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5. Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla’s “Foolproof” Tips for Professional Communication

May the Record Reflect

In Episode 5 of the podcast, we are joined by international communications expert Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla. Rebecca got her start as a theatre major in college, but it was as a law student that she first became aware of how nerves and unpolished communication skills tripped up even the most brilliant intellectual arguments of her fellow classmates—an observation that continued well into her law practice. This gap led Rebecca to blend her background in theater and the law, to teach professionals about overriding their nerves so they could excel at public speaking.

Rebecca’s consulting work takes her around the world as she coaches lawyers, executives, and politicians how to communicate with power and effect. Rebecca is a longtime faculty member and author for NITA.

3:04 From theater to law 
5:30 “Acting” and emotional self-control 
7:17 What makes a trial lawyer unlikeable 
8:35 “Other-centeredness” and self-awareness 
11:50 Confidence, credibility, clarity, likeability 
15:00 Phone and video conferencing basics 
21.08 Importance of motion practice 
22:30 Types of courtroom communications 
25:17 Developing extemporaneous speaking skills 
28:38 Gender differences in communication styles 
32:12 Diagnosing your adrenaline surge 
38:03 Improv training for lawyers 
40:10 New media and oral communication skills 
42:17 Communicating across the generation gap 
45:58 Elocution to admire 
48:01 Signature “softball” 

“Becoming self-aware for a trial lawyer is so important so that you’re able to stay attuned to what are each and every one of those jurors thinking, what’s the judge thinking, how are they feeling, how is that witness dealing with being up on that stand and being asked questions? And the second you act pompous and disrespectful you lose the case for your client.” Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla 

Recommended Resources
Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla

Foolproof: The Art of Communication for Lawyers and Professional

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