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6. Serenity Now: Carol Sowers Being Poised in the Courtroom

6. Serenity Now: Carol Sowers Being Poised in the Courtroom

Update: 2020-03-09
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In Episode 6 of the podcast, former tv news anchor Carol Sowers shares her tips for becoming more at ease in the physical side of your courtroom performance: how to speak with confidence, project a pleasing vocal quality, connect with jurors, tame your nerves, and rebound from your mistakes. Carol spent more than thirty years as a broadcast professional for CBA/ABC Affiliate station KHQA in Quincy, Illinois, where she worked as a reporter and main anchor all the way up to vice president for public affairs—and everything in between. When she retired from the news, she began training broadcasters and law enforcement and governmental officials in public speaking. She now offers that same training to trial lawyers at NITA programs across the U.S. and abroad. 

Topics

2:58 Breaking up with your notes

4:27 Muscle memory and the mind-body connection

6:30 Preparation and practice

9:00 Writing “for the eye” versus “for the ear”

10:18 Cultivating a pleasing vocal quality

13:10 “Shrill” 

14:33 Warming up for a presentation

17:55 Learning about public speaking from trial lawyers

19:40 Communicating while sitting versus standing

22:00 Hand gestures

24:35 Question about Broadcast News

25:25 Looking sharp

27:40 “The Three C’s”

32:08 Effective eye contact

35:15 Using emotion while speaking

38:57 Managing mistakes and anxiety 

40:32 How to regroup discreetly

45:20 Communicating in high- and low-context cultures

49:32 Changes in culture

51:46 Signature “softball”


Quote
“I try to use . . . eye contact, especially at the beginning of a presentation, as a way to give myself some confidence. I automatically seek out people who look friendly or look engaged. Maybe they’re smiling at me, maybe they’re nodding their head. Because at the beginning when I’m a little bit nervous, that adrenaline rush is making me feel a little uncomfortable, I like to get that little boost of confidence from those people. So, those are the people I’m going to seek out first, and once I get that little smile or little nod of acknowledgment, then I’m going to move on to other people around the room.” Carol Sowers


Recommended Resources

10 Tips for Presenting Yourself Online—Carol Sowers

Webcast—Remote Advocacy: Representing Your Client during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Carol Sowers LinkedIn

Celebrating Carol Sowers’s Nearly 30 Years with KHQA

NITA Whitepaper: Communication Tips from NITA’s experts

Broadcast News (1987 Movie)

Broadcast News Movie Clip—Aaron Struggles on Air

High-context and low-context cultures

NITA International Programs

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6. Serenity Now: Carol Sowers Being Poised in the Courtroom

6. Serenity Now: Carol Sowers Being Poised in the Courtroom

National Institute for Trial Advocacy