Eric Oliver is a noted trial consultant, speaker and educator who has specialized in verbal, nonverbal, and implicit communication skills for over twenty-eight years—twenty-five working with trial lawyers. This book provides the best of his advice over this career as one of the country's leading trial consultants. In the book, Oliver discusses how trial lawyers can prepare and present more receiver-friendly cases for settlement presentation and in trial. The advice helps lawyers build a presentation plan for each case, which they can adapt to any venue. This presentation plan integrates the verbal, visual, and personal parts of the case story, and is based on the decision-makers needs and expectations. Oliver also discusses how to uncover those expectations in focus groups and voir dire.
- Part I: Rapport
- Reflections on Mirroring
- Brain-friendly Speaking Basics
- Is It In Yet?
- My World or Yours?
- Part II: Stories
- Making Sense to Jurors
- Tell Me A Story
- Embodying the Story
- Part III: Decision Making
- Is Jury Psychology an Oxymoron
- Testing, Testing
- Jury See, Jury Decide
- Part IV: Persuasion
- Things Aren't Always What They Are
- That Reminds Me
- Anchors and Frames and Themes (Oh My!)
- Part V: The Mind
- More Than Meets the Ear
- More Than Meets the Mind
- Part VI: Themes
- Developing a Case Theme
What Legal Leaders Are Saying
— David Ball, Ph.D., author of David Ball on Damages and Reptile
If I had to choose one word to describe Eric Oliver, it would be ‘wise.’ His new book, Persuasive Communication, is his masterpiece. It teaches you his unmatched wisdom clearly and comprehensively—as clearly and comprehensively as you will learn to communicate and commune with jurors. This compendium of Eric’s lifetime of study, research, guidance, and prevailing over and over and over with juries joins the tiny handful of essential books for trial advocates. Why? Because ‘advocate’ means ‘to speak.’ Persuasive Communication rapidly makes you your own master of all the crucial things that happen before, during, and after you speak. Perhaps you should not again open your mouth to speak until you have absorbed Eric’s wisdom.
— Paul N. Luvera, past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
Eric Oliver is the Babe Ruth of the legal communications field. I buy, read, and put into practice every book he writes and every article he publishes.
— Ken Suggs, past president of AAJ, a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and listed in Best Lawyers in America for the last 11 years
Eric has helped me win many times. Reading this book is not quite as good as having him by your side at trial, but it’s a really good start in the right direction. Whether you’re trying to increase your client’s trust and confidence, finding a winning theme, picking a jury, or just doing discovery, there’s something here that can make you more successful. Dip into the book anywhere and there’ll be a nugget you can immediately use to fortify your skills, enhance your presentation, or beef up your case.
— Keith A. Hebeisen, past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and editor of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Medical Malpractice Trial Notebook
If you sometimes (or often) find that your audience (the jury) does not “get it,” you can keep trying the same old things you learned in law school or from other lawyers and hope something changes. Or, if you are willing to think “outside of the box” and learn how to enhance your effective communication, read this book. From my personal experience, practicing Eric’s teachings produces great results!