InstructionsConstruct a short informative speech to be delivered to stakeholders of two separate organizations as part of a strategic organizational communication as described in the provided scenario. Create a speech that will deliver a positive vibe, dispel rumors, and promote buy-in. Choose appropriate tone and language in consideration for the intended sharing of the message via new media formats.Review the module resources and other online examples of strategic best practices.GUIDELINES ATTACHEDRESOURCES BELOW AND ATTACHED:Textbook: Managerial Communication: Strategies and Applications, Chapter 5Article: How Stories Change the BrainThis article by Paul Zak discusses the science and research that uncovers how stories shape our brains, bring strangers together, and empower us to be more sympathetic and generous. Also watch the video (5:58) in the article.Article: The Necessary Art of PersuasionReview this article on persuasion, which discusses effective persuasion as a negotiation and learning process through which persuaders lead others to shared solutions.Article: Informative, Interesting, Relevant: Three Rules for Creating Quality Content in Digital MarketingThis Huffington Post article provides students with insight for creating quality content to be shared via the digital environment.Video: Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action (cc) (18:04)This top-ranked 2009 TED Talk provides an overview as to why some organizations and their leaders are able to connect and inspire while others are not. Examples include Apple, the Wright brothers, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Video: The Secret Structure of Great Talks (cc) (18:09)This TED Talk featuring CEO Nancy Duarte discusses the opportunity to create a powerful call to action through ideas and how to communicate these world-changing ideas effectively.
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COM 620 Milestone Five Guidelines and Rubric
Overview: Delivering a speech is only as effective as its organization and writing. In this milestone, you will develop an oral speech for a stakeholder meeting.
Prompt: In this scenario, you have been tasked with constructing a short speech that will need to be delivered to stakeholders of two separate organizations due
to the planning of an upcoming merger between them. The speech will be delivered by the President/CEO of the AT&T organization to top-tier executives and
upper management team members from AT&T and COM WORLD. It will be offered in efforts to promote upper level buy-in and support for the decision to enact
a corporate merger and acquisition of COM WORLD. The corporate merger will be “officially” announced in the coming weeks. However, there is much
dissention among executives, management team members, and employees at both organizations as rumors of the merger have been swirling for approximately
three months. There is strong concern at AT&T that the successful AT&T organization will be acquiring a less than successful company and assuming the
liabilities of the acquired company. COM WORLD executives are concerned for the welfare and future of their employees and the loss of the COM WORLD brand.
The speech is to inform all parties that the acquisition is a positive move and is created to prove strength in assets, privileges, customer base, and buying power.
In addition, you are to ensure all leaders that while the COM WORLD organization will be acquired and its identity dissolved, plans are to retain all employees at
both organizations at this time. There are no immediate plans to eliminate jobs at either organization. Rebranding the COM WORLD services as part of AT&T
should elevate COM WORLD’s less than successful image and help to retain disgruntled customers. The merger will provide uniformity in advertising and
marketing opportunities and increase buying power, employee knowledge, and services. Your goal is to create a speech that will create a positive vibe, dispel
rumors, and promote buy-in. The speech will be followed with a Q/A session from executives and upper management team members on both sides of the
merger. Therefore, your ability to create a speech that delivers this news in a positive manner is essential.
Consider the following critical elements as you create your speech:
 What supplemental resources have you included to support the claim made in your speech?
 Describe the two organizations and examples of strategic communication used for each
 Did you rehearse your speech aloud to ensure it lasts between three to five minutes?
Guidelines for Submission: The paper must address the practice of contemporary communication and proper mass media format and be double-spaced with 12point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and applicable supporting research. Use APA style for citations.
