jury duty: learning the moralPosted: October 19, 2016
I turned my recent jury duty experience into a Toastmaster’s project from the storytelling manual, “The Moral of the Story” and I won best speaker. That was nice.
I described how the defendant, though a convict in the state prison system, wore dress slacks, a dress shirt, and tie, exemplifying the Toastmaster maxim “dress the part.”
I described how the attorneys, both young women, worked to engage their audience, potential jurors, and described their personal situations in order to connect.
I talked about how the defense attorney drove a point home with simile and humor. When a potential juror said he would “try” to be fair and unbiased, she asked, “If you are going to Vegas with your buddies for the weekend, and your wife asks you ‘Will you be faithful to me when you’re gone?’ Would ‘I’ll try’ be a sufficient answer?”
The prosecutor used an example, asking, “If a friend shows up at your front door wearing a yellow rain slicker and they’re covered with water, wouldn’t you assume that it was raining outside?” The defense attorney countered with, “Wouldn’t you look out the window to see for yourself?” I said that I was sorry not to have been on the jury just to learn what that line of questioning was all about.
I took my moral not from Aesop, but from Dr. Seuss:
From here to there,
From there to here,
Toastmaster skills are found everywhere.