To succeed, learn art of public speaking, expert tells lawyers

West Africa’s only certified public speaking professional, Ubong Essien, has urged legal practitioners to learn the art of effective speaking in public places if they want to gain recognition and attention in courtrooms and boardrooms.

Essien, who is a certified speaking professional from the National Speakers Association, USA and Dean of the School of Eloquence, gave the advice while addressing legal practitioners at the just concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference in Lagos.

He said it is imperative for lawyers to have confidence and speak with power in public places, including in courtrooms and boardrooms.

According to him, the most important skill required for success by a lawyer is oral communication. Other skills needed for success in the legal profession include: teamwork, organisation, time management, knowledge of substantive law, technology, legal research, analytical and logical reasoning, client service and written communication, he said.

Essien explained that although it is possible to outsource or delegate every other skill, effective oral communication cannot be outsourced or delegated. He added that lawyers who wish for progress in their career must be able to speak publicly and for themselves.

According to him, “you don’t read a speech but you deliver it to make it look convincing and you must learn how to speak and make remarks.”


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