Less is More: Oral Argument

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Last week I had the good fortune of listening to former Supreme Court of Canada judge the Honourable Justice Ian Binnie. He shared many words of advice. First of them being was to ignore all advice.

Despite his caution, one comment stayed with me. He said that all good oral arguments can be relayed in 8 minutes. If you need a full hour to explain your position, then you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

I agree. In a time where most people view more words as better work. It is refreshing to hear that even judges want you to edit, edit, edit!

The 8 minute rule makes sense. It’s been said that all good arguments can be explained to a 6 year old. And how many 6 year olds do you know that can listen for more than 8 minutes?

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