Lawyers are no different to anybody else when it come to presenting.
Most people would rather die than speak in public!
But every person in business has to present at some time or another.
If you’re selling a legal service you have to do it everyday. If you’re the Partner, you’re doing all the time both internally and externally.
Many people get nervous about presenting and speaking in front of an audience.
But being a good presenter, and even more importantly being a good performer is an absolute must if you want to maximise your legal business.
This is because speaking to large groups of people means large groups of potential clients.
If you speak to an audience of 100 Lions Club members, that’s 100 new clients you are pitching to and it might only take you an hour to make that pitch.
Imagine if you found a new group to give a presentation to every month instead of watching 12 hours of rubbish TV?
That’s 1200 potential clients a year for your Legal Practice and you probably get fed for free! Plus it hasn’t cost you a penny to market your business.
This is an opportunity that it’s worth practising for.
Just make sure that you know the subject you are presenting better than anyone else in the room. Stick to what you’re an expert on, (your own Legal business) and don’t make it a blatant sell.
Tell the story of your business or your industry. Make it humorous, make it personal.
Remember, ever since you were a kid, you’ve been listening to stories.
Here are some tips that you can use to make your performances more powerful and more persuasive.
1. Remember that you become what you think. So if you think failure and fear, there’s a pretty good chance that that’s going to happen. There’s no need to be nervous if you know your stuff inside out and you know it better than the audience. If you are nervous, practise, practise and practise again. In front of the mirror, family, friends, anyone who can give you feedback. Record it and listen to it.
2. People buy from people they like. When did you hear someone say, “he was a complete ars***** but his stuff was really good so we went ahead and placed the order.” It doesn’t happen that way. If they like you then you have a good chance of selling.
3. Get introduced to the group. What someone says about you is more valuable than what you say yourself, (even if you tell them what to say about you! That’s why footballers and actors have agents! )
Make sure you get the introduction you want. Make it authoritative, short and to the point. Make sure it sets you up the way you want.
4. Perform - don’t just present. We’re used to watching multimillion pound blockbusters from Hollywood. You may not be Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford, but that’s no reason not to use music, lights and action. People have five senses, (and some have a sixth!) so don’t be afraid to use them. You’ll be remembered.
5. People learn at stage school how to stand up straight. Sounds ridiculous? Take a look at yourself on video. Stand up as though the stage is yours and yours alone. Remember you are the centre of attention.
6. Get the audience smiling and establish rapport. You can do this before the presentation performance. You’ve got time before it to meet and greet and look people in the eye. If you make a good impression then, that’s a great start.
7. When you speak don’t start by thanking people for coming or saying Hello. It opens you up to a weak reply from a less than willing audience. Start your presentation “in the middle” instead. Engage the audience immediately and keep them hooked. A powerful question such as, “Did you know only one other company in your field knows the six million pound secret I am about to reveal to you right here?
8. Know your stuff inside out. Use single word notes if you have to but don’t read things out from a slide! It’s got to be natural.
9. People judge books by their covers. Lawyers should dress smart, right and for the occasion.
10. Ask great questions that no-one else asks. Get the audience involved mentally. Get them thinking. And allow time for them to think.
11. Do not bumble along repeating “you know” or endless ums, ahs, and don’t fiddle with pens or pockets. You want flow. You don’t see Luke Skywalker jangling his light sabre too often – that’s part of the reason he has the force.
12. You’re aiming to be clear with your message. Use the right tone, make eye contact, imagine you are on stage and the audience have paid a lot of money to see you. That will make sure you keep engaging them by giving them what they want.
13. Use props if they are appropriate and then illustrate the point you are making. Teachers use them in class and that’s what you are doing. Teaching someone how they can use your Legal Practice to be more successful.
14. Use slides to back up what you are saying not to replace how you say it. If the computer fails then you need to know your stuff without slides anyway. The slides need the basic points as reminders to the audience of what you are saying. More than this and they’ll divert attention away from your message.
15. Create a call to action and a sense of urgency. If there’s no reason to do it NOW the humans are pre-programmed not to bother.
16. Attention spans are shorter than ever. Most magazines are little more than pictures with a caption nowadays. So keep to the point, make sure you say what you intended to say, (including asking for the business) and be brief.
17. Thank everyone at the end and then let them ask any questions then. (If they ask when you are presenting, you lose control). If they don't have any questions then let them get into groups and tell them to talk among themselves to come up with some written questions.
18. Even if you made a balls up, if you had a good story and did it with style then you’re in with a chance. You’ll have been ten times better than anyone else.
19. Video your presentation or record it. That way you’ll know why you had a balls up and it won’t happen again!
Legal Practices can also upload presentations onto their website.