Critical Elements
Speech’s Ability
to Make a Claim
and Support
Claim with Proof
and Message
Length and Tone
of Speech
Articulation of
Exemplary (100%)
Speech clearly addresses buying
power and image enhancement
of the organization
Proficient (90%)
Speech proficiently addresses
buying power and image
enhancement of the organization
Clearly addresses two separate
organizations and applies
examples of strategic
communication effectiveness
Speech is between three to five
minutes and contains positive
tone and information
Speech is free of errors related to
citations, grammar, spelling,
syntax, and organization and is
presented in a professional and
easy to read format
Adequately addresses two
separate organizations and
applies examples of strategic
communication effectiveness
Speech is approximately three
minutes and contains applicable
tone and information
Speech has no major errors
related to citations, grammar,
spelling, syntax, or organization
Needs Improvement (70%)
Speech is able to make a claim,
but does not adequately address
buying power and image
enhancement of the organization
Addresses at least one
organization, but strategic
communication effectiveness is
Speech is less than three minutes,
but the positive tone and
information is unclear
Speech has major errors related
to citations, grammar, spelling,
syntax, or organization that
negatively impact readability and
articulation of main ideas
Not Evident (0%)
Speech does not address buying
power and image enhancement
of the organization at all
Does not address two separate
organizations or use strategic
Speech does not exceed three
minutes and tone cannot be
Speech has critical errors related
to citations, grammar, spelling,
syntax, or organization that
prevent understanding of ideas
Using Storytelling Techniques to Craft a
Persuasive Legal Story
Diamondstein, Lee . The Brief ; Chicago Vol. 43, Iss. 2, (Winter 2014): 57-61.
ProQuest document link
Psychologists Reid Hastie and Steven Penrod were the first to note the use of a story as a cognitive device by
jurors trying to make sense of the case and remember key elements.1 Behavioral scientists practicing as trial
consultants have long advised trial lawyers to take advantage of this phenomenon in shaping their opening
statements. Jurors listen deductively, developing a story that explains the conflict early in the trial process and
then filtering the evidence selectively to maintain a consistent picture.n The third structural element is the conflict
resolution phase during which the jurors are told that the story is not yet finished and are urged to reach a
conclusion. The final structural element of a story is the coda or ending, which is really a subsection of conflict
Think about the last time that you went to the movies. You probably sat through five or six previews of upcoming
features, each approximately two minutes in length and comprised of brief sound bursts. Despite their abbreviated
nature, by the end of the preview you undoubtedly had formed an opinion about the movie. You probably had a
pretty good idea about the movie’s story line, yet you viewed only about two minutes of the film. How does this
happen? Well, the anticipated “story” you formulated was based on experiences with that particular genre,
producer, and actors, as well as familiarity with similar story lines.
In the same way, jurors begin to develop a story about the entire case based on the previews given in the opening
statement. Jurors fill out the story using their own experiences, attitudes, and perceptions as a framework. As in
the movie example, jurors fill in the gray areas in the dispute at hand and “connect the dots” based on related
experiences and their overall views of the world. Jurors then selectively filter information presented to them to
maintain a coherent story. While the story is elaborated upon throughout the trial, there is a strong tendency for
jurors to discard information inconsistent with the main story line.
Psychologists Reid Hastie and Steven Penrod were the first to note the use of a story as a cognitive device by
jurors trying to make sense of the case and remember key elements.1 Behavioral scientists practicing as trial
consultants have long advised trial lawyers to take advantage of this phenomenon in shaping their opening
statements. A key element of this technique is the identification and use of themes. Hastie and Penrod noted that
historical narratives were more effective than issue-oriented presentations in helping jurors recall discreet
elements of the case presentations. Multiday trial simulations, post-trial juror interviews, and shadow jury studies
have confirmed that jurors begin to formulate their story about the case very early on in the process.
Some of the most influential people throughout history have been great storytellers. Storytelling is the most
effective technique to communicate information in a persuasive manner. Why are the best storytellers able to
persuade their audiences with little effort? It is because they deliver moving stories that evoke a strong emotional
response in their audiences. Similarly, some of the top trial lawyers are highly adept at communicating with a jury
through narrative. Although a trial is a reallife drama, the use of storytelling techniques is really no different from
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their use in a Hollywood film or a bestselling novel.
There are several principles that trial attorneys can use to improve their ability to tell an effective story: understand
how jurors listen, develop persuasive themes, and present the case as a narrative.
