P.O. Box 2173
Alameda, CA 94501 USA

Linguistic Consultant  
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Presentations Available

The following presentations explain aspects of Linguistics to different audiences.

  • Forensic Linguistics: Law and the Science of Language. This 90-minute introductory program describes several of the subdisciplines of linguistics and illustrates how they can be used in investigations and trials. The presentation includes real-life examples from both civil and criminal cases, and class participation. Applications of forensic linguistics include: anonymous texts, disputed contract clauses, trademark challenges, identifying falsified or fabricated texts, analyzing voice recordings—any case in which language is evidence.
    1.5 HOURS MCLE CREDIT. Next class 7/11/13 in Oakland.
  • Deceiving without Lying: Non-cooperative conversation.
    A demonstration that the words' meaning and the speaker's meaning are not always the same. I examine a hidden-camera video to explain the linguistic subdiscipline of pragmatics. Did the people in the video tell the truth yet still attempt to deceive? Approximately 30 minutes.
  • Forensic Linguistics: Real-Life “CSI” with Word People. An introduction to linguistic analysis of criminally oriented communications for non-specialist audiences. Includes examples from actual cases, and lots of audience participation. Approximately 90 minutes, including questions and answers at the end.
  • What's Wrong with Jury Instructions? An explanation of the ways in which jury instructions can fail to serve the cause of justice due to a lack of understanding of communication issues by the drafters. Jury instructions for death penalty trials in California are used for illustration. Approximately 30 minutes.
  • Managing Multiple Information Channels: Strategies for Effective Presentations. This hour-long presentation is focused not narrowly on linguistics, but more broadly on communication skills. It was designed for people who need to make presentations in business or academic settings, and explains the strengths and weaknesses of the different information channels available to the speaker: voice, slides, paper handouts, etc.
  • Unhappy Customers are Just the Beginning: Potential Costs of Poor or Missing Technical Documentation. An examination of the costs to businesses of skimping on technical documentation, ranging from unhappy customers to wasted employee time to debilitating lawsuits. With real-life examples and audience participation.

Don't see what you need? Are there other aspects of language and the law that you would like explained to your group? Contact me to discuss custom presentations.



Audience Responses
Managing Multiple Information Channels. "Joe's presentation on Managing Multiple Information Channels was very informative. As a person who has to make frequent presentations, I have found the tips Joe provided extremely helpful and practical. I have noticed that my communication with the audience has improved significantly and that I am much more aware of how well I am utilizing the information channels available to me." (Maia Henley, Georgetown University)

Forensic Linguistics: CSI. "Your presentation was an enlightening and entertaining glimpse at forensic linguistics. I particularly enjoyed playing the forensic investigator in your captivating audience participation activities." (Tonie Flores, VP Programs, Berkeley chapter, Society for Technical Communication)

"What an excellent presentation you gave!...You are an excellent speaker, clear, organized and good at getting the audience involved." (JK Mueller)

"Thank you so much for speaking to our group! I had quite a few people comment to me afterwards about how much they enjoyed it. The chapter meeting evaluation form reflects that:
Speaker Eval: 71% Outstanding, 28% Very good; Topic Eval: 79% Outstanding, 21% Very Good." (Jan Kruse, Program Manager, Phoenix chapter, Society for Technical Communication)

Forensic Linguistics: Law. Did this program meet your educational objectives? "This class exceeded my expectations. Mr. Devney made this subject very relevant to the law." (Anonymous comment on evaluation sheet.)

DId this program meet your educational objectives? "Excellent presentation! Well organized, and entertaining." (Anonymous comment on evaluation sheet.)