Sometimes, law students who are not good speakers get discouraged from participating in moot court competitions. It is important that you understand that speakers are not judged only on the fluency in English but also on the ability to convince a judge. Here is a guide on how to be a good speaker despite lacking fluency:
There is a famous English saying- Practice makes a man perfect. If you are not fluent in speaking English, practise your speech as many times as you can. In these situations, it often helps if you stand in front of a mirror and repeat your speech. This helps in building confidence and allows you to improve upon your expressions and hand movements. (Read: Oral Rounds in Moot Court Competitions)
2. Have a Thorough Understanding of Your Memorial
As a mooter, you should know your memorial well. If you are well prepared and have a thorough understanding of your issues, the problem of fluency might not arise and you will be able to ace your oral rounds easily. Even if you lack fluency, while speaking, knowledge and understanding will help you stay confident. Know your arguments and answer the questions at the pace you are comfortable with. (Read: How to draft a Moot Court Memorial?)
3. Time your Speech and Rehearse it
Timing your speech and practising will help improve fluency. While doing it, use courtroom mannerisms. This will help you maintain the pace. Normally the first speaker has a tough time completing issues as he needs to speak the facts and establish the jurisdiction before delving into his issue. Practising by keeping time helps you identify areas where you need to improve.
4. Conduct Mock Oral Rounds
Having mock rounds with your friends not only helps you in improving your fluency skills but can also help you in assessing yourself before the D- day. Ask your friends or team to hear you speak and take feedback. Go through the feedback and improve on your deficiencies. (Read: Benefits of Mooting)
5. Take a Note of Important Points
When you prepare a transcript, note down all the important points. If you forget, the written points will help you in reciting all your arguments and pointers. Note down all the judgments which you are referring to in your speech, along with the court and the bench. Try to keep alternative arguments ready for any contingency.
6. Keep Calm and Be Patient
Remember to keep calm and be patient while speaking. Even if you speak slowly in front of a judge, make sure you speak correctly. The judges might repeat the questions to test your patience. Always hear the judge first. Do not interrupt him/her in between.
The ability to convince a judge is an art that is a combination of different factors and we hope that these tips come handy. Keep attending the workshops organized by Memo Pundits for more fun updates! If you are reading this, take a coffee break before you get back to work.