Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Speechifying and Scribbling—A Candid Discussion about the “Why” and “How” of Integrating Public Speaking and Presentations into Your Trusts and Estates Career

Stephen R. Akers (Bessemer Trust), Dana G. Fitzsimons, Jr. (Bessemer Trust), Terrence Franklin (Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, LLP), Carol A. Harrington (McDermott Will & Emery), and Paul S. Lee (The Northern Trust Company) recently participated in “Speechifying and Scribbling— a Candid Discussion about the “Why” and “How” of Integrating Public Speaking and Presentations into Your Trusts and Estates Career” where they discussed the strategic use of speaking as a tool for career enhancement and spoke on topics like dealing with nervousness and stage fright, working with co-presenters, and how to maximize results. Provided below is an introduction to the discussion:

DANA: Welcome, and this is the program on public speaking for trust and estates audiences. I’m your moderator, Dana Fitzsimons, and I’m lucky to be joined by a panel of folks who really need no introduction. So, we’re going to skip that part and get on with it, other than to say this. Everyone’s really busy right now. Exemptions are high and fragile. Markets are roller coasters. People are scared, and staffing is thin. But when I asked these four insanely busy professionals to give still more time to help the rest of us, they couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. And that’s just one of the many reasons they are in that echelon of lawyers we all look up to and that we refer to by just their first names. So, it’s my honor to welcome and thank Carol, Steve, Terry, and Paul for joining us, and I’m looking forward, as I’m sure we all are, to learning from them. And thank you for attending and taking some time to invest in yourself and your career. And to keep things fun, none of us has any idea what the others are going to say.

We’re going to be exploring incorporating speaking and writing into your career from every angle—at least every angle we could think of when we put the program together. And I’ll speak just this one time for the whole panel and say that speaking and writing have been, for us and many others, a vital part of building successful careers. But before we get into the mechanics, we should be candid that it’s not without costs. Clients and firms are already demanding, and they sometimes demand everything from a lot of us. And our families need us too, and they’re not always patient with us being away from home even more. And professional activities don’t just cost time. They cost money, and life is expensive, and that may not be money that’s easy to spend. We need to be candid about these costs of building a career. So, we should start with this question: Why should we speak and write?


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