Clearly at the top of the Hit Parade of Programs at the recent American Society of Trial Consultants' Annual Conference in New Orleans was the presentation delivered by trial lawyer and songwriter, E. Thomas McCarthy: What Lawyers Can Learn From Songwriters.
Among many points McCarthy made in his jam-packed 60 minute program, this one remains with me: if a songwriter can tell a story from start to finish - with a repeating chorus or refrain - in three minutes, how can a trial attorney do the same with her case story? Perhaps three minutes is a bit truncated for an opening statement, but the appeal of brevity is a practical and formidable tip lawyers can use to ratchet down their case story to its clear, concise and cogently memorable points.
TIP: One storytelling exercise I use with my clients is to practice telling their case as a 45-30-15 second story. Believe it or not, you can tell your story in seconds. The exercise proves when you know the true case story well.
TIP: McCarthy suggested we pick up a copy of Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting by Ralph Murphy. "In easy to grasp terms, Ralph talks about helping arm the songwriter for success by demystifying the process and opening the door to serious professional songwriting." You can listen to the entire Nashville Public Televisions program with Murphy as the featured guest by clicking here: http://wnpt.org/productions/wow/podcast/4006_RalphMurphy.mp3
TIP: Click here to read Murphy's Law of Songwriting to learn from the master how to take the music of your spoken word from drab to dynamite. If you can do that, then as McCarthy would say, "You hooked it!"