How Jurors Listen
Jurors are ordinary persons torn away from their daily routines and placed in an unfamiliar and highly ritualized
environment. They are asked to make profound decisions-guilty or not guilty, a plaintiffor defense verdict, large or
no damages, or life imprisonment versus the death penalty. After they have been instructed in complex legal
terminology, they are asked to determine which of two conflicting versions of the facts is correct. So what do
jurors do? How do they make sense of the conflicting information presented at a trial?
Years of study of jury behavior have shown that, from an information processing standpoint, all jurors do similar
things regardless of the issues in the case, the lawyers, or the venue or jurisdiction. Each juror strives to make
sense of the conflicting information by formulating a story that explains the situation in familiar terms. The “juror
story” about the case is the picture of the case the juror will remember long after the trial is completed. It is the
narrative “self talk” that the juror will use to explain the conflict in familiar terms. This “juror story” is the essence or
heart of the story, reduced to the three or four key messages or themes that define the case from the juror’s
perspective. As the storyteller, the trial lawyer can affect how a juror describes the case and defines his or her
Why do humans use the story form to organize information and make sense of conflicting data? The human mind
has little tolerance for discrepant and ambiguous information. Our natural tendency is to organize information into
meaningful structures. Story structure is unique in that it allows us to sort out human affairs and can incorporate
almost any kind of information. While a trial attorney can choose a variety of ways to organize the issues and facts
in a case, the average person would attempt to organize case elements using a story.
Why is storytelling an appealing way to persuade an audience? Storytelling appeals because it nurtures wholebrain learning. A story has elements that appeal to both sides of the brain. Cognitive psychologists have long
known that the right brain, with its artistic and creative side, responds to the thematic and aesthetic story
concepts that evoke emotions, while the leftbrain is satisfied by the temporal and organizational structure in a
story. A good trial story should contain both thematic appeal and a narrative structure.
Storytelling is an essential element of persuasion not only because of its explanatory power, but also because it
allows jurors to transcend the case and place themselves in the case scenario. Therein lies the rub; the structure
of a trial is inconsistent with how jurors listen. The traditional trial structure is one that calls for inductive
information processing. That is, the lawyer presents fact one plus fact two plus fact three, perhaps through a
series of witnesses. The presumption is that at the end of the day the jurors will assimilate the information and
reach the desired conclusion. This is simply not how jurors listen. Jurors listen deductively, developing a story that
explains the conflict early in the trial process and then filtering the evidence selectively to maintain a consistent
picture. The trial lawyer must tell a complete story-which includes compelling themes, a specific narrative
structure, and narrative elements-in the opening statement if he or she is to get jurors to form a favorable story of
the case.
What are themes? They are not facts, legal definitions, or cute sayings. They are abstractions, concepts that help
jurors define “the case story.” The relationship between a trial story and its themes is akin to the relationship
between a folk tale and the moral messages it illustrates. Themes are the three to four aspects of the case that
jurors will retain after the trial’s completion. Themes also allow jurors to reach conclusions about the parties’
respective motives. Themes are an important part of the story because they promote unity, tying the characters in
the case together and creating consistency between the plot and subplot. They are the organizing principles or
touchstones of the case story.
Themes have an important additional function, serving as significant cues in the later stages of the trial when
jurors’ attentions wane and they begin to fade in and out during important witness testimony or the closing
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arguments. In the same way that the exit sign or familiar landmark brings a daydreaming driver back into focus,
themes serve as sign posts reminding the jurors that it is time to “plug back in” and listen because important
information is forthcoming.
In developing a legal case story, themes must be clear before you write the story. A good theme has five
identifiable characteristics:
* It is user-friendly and has broad appeal to most audiences.
* It evokes an emotional response in the listener.
* It is compatible with other themes.
* It can be described in one sentence.
* It is one of a relatively small number of themes in the story, ideally between three and five.
One of the most satisfying experiences a trial advocate can have is to hear a juror explain the verdict using a
theme provided by that attorney. For instance, in a business case brought by a new and upstart entrepreneurial
company against one of its suppliers, the defense argued that the plaintiffs had only themselves to blame because
they outgrew the ability of their supplier to keep up. A juror explained the defense verdict by utilizing the defense
team’s key theme and organizing principle during the trial, “The plaintiffgot too big too fast.”
