Mason Hayes Solicitors

From Brighton to Stornoway

This month has been rather hectic for me as I have been travelling to different areas of the country to deliver seminars and lectures.  As I said last month, I had been asked to give a lecture to the new first generation students at the University of Sussex through the firm’s Charitable Trust.  I therefore travelled all the way down to Brighton at the start of the month in the hope of inspiring some new students!

I thought it would be most useful for them to give them an insight on the daily routine of a trainee solicitor in a commercial firm.  I therefore spoke about the “untypical day” and what is expected of a trainee in the real world.  This is something that I do not believe is taught at law school, but will hopefully help put their studies into context.

From a public speaking perspective, I tried to tailor my approach and the way that I spoke to ensure that it was interesting and engaging to the audience.  I therefore kept it informal and even tried to add some humour in, as I know how easy it can be for a student’s mind to wander, having been there myself not too long ago!

On the complete reverse of this, a week later I had to fly to Stornoway to deliver a seminar to one of our commercial clients.  We were asked to give four seminars to a range of teams over a two day period, which coupled with four flights, was quite tiring!

My approach to these seminars was obviously different to that at the student lectures because it was a more formal work environment.  I therefore had a slide show presentation and made cue cards so that I wasn’t reading a script but ensured that I did not miss anything of importance.

As someone quite new to public speaking, I felt at first that it was vitally important that I did not miss anything out and therefore ensured that I followed the cue cards incessantly.  However, I quickly realised that it was much more engaging for people when I felt more comfortable and talked around the subjects.  I therefore referred back to the slide show presentation and elaborated on the various points that were highlighted by drawing on my own experiences in the office.  The seminar sessions went down extremely well and we received some high praise following the sessions.  I now feel much more confident about speaking in public, having gained much valuable experience over the course of the last month.

Until next month,


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