The Mediation Times


Some tips for successful assessment

by Amanda on June 13, 2009

The candidates who attended the latest foundation skills training course at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators last week will be revising hard over the weekend before they take the assessment next week. Here are a few tips for your opening/introduction and the joint meeting.

  1. Remember your breathing. Your breathing affects your heart rhythms which affect everyone in the room. Breathing helps you to manage your voice. Being aware of your breathing and tone helps you to convey confidence and connection with the others in the room. Tone, pace and volume can contribute significantly to creating trust and rapport. There are some great exercises for a voice workout devised by Peter Levin and Graham Topping in their book Perfect Presentations! You can view a sample on Google Books.
  2. Practice the first two or three sentences in a warm, energetic and confident tone. It will help you to maintain momentum and keep your confidence levels up.
  3. Have a checklist not a script. If you are reading a script then you are not looking at the people in the room and you are not building rapport as quickly as you might. Reading from a script often results in a more monotone voice.This is definitely a case of it is not what you do it is the way that you do it. The assessors will be looking for rapport building skills in you and increasing trust in you from the parties.
  4. Pause for thought. When people see you thinking it creates confidence. It also gives them time to register what you have just said. Since most of what you say during your introduction is important, it is useful to give the parties time to consider the content.
  5. Imagine you are hosting a dinner party. Hosting is a significant part of being a good mediator: Looking after the needs of the “guests”,  arranging the seating effectively, listening for connections and common ground and helping each of your “guests” look good, contribute and feel appreciated. As a host you are in charge of the context but not the content of the conversation.
  6. Focus on the “others” and it will help you forget that you are nervous.
  7. And finally, do remember the assessors want you to pass!

Good luck!



That was a good. I think it will be very much useful for me. Also I did come across another blog called It’s all about how build rapport and how to do successful networking.

I think it will useful for you too. Check it out when you have time and keep posting.

John -

Chris Annunziata
Chris Annunziata

Excellent advice for anyone giving a public address. Even though I am more than 2 years and over 150 mediations into my practice, I still review and revise my opening statement (which is in outline form, as you suggested). I will also practice the statement in the car on the way to a mediation, which must certainly get me some strange looks in traffic.


Chris, thank you for your comments. I like to encourage those going for assessment to practice a good start and then the confidence and positive reactions from the "parties" can carry them through some rough patches later on.

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