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Trial Attorneys: Refrain from Sports References

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Trial Attorneys: Refrain from Sports References

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Trial lawyers: Refrain from sports referencesTrial lawyers need to communicate with all kinds of people, and often give presentations either formally or informally. The trial lawyer’s ability to communicate with the opposite sex can often make the difference in resolving a case versus watching the adversary win. Consider how male trial attorneys may unintentionally alienate women. Many male speakers and presenters like to say the following:

“We hit a home run.”

“We were third and long.”

“That was the third strike.”

“We killed the competitors.”

“We blew our competitors off the face of the earth.”

“We buried our competitors.”

“Our new theory was a grand slam success for us.”

“It was a hole in one.”

“Let’s nuke ‘em back to the stone ages.”

“He’s a major league attorney.”

I have to confess, I sometimes use these sports and war metaphors too. Here’s the problem: a disproportionate percentage of women don’t like war and sports references.

I’m not suggesting that I buy into the stereotype that women don’t care about sports or security issues. But baseball, football and golf are not typically the sports women played the most when they were growing up. Therefore references to these sports fall flat on female ears, even when the understanding is clear.

When it comes to war and battle analogies, most businessmen have never actually faced combat, so the references don’t come from personal experience. But in my experience, many women find war analogies distasteful or at least distracting.

Great speakers can, do and must use analogies, metaphors and even clichés from time to time. But great speakers, men and women, learn to mix it up a bit. It’s OK to use an occasional sports or military reference, but make sure you even things out by also referencing literature, movies, nature, the home, and other forms of entertainment.

Great speakers can communicate well in front of any audience, regardless of the demographics, because they make sure that their reference points are varied and suitable for all.

TJ Walker prepared this guest post. He is a news commentator and regular contributor to Forbes.com, Daily Kos, and the Reuters Insider network. Walker is also a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Business Week best-selling author. A frequent network news analyst, Walker has made more than 1000 national TV and radio guest appearances on CBS, ABC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg TV, Al Jazeera, NBC, Fox Business, Russia Today, HLN, TrueTV, Comedy Central, Sirius and NPR. In 2009, Walker entered the Guinness Book Of World Records for most talk show appearances ever in a 24 hour period. Learn more about TJ at his website.

Get two free ebooks from TJ at these links.

Media Training Success: How Anyone Can Become A Media Pro In 20 Minutes

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