How do you develop persuasive themes for your legal story? You can’t go to the law library and find a catalog of
persuasive themes, nor can you locate them on the Internet. It is also difficult to look at the file and determine
what the themes should be because themes are both case specific and audience specific. Consider the contrast
between a jury drawn from a small rural venue in the south and a panel from a northeast metropolitan jurisdiction.
Not only would these two audiences differ significantly demographically, but the members likely have very
different experiences and views of the world based on the different cultural milieu operating in their respective
locations. Consequently, the way they view the case will be different. The interaction between the audience and
legal/factual scenarios must be understood in order to develop persuasive themes for the legal story. The best
way to develop this understanding is through pretrial surrogate jury research (e.g., focus groups, summary mock
trials) in the jurisdiction where the case will be tried. Let the mock jurors tell you what the story is in your case, and
be ready for surprises.
Persuasive Narrative
Dissecting good stories to identify what makes them persuasive shows that all have three structural components.
Regardless of the type of story-an Edgar Allan Poe classic, the latest Hollywood blockbuster, a soap opera, a
multipart Broadway play, or a trial covered by Court TV-it will have the following substantive and structural
* Establishing shot;
* Development stage; and
* Resolution of conflict stage.
The establishing or opening shot is the first several minutes of the story. In a legal story, it is the first two to three
minutes of the opening statement. It is where atmosphere is created, posture is established, and perspective is
defined. It establishes the “climate” in which the story will be told and is arguably the most critical component
because it affects the way jurors will perceive the rest of the story.
During the development stage of trial, lawyers present the facts of the case. In the opening statement, facts are
typically related to the jury in the form of a narrative of what the witnesses will say. Because the witnesses will be
restricted to a question-answer format and will not be allowed to tell stories, the lawyer must weave the key
witness messages into the story structure. Despite these restrictions, witnesses should be used to reinforce key
themes or “home base” messages consistent with the overall case story.
Research shows that jurors create their stories by finding and matching five basic elements:
* Act (what was done);
* Actor or agent (who did it);
* Means (how it was done);
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* Purpose/motive (why); and
* Context (what were the circumstances).
In a successful presentation, all five elements must be accounted for and compatible with each other. If the story
is not provided to the jurors, they will undoubtedly try to construct their own. If that happens, the lawyers have little
or no control over the story and, consequently, over the outcome of the case. However, all too often the lawyers fail
to provide the jurors with the complete set of elements, or provide them with elements that are not consistent with
each other.
The element most often missing is motive. Even if the law does not require a showing of motive, jurors are always
looking for it, and if they do not find it, the story falls apart. Therefore, lawyers will be well advised to follow the
jurors’ logic, rather than trying to steer them toward accepting the legal rule.
Another common mistake involves a mismatch between the elements. Lawyers often reason that the more
negative information they present about the other side, the better offtheir side will be. However, in a narrative,
adding negatives does not always enhance persuasion. Referring to the five story elements noted above, jurors are
looking for unity and consistency: whether this kind of agent under the given circumstances is likely to have this
kind of motive and perform this kind of act using this kind of means.
A good example of a mismatch is a civil case where the plaintiff’s attorneys described a defendant as an utterly
irresponsible, reckless, long-time polluter, who never did anything right. The plaintiff’s lawyers hoped that the jurors
would hate the defendant and award the plaintiffa large sum of money. Instead, the jurors began to wonder about
the responsibilities of other parties: “If things were so bad, why didn’t the government do something? Why didn’t
the plaintifftake actions earlier?” The more they wondered, the more responsibility was lifted from the defendant
and placed on other parties. In this case, the plaintiff’s lawyers’ presentation of the defendant as the agent did not
match the presentation of the context (society, government, and the people in whose midst the defendant was
operating). One solution available to the plaintiffin this case was to accept some of the defendant’s
representations about its attempts to stop pollution and present them as the defendant’s way of diverting the
attention of the government and the plaintiff, who were deceived by these seemingly good faith efforts.
The five story elements can serve as a checklist to be used throughout the trial preparation. Through the use of the
list, thousands of pages of discovery materials can be reduced to a simple short story-which is what the jurors will
do during the trial. Using this list, the …
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