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Great On Your Feet and In the Moment: How To Listen, Think, and Speak to The Unexpected

December 12, 2008
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

7 hrs. general CLE credit, approval pending

At Stratford Heights Complex
2634 Stratford Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220
(across the street from UC Maingate on Clifton Ave.)

The unexpected happens all too often. Lawyers must respond “on their feet” and into a microphone to unanticipated questions from a judge, opposing counsel or client. Negotiations move away from the agenda; public meetings enter unchartered territory. You can’t rehearse for the unexpected but you can rehearse skills and strategies for listening, thinking and speaking effectively in that moment. Participants will have the opportunity to practice strategies and skills within simulated legal practice contexts. (print program description (pdf))

Participants will learn to:

  • speak briefly and effectively with virtually no notice
  • speak more expansively with only a minute to jot a note
  • listen and respond from multiple perspectives
  • follow and return from tangents raised by a judge, client, or other counsel

Faculty: Daniel J. Donnellon, Esq. of Keating Muething & Klekamp

Mr. Donnellon is a litigation partner at Keating, Muething & Klekamp, with an emphasis in business and intellectual property litigation. It is not surprising that Mr. Donnellon is known for rhetorical agility “on his feet.” Mr. Donnellon was nationally ranked in speech and debate and majoried in Public Speaking and Rhetoric at Bowling Green State University. Mr. Donnellon is a 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he was Editor of the Law Review. During law school and briefly thereafter, Mr. Donnellon toured as a professionaal entertainer performing improvisational and stand-up comedy nationally with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeild, Drew Carey and others. He toured as an opening act with Natalie Cole, Dianne Warwick and Joe Cocker and performed locally at Riverbend, U.S. Bank Arena and the Taft Theatre.

Registration: Get Form (pdf)

Location: Stratford Heights Complex -(across the street from UC Maingate on Clifton Ave.) Get directions (pdf)

(print agenda (pdf))

8:30 – 9:00 Coffee, Pastry, Check-In, and Introductions

9:00 – 9:45 Speaking of and By Lawyers: Challenges for the Always Prepared; Speaking to the Unexpected

9:45 – 10:30 Sixty Second Speech Speeches in a Heartbeat

  • Exercise: Warm-Up for the Pageant
  • Demo/Discussion: Deconstructing that heartbeat – the momentary strategy

10:30 – 10:45 Break

10:45 – 12:45From Quick Notes to Notable Presentation

  • Exercise: Pithy quotes, one minute prep, five minute speeches
  • Demo/Discussion: Essentials for great speaking on short notice and on topic
  • Encore Exercise: Play it again in legal context
  • Debriefing and summary observations

12:45 – 1:30 Lunch

1:30 – 3:15Essential Agility: Switching Gears without Losing Speed

  • Exercise: British style debate on the buzzer
  • Demonstration/Lecture/Discussion: Deconstructing the skill and strategy of shifting perspective
  • Exercise: Practice shifting in legal context

3:15 – 3:30 Break

3:30 – 5:15 Taming and Turning the Tangent

  • Exercise: Improv and listening in the moment
  • Lecture/Demonstration/Discussion: Deconstructing the skill and strategy of responding to tangents, off the wall arguments, and other roadblocks
  • Exercise: working with and off the tangent in legal context

5:15 – 5:30 Summary and Evaluations