Tyrone Moncrieff was a fairly new criminal attorney when he participated in a Courtroom Presence program I offered through the State Bar of Texas. Tyrone was primarily interested in learning how to connect with jury members. He was a powerful man with a large presence who intimidated jury panel members. His imposing presence made them close up rather than open up to him. In voir dire, he could see them recoil from his questioning. So Tyrone sought me out to see if I could help him create rapport with jury panelists.
He attended every course I offered between 1990 and 1995, including public speaking and acting programs. He learned to ground himself in his physical body so he contained his power, to use a soft eye contact to “draw” jurors to him instead of looking at them with his usual piercing eye contact. He also learned to uncover and tell his personal stories. Through storytelling exercises, he discovered that he could use his simple life stories to illustrate complex legal concepts. Storytelling set him free to dramatize his courtroom messages. His talent flourished and he became a master at using his personal stories to explain simple legal concepts to juries.
In 1995 Tyrone decided to test his speaking skills by entering an international speech competition at The International Platform Association. He became the first, first-time competitor to win this competition. Here is what he said about his winning experience.
Tyrone has become so excellent at storytelling that he is sought after as a speaker for bar associations and law schools across the country.
Here is a photo of Tyrone speaking at Harvard Law School and the letter he wrote to describe his experience.
Perhaps more than anyone, Tyrone has taken the Sandra Zimmer Method skills to heart and has deeply embedded them into his courtroom communication style.