Cordell Parvin Blog Developing the Next Generation of Rainmakers

Can Cousin Vinny or Ally McBeal make your next presentation more interesting?

Posted in Client Development

Most lawyer presentations are boring. The participants quickly forget them. In his book Linchpin, (A book I really like), Seth Godin may have the reason for boring lawyer presentations. He writes:

The resistance is the voice in your head telling you to use bullets in your PowerPoint slides…It’s the voice that tells you to leave controversial ideas out of the paper you’re writing, because the teacher won’t like them. The resistance pushes relentlessly for you to fit in.

Do you remember my blog about Ayse Dalli’s presentation on the Quebec new rules of civil procedure: How “Grease is the Word” made a dull presentation extraordinary? Ayse found a way to use video clips from the movie to keep her audience engaged.

I have told Ayse’s story many times. A couple of weeks ago I shared it with some Spencer Fane lawyers. When I did, they told me about a presentation on estate planning that one of their lawyers gave 12 years ago. He used video clips from the movie Body Heat. The presentation was 12 years ago and they still remembered it.

Five years ago, after the market collapse, two Looper Reed & McGraw lawyers gave a presentation on employee terminations. They found seven video clips from the television show The Office. They told me that in one presentation they gave their time was up after going through six of the video clips. The participants insisted that they show the 7th clip. I am sure those participants still remember that presentation.

Ok, I have a challenge for you. Here it is. Can you find one or more video clips from Cousin Vinny or Ally McBeal that you can include in presentation to business clients and potential clients? Share with readers the clip you would use and how you would use it in a presentation by commenting on this post.

If you want some help, I like these clips and I think I could find a way to shorten them and work them into a presentation.

Are you willing to take the chance and be creative, or will your next presentation just be a bunch of PowerPoint slides with bullet points?