Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Public Speaking: Always Nervous, But Never Scared

Professor Mark Cooney has written a helpful article in the ABA’s Student Lawyer, “It’s OK to Get Nervous.” Based on his experience as a former trial lawyer and as a professor, he offers counsel to students who are shy about public speaking, particularly in moot court arguments:

For years, I’ve told students to adopt this mantra: Always nervous, never scared. You should care enough – invest yourself enough – to feel butterflies before a big performance. But don’t be afraid. By the time you’re done preparing, you’ll have something to say, and you’ll want your chance to say it.

So be nervous before your moot-court argument, your mock trial, or your exam. Be nervous before your job interview. For heaven’s sake, be nervous before your valedictory speech. And be nervous before your courtroom appearances when you’re out in practice.

But don’t be scared. Prepare diligently and push forward. Above all, don’t shy away from new challenges. Don’t rob yourself of growth opportunities because of nervousness or misgivings about your personality type. You’re a work in progress. Allow yourself time to grow.

You can access the article here. Worth reading and passing on to your students.



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Thanks for reading Student Lawyer! We're fans of yours, too. Let me know if you'd ever like to write for the magazine or for Before the Bar blog (http://beforethebar.org).

Posted by: Austin Groothuis | Feb 14, 2017 4:51:27 PM

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