“What IS the actual H2H Method?”
I’ve struggled for YEARS to answer that question, y’all.
Mainly because I don’t want anyone to think I claim to have THE one and only method for winning.
But the day has come, my friends. I’m ready to own the shit out of the H2H Method.
And when you tune in to today’s episode of the FHTH podcast, you’ll hear exactly what the fuck it is. Aren’t you excited?? I know I am!
So go ahead and check it out!!
EPISODE 213 TRANSCRIPTION
Well, hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of From Hostage to Hero. Sari de la Motte here with you today, the attorney whisperer. And we are talking about a shit house. Actually, I wasn't going to talk about that, but then I just remembered that one of my H2H crew members had egged me on on my 200th episode to talk about a shit house, and I forgot to talk about. I think that's what it was called. Is that what it was called, Kevin? A shit house? Apparently, that's some sportsy thing with bowling. I have no idea. So I need to figure out a way to actually work that into the podcast in a way that makes sense. But there it is. I just said it out loud. That's for you, John, one of the loves of my life. Sorry, Kevin.
All right. So today, we're talking about the brand new From Hostage to Hero method. If you have the book, you're definitely going to want to listen up, because we have changed many things. So if you have the book or even if you don't, you know, or maybe you don't, because maybe the book's just sitting on your shelf and you haven't read it like a real weirdo, but hopefully you have read it, you know that there's four phases that we take the jurors through at trial. And I liken them to the phases of developing a relationship.
So the first one, especially for women, is to make sure that the person that they are meeting for a date is safe. So same with jurors, we have to create safety first. And we do that in a variety of different ways. The designed alliance is one of the ways. Breathing, using authoritative, non-verbal communication, all of that is helping create safety.
Then, once we know that the person isn't a serial killer and has bodies in their basement, we will then engage with that person, going back to the dating example. And same goes with jurors.
The second phase in trial that we're going to take jurors through after we create some safety is we're going to get them engaged, engaged with us, engaged with each other, engaged with the content, engaged with the principles.
The third thing in a relationship situation is, if the engagement's going well, now we can get committed. So you either move in with each other, get engaged, any of those things. And in the jury space, the trial space, that part of the trial, we say you're getting commitment. Right? And so, oh, I forgot to say what we're doing in engagement. In engagement, we're using the issue-oriented voir dire, we're using approachable non-verbals, we're listening, all of the things. In the commitment stage, we are now using the opening template. We are pausing and gesturing and using good presentation skills.
But in both phases, whether relationship or trial, the last phase is action. So if you're going to get married, you go ahead and you do it. If you're in the trial situation, we're going to have jurors go now into a room without us and actually decide the verdict. They take that action.
Now, as you've heard me say before, and I'm going to say it more even in an upcoming podcast, one of the reasons why your job is so difficult as plaintiff attorneys is because what you need to do is motivate jurors to act. Again, we're not about persuasion here. We're all about motivation. And for most people, leaving things as they are is the easiest thing to do. This is why, for example, they have found that people who cohabitate... Cohabitate? That doesn't sound like a real word, but okay. Kevin's nodding. Who move in and they live together before marriage actually end up getting divorced more often, which, of course, the people who never have sex before marriage or all of those things go. See? We're right. What they actually found is that once you move in with someone, even if there's problems, it's so much harder to leave that the people just end up staying and going on their way to marriage, but they should have never gotten married in the first place.
So it's just difficult to change things, whether that's moving in with someone and deciding that wasn't a right decision, or whether it's having jurors actually come and force the defense to do the right thing.
So that is what we're calling the old method. In fact, we're changing that to calling it the hero's journey. So I want you to think about this back of the house, front of the house. So my husband worked in restaurants for years. He's a trained chef. And so back of the house is the chefs, the people who are busing... Well, I don't know. Busing, I guess, would be front of the house. But basically, the chefs are the people who are in the back of the house. The front of the house is the hostess, the waitresses, probably even the bus boys, or bus people, I guess, is what we call them these days. Right? They're what the client sees.
So I want you to think about the old From Hostage to Hero method, which we're now calling the hero's journey. That is front of the house. That is what you are going to do once you get to trial. But as I've been working with the crew, now going on three years, we've had the crew back there. And now, we call it the H2H Playground. We're having so much fun back there. And now that we've got that, we've been really thinking about, "Well, what is the method, the actual method?"
