The Closing Argument Retreat
Command the Courtroom Stage
Powerful presentation and performance skills designed to motivate, move, and inspire your jurors to action.
Do you want a more powerful presence in the courtroom?
Want to lose your “lawyer voice” and find an authentic sound that draws the jury to you?
Level Up Your Trial Presentation Skills
Whether you like it or not, when you're in court you’re in a performance. Why not make it the most powerful one you can give?
This weekend retreat will dispel the myths around “performance” in the courtroom. This is the place to fine-tune your greatest, and most powerful performance instrument… you! As you integrate performance skills into trial skills, experience a complete transformation to become the best, most authentic version of you on your feet.
Surrounded by a beautiful, natural and rustic resort environment, you will work with a group of 20 highly motivated attorneys and three world-class facilitators in a creative, experiential weekend retreat. This workshop will be a total immersion in theatre-based training that will hone your communication skills to become the most powerful and persuasive storyteller you can possibly be.
Rena Cook, Jesse Wilson, and Natalie Andrews-- your three facilitators-- have years of experience both in the professional theatre and as trainers and coaches specializing in working with attorneys to help you become more authentic, more confident, and a more complete and compelling storyteller.
Located in the Rolling Hills of Oklahoma
Surrounded by the rolling Osage Hills, POSTOAK Lodge & Retreat sits on 1,000 acres just minutes from downtown Tulsa. From weekend getaways to group events, POSTOAK provides comfortable accommodations with spacious common areas. Leisure activities include poolside chats, porch swings, and even pizza delivered to your lodge. There are banquet rooms, audio-visual, coffee breaks and awesome buffets. Participants stay in a charming lodge with 18 rooms surrounding a common area. The food is excellent and can accommodate special dietary requirements.
Lodging is included.
Meals are included
Space is limited
Want to learn more about the venue?
Friday Oct 15, 2:00 p.m.—Sunday Oct 17, 11:00 a.m.
Save the Date
What you will learn:
Working with the Body
Neutral and Character Mask Work: Learn to communicate with the whole body, and express authentic emotion through nonverbal communication.
5 Rhythms Movement Exploration: Based on the seminal work of Gabriele Roth, this process teaches us that all life has five foundational rhythms. We first experience the rhythms through movement to music, then with movement and sound and finally movement with word. This will allow you to feel rhythm variety and bring it organically to all courtroom communications to increase your connection to the jury.
Working with the Voice
The Song as Monologue: Don’t panic if you are not a “natural singer!” By exploring the lyrics of a song as monologue, you will learn the basic performance choices that can inform any opening, closing, examination, or deposition.
Voice and Speech Exploration: Put your best voice forward! Develop your vocal skills through releasing habitual tension, alignment for ease, breath for power, resonance for projection and gesture and movement integration to make your courtroom performance, confident, expressive and compelling.
Morning Yoga Session: Yoga is more than just stretching; it is a powerful tool that can enhance your trial performance and ability to meaningfully connect with your jurors. By starting each day with a gentle yoga sequence, we will prepare the voice, body, and mind to integrate the creative skills covered in the workshop.
Rena Cook is a Professor Emerita, TEDx speaker, trainer, and author. She is the founder of Vocal Authority, a training consultancy serving attorneys who want to use their voice in more commanding and authentic ways.
Rena is the author of Empower your Voice: For Women in Business Politics and Life, and Voice and the Young Actor, used in drama programs throughout the US and the UK. Her last book Her Voice in Law, co-authored with Attorney Laurie Koller, is available through the ABA.
Rena has an MA in Voice Studies from London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, an MFA in Directing from the University of Oklahoma, an MA in Guidance & Counseling from the University of Tulsa. Rena’s guilty pleasure is voice animation and video game characters.
Natalie Andrews is a voice coach, actor, musician, and producer currently based in Phoenix, AZ where she owns and operates Heartspark Voice, teaching singing and music classes to learners of all ages and vocations.
Originally from Louisville, KY, Natalie earned her BFA in acting from the University of Oklahoma where she later taught as an adjunct professor, leading voice classes for actors in training under the mentorship of Rena Cook.
She is a certified corporate voice trainer with Vocal Authority, helping entrepreneurs, speakers, lawyers, and politicians put their best voice forward. Natalie specializes in helping people overcome performance anxiety and connect authentically with their audience.
She believes in taking a holistic perspective on voice training, integrating many modalities into her instruction, including yoga and mindfulness practices.
Jesse Wilson is a communication specialist, speaking coach, and jury trial lawyer consultant. A Juilliard Theater graduate, after 20 years of working in the world of theater, he has created “Tell The Winning Story” to empower trial lawyers to deliver high-impact presentations, as well as rapidly transform their communication and collaboration skills to effectively prepare clients and witnesses to testify. Jesse was inspired to create “Tell The Winning Story” after co-developing a Theater-Behind-Bars program for inmates. The program helped inmates make powerful changes in their lives.
The true power of a story always comes from inside us, the storyteller... And the path to developing a winning story begins with the lawyer owning their own story. “Tell The Winning Story” provides the lawyer the difference between telling a “hidden, safe, ‘surface’ story,” and powerfully connecting to a story that goes right to the heart of their audience, whomever that audience happens to be.
Jesse’s hands on training is featured in his seminars, law firm retreats, intensives, workshops and webinars.
Rena Cook is the authority on bringing your authentic voice to the courtroom. Rena’s presentations are amazing, entertaining and engaging, but more importantly she provides the fundamentals necessary to get people to want to listen to you. While I hope that I will improve with practice, the results of using her techniques are tangible and I left the program a better speaker than when I walked in. She teaches things that no one else talks about or even thinks about, like breath, pitch and preparing your body before addressing your audience. I look forward to learning more from her.
Christopher Mellino, The Mellino Law Firm, Cleveland, Ohio
After working with Jesse, this awakened passion for the right story has stayed with me, not just in the story I need to tell the jury, but the story I am trying to live… and for that I will be forever grateful. I will never again forget, “a monologue is always a dialogue!”
-Jacqui Ford, Criminal Defense Attorney, OKC
At the heart of Jesse’s work is teaching attorneys how to feel - not just logically comprehend - what happened to their clients and how it affected their lives. Being empowered with this knowledge allows us to persuade just about anyone - including adjusters, mediators, judges, and juries - with both logic and emotion, which can greatly improve our results. Ask the attorneys at Gerry Spence’s law firm or Nick Rowley’s law firm, who credit Jesse with helping them achieve six-, seven-, and eight-figure verdicts.
- Tim Garvey, Attorney at McDermott Law; CTLA Board Member; SuperLawyers Rising Star 2016, 2017, 2018
What I love most about Natalie’s instruction is that she doesn’t tell you what to do, she explains how. Our exercises helped me feel comfortable finding different ways to say my ideas so that when I was onstage, I didn’t feel over rehearsed or perfectionist about it.
-Mary Jelkovsky, public speaker and influencer
Natalie asked very specific questions about my goals and fears. She helped me enhance my speech based on my personality and what would make me feel ready to speak.
-Naketa Ross, CEO and founder of ResilientMe