DEATH BY POWERPOINT

As a speaker, Toastmaster and public speaking/trial skills coach, I get to see lots of presentations. What's the one thing that makes me want to put my head in my hands? POWERPOINT This product should come with a warning label: IF MISUSED WILL PUT AUDIENCES TO SLEEP OR MAKE THEM WANT TO DO VIOLENCE. Think back to when you were (or maybe still are) trapped in a classroom at the mercy of a teacher who drones on while pointing to the board and reading things verbatim that he/she has written…

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Adventures In Restraining Order Land

Recently I decided to go to court to watch civil harassment restraining order hearings before a judge I hadn't appeared before. I have a case in front of him soon and wanted to see if his judicial temperament was  reasoned jurist or screaming maniacal behemoth.A civil harassment order is something you obtain when someone harasses, threatens, stalks, assaults or engages in similar unacceptable behavior. It enables you to call the police and have them arrested if they come near you again. The court issues a temporary order then, after the…

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The Tale of a Bad Case

This week I had a friend ask me to write about my worst legal experience. I immediately said NO. There have been a lot of gut-wrenching, nightmare making, soul searching cases that I choose not to relive. The more I thought about this, I did recall one I don't mind sharing. I had been a prosecutor for about three years and was assigned to do misdemeanor trials. Today, prosecutors are assigned their cases ahead of time and have a chance to review them. Then, in the days of "Wild West"…

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A Fish Story

 I grew up in the Imperial Valley, California. A wide bowl of desert dotted with fields of crops fed by an extensive irrigation system of canals. In elementary school, we had a "Dippy Duck: Don't Swim In Canals" program because the water looked placid on top but had strong undercurrents.When I was around six years old, my father decided to introduce me to fishing. We headed out to a canal, driving along a dusty road next to a field in his beat up white truck. When we got out, I…

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Beta Traps and Crocodile Brains

Are you job interviewing in this down economy? Pitching a book idea?  Picking a jury? Trying to convince a loved one they really need to go to that football game with you? Raising venture capital?Life's about sales, no matter if it's business or personal relationships. I recently read a book by Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything! Klaff chased down every useable theory in the field of Neuroeconomics and formulated an answer to both how he could better forge a connection with the people he was pitching to, which led to multi-million dollar…

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