Friday, March 24, 2006

write it like disaster: how to win trials and influence people

You may have been following the Moussaui case in the news, and noticed the thing about the government lawyer getting kicked off the case for going against the judges orders and giving the witnesses printed talking points. This guy got a copy of the talking points... let's peek in, shall we?

Use specifics whenever possible. Details help paint a story and create (or, we should hope, uphold) the image of truth. For instance, which of the two sounds more convincing to you? 1) "I seem to recall that he may have been up to something with those guys." 2) "I remember him saying, 'I plan to hijack an airplane and fly it into a building along with my co-conspirators.'" If you said the second, you're right -- note that it is filled with details, such as an actual quote, or the helpful phrase "co-conspirators" which is more specific than "those guys."

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