And I really had some issues, as you know if you've been following me from the very beginning, with calling anything I did a method, because I did not want to be a technique, a gimmick, God forbid a formula. By the way, have you gone to our About page? Go to sariswears.com and click on, I think it's About. I don't know if we're calling it About. Maybe we're trying to be cheeky and we're calling it something else. I should really know this. But if you go to the page where it talks about who we are and you scroll over my picture, something interesting happens, same thing with the people on our team down below. So it's fun for you right there. Just reminded me when I was talking about formulas. Big secret. Now, you have to go look.
So I didn't want to be associated on any level with some quick fix, or even if it's not a quick fix, but I have the only answer. I do not have the only answer. There are a million ways to skin a cat. I'm so bad with the analogies, you guys. But the point is there's many ways to win trial. There's really good methods that lose trial. We get defense verdicts in H2H, for sure. So I am not about to come out and say, "My way is the right way."
So for years and years and years, I really avoided even calling it a method. But the day has come, my friends. I am calling it a method now, because I'm going to stand behind my work and I'm going to say that this is a method. It is not the method. Do I think it works? Hell yeah. Do people enjoy using it? Hell yeah. Do they feel that they can be authentic and tailor it to themselves? Absolutely. So in that way, I'm coming out of the closet and saying that there is an H2H method. There you go.
And here it is. It really comes down to three cornerstones. I'm going to make it really easy. We believe at H2H that there are three things that you must know how to do and do very, very well in order to be a kick ass trial attorney and hopefully lead to more verdicts. The reason I say hopefully is because at H2H, that is not our goal. That is the cream on, in the cupcake. But it's a byproduct. We do not believe your job is to win. We believe your job is to fight, to stand up for your client, to stand up for justice, to hold people accountable. And if you've done that, then you've done your job.
A verdict, that's even better. Hells yeah, we want verdicts. That's not what we're all about. As we say, you are bigger than the size of your verdict, because I know you're all interested and concerned about the size. Size is a big thing, ya'll, for you. But it's not about size. It really isn't. It's about what you do with it. Wait. I'm on a different tangent now.
Okay. Not to say that Kevin isn't sizable. All right. Had to get that in. And now, he's dying behind the camera.
First cornerstone is create compelling content.
If you do not know how to create compelling content, then we are just not going to even get out of the gate. There's another terrible saying that I'm getting wrong, and Kevin's laughing again. But the point is that when your job is to motivate people to act, you need to compel them through your content to do that. Right?
So there's many types of content that we create in H2H. One is the designed alliance, and that can be different than the one that's in the book. It's even morphed since I've published the book, the designed alliance. And if you're like, "What the hell's a design alliance?," then you haven't been listening to the podcast or reading the book.
But basically, the designed alliance is how you design with jurors before you start jury selection. How do they think this goes? How do you want it to go? Is that okay with them that it goes that way? If not, what should we do instead? And you think, "Well, I don't have a lot to say there." You have a lot more than you think. So that designed alliance is different depending on every attorney delivering it. But that's a piece of content that we create back in the H2H world.
Issue oriented voir dire, so how we create our voir dire with all the funnels and focusing on our issues and owning our bad facts, that's content that we create. The nine-part opening template, our brand new closing template. So this is all the stuff that we do on the back end so that you can take the jurors through that hero's journey once you get to trial, because notice the DA, or the designed alliance, that's in the safety phase. And the issue oriented voir dire, that's in the engagement phase. And the nine-part template, that's in the commitment phase. And the closing template, that's in the action phase.
So we're getting ready in the method. We're creating all this compelling content so that you can go out and take them on the hero's journey.
So the question then becomes, "What is compelling content?" And here's how I define compelling content. Compelling content is content that's about the listener. The end. That's why everything here is not about you, and by here, I mean H2H, is not about your client. It's about the jury always and forever. We are in a humongous love affair with the jurors at H2H. We love them. We can't wait to talk to them. We exalt them. We think they're sacrificing for us, and we make it as easy as possible for them.
And the number one way we compel them to act is to make it about them. Any of us will listen if it's about us. If we hear our name, we're perking up, right? which especially for me, because my name's really super weird. I'm sure Kevin's not perking up every time he hears Kevin, because there's lots of fucking Kevins in the world, not any as great as my Kevin. But the point is when it's about us, we listen up.
So that is the big cornerstone of the new H2H method, is we're creating compelling content. We're constantly working on that. If you're in the Playground, you know that we start now, every one of our events, every month that we have, whether it's me or one of our other coaches, saying what cornerstone we're working on. And we cover all of those cornerstones in our events every month.
The second cornerstone in the new H2H method is how to command the courtroom.
