself give a presentation, would you be inspired and eager to hear more?   Let's be frank here.

There is a tendency to focus on pleasing ourselves when we give a speech.  Maybe it's because we need to do everything possible not to show our fear. Or we are trying to look good and smart.  When we focus on self, we channel our energy and efforts away from our audience.  In return, our audience will go to sleep.

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Convention day 2 - the seminar

Start off with a seminar.  I want to be inspired, energized, taught something.  The speaker is an excellent speaker.  But his presentation is too basic.  It is also too rigorously detail oriented in a way that would never work for me.  Fortunately I have my laptop.

The great thing about having a laptop in a seminar is it doesn’t look disrespectful to the speaker.  They only see the back of a computer.  And can assume that we are listening intently and taking notes.

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Paris day 3 - le supper et la chanteuse

We meet at a bistro type of restaurant.  Our group fills the entire place.  Tres impressive.  Suddenly, we hear the sound of - could it be - an alto saxophone.  Mai oui!  There is a bright red headed very slim French woman dressed in a black dress and bomber jacket who has come to entertain us.  She waltzes around our tables (I'm not sure how since the sax is as big as she is and there's little navigable room but she is a determined femme).  Voila - she is done.  We clap.

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Paris day 3: going to class

Can I ever be on time for anything?  Well, we could have if we’d ignored the delightful petite dejeuner awaiting us downstairs in the breakfast nook.  But we don’t.  Then we underestimate the walking time and thus arrive at the seminar midway through Jack Sheridan’s speech.   We would have been even later if we had stopped at all of the patisseries and boulangeries along the way.  He does employment cases and I haven’t heard him speak before.  He’s talking about a method to demonstrate emotional damages in whistleblower cases.  I like the way he does it with a rating scale. 

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AAJ Convention Afternoon 3 Breathing space

There is a point of critical mass I reach around 2:00 today. I don't want to go to another meeting. I've promised I'll attend one more at 4:00. It is not the best of meetings (i.e. boring and nonsubstantive), and I scoot out early intent on tuning out as quickly as possible. I like getting to know people and doing the cerebral dancing that is required at AAJ convention. But I need to change things up. So off I go, taking a right out of the hotel entrance like I've done everyday, headphones in, tennis shoes on.

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Loosening Up

I'm speaking today at a seminar for AAJ in Chicago.   I've been watching the speakers and have a co-presenter, Tony.  They are all whip smart and articulate.  But there is one behavior pattern they share.  They are so stern faced.  So serious.  They believe in what they are saying.  They want to communicate their position, their passion.  Their words are spoken emphatically and with precision.   The audience mirrors back the gravity of the occasion.

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