So not only do you need to create compelling content, you need to command the courtroom. And there are three pieces that really go into this. You need to understand first how to facilitate a conversation. So when you facilitate a conversation, the question becomes, "How does that help you command the courtroom?" Well, when you give power up, meaning you can facilitate a conversation between jurors, because the biggest thing you're wanting to do in voir dire in terms of the group dynamics piece is getting jurors talking to each other, because you won't be there when they go back in the verdict room. So you've got to get them talking to each other.
So when you're facilitating a conversation between them, what you're doing is taking yourself out of it and making it about them. Again, that's what we're all about, making it about them. So when you give up your power, meaning you are normally the person. Any courtroom today, if it's not an H2H-er in there, I can guarantee you, you go into jury selection, the lawyer is doing most of the talking. When you give up that power, here's what it means. You have power to give up. Naturally, by giving it up to the jury, when you're standing, there're seated and you're saying, "No, I want to make this about you. No, I want to hear about you," that commands that you have power to give, not to mention you want to learn facilitation skills to deal with all the group dynamics, to know how to shut down jurors, to know if you have permission to shut down jurors, all of the juicy things.
The second piece of commanding the courtroom is presentation. How does a good presentation help you command the courtroom? No one knows how to fucking do it. No one. Not no one, obviously. Very few people do, though. When is the last time that you went to a presentation and it knocked your fucking socks off? That is rare, my friends. So we work hard on that in the crew, because presentation is a huge part of commanding the courtroom.
The third piece of commanding the courtroom is motivation. You need to know how to motivate people to act. And how does that help you command the courtroom? You set the tone at trial. You get to go first. So if you've done great facilitation and you've delivered a great presentation, now you become leader and you're in this motivational space, especially when we get to closing or that action piece of the hero's journey. And now, you're like, "Come on. We can do this," and you're getting excited. Except most of you, in closing, do this really boring review of the evidence and then hope that they vote for you instead of trusting in these peoples, trusting in yourself, trusting in your work and going, "Come on now. I know you can do this," and empowering them and motivating them to act.
So that second cornerstone is so huge, too, because you can't just have good content. You have to have a way to deliver it, handle it, manage it, all of the things.
The third one, though, is maybe even the most important, which is claim your freedom.
So not only do we need to create compelling content and know how to command the courtroom. We are working consistently back there in the Playground on how to claim your freedom. See, because when you are scared, when you are so focused on winning, when you do not believe that you are great, that you have to mimic or do all these other things, you won't be able to create compelling content. Why? Because you're going to try to do all of the techniques, all of the formulas, all the things you heard at a CLE. You won't be able to command the courtroom, because you'll be scared to try the things, to go all in on storytelling, to use the big gestures.
And so we believe and we know that when you are working on becoming the best trial lawyer that you can be, a huge part of that, a one-third of our method, is helping you get out of your own way. Not to mention that we don't just have this mindset piece where we... Out of eight live things that we do every month in the crew, two of them are mindset related. Two full things are devoted to mindset. Why? It's not just about trial stuff. We want you to have a great life. We don't believe that you need to sacrifice who you are and your life to this boring, horrible career that you've chosen. We want to make sure that you are having a fantastic life.
It's a way to claim your freedom, claim your freedom from believing that you have to work all the time, claim your freedom from believing that you're not good enough, claim your freedom from being so scared of the jurors, which brings us to not a cornerstone, but really almost a foundational piece in the method. So I lied. It's more than three pieces. We have three cornerstones, but one foundational piece that we say, which is none of this will work, none of this will work until and unless you stop making the jurors your enemy. You have to change your mind about jurors. Notice how they all start with C, by the way.
Once you change your mind about jurors, that's the very first step. Then, you can start working in these three areas: creating compelling content, learning how to command the courtroom, claiming your freedom. But none of this is going to work if you insist on believing that the jury is your enemy.
Now, the next question becomes, "When is my next book coming out on this?" I don't know. People keep asking me, but I thought I'd do a little podcast on it. I'm telling you, if you want to learn and work in these three cornerstones so that you can do the hero's journey once you get to trial, join the Playground. We don't open again until September, but you can get on the Playground waitlist if you go to sariswears.com/play. And there, we will be waiting for you to join us in September. I cannot wait. Talk soon.
Have you ever wished that you knew what the jury was thinking? Well, grab a pen and paper, because I'm about to give you instant access to a free training I created for plaintiff trial attorneys called 3 Powerful Strategies to Help You Read a Juror's Mind. It's going to help you to understand what the jury is thinking so you'll feel confident to trust them and yourself in the courtroom. Ready for the address? Go to sariswears.com/jury. Enjoy.
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