What is the phrase?

What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave our law firm?

‘What happens if we don’t, and they stay?

Some of you are afraid to give presentations. If you are, you are certainly not alone. Here are 10 Causes of Speech Anxiety that Create Fear of Public Speaking. Your goal should be to make public speaking natural for you. The best way to do it is speak in public.

When I was growing up I played baseball just about every day in the summer. I remember going to the local park each day with my glove, bat, ball and lunch and playing with my friends until dinner time. I continued playing baseball through college.

I haven’t swung a baseball bat in probably 30 years or more. Yet, if I went to a batting cage today, I could swing without giving any thought to technique. I probably would find hitting the ball challenging, but I would swing naturally.

I never played golf growing up. As a result, I rarely am able to swing a club without thinking about technique. I haven’t grooved the swing like I did my baseball swing. I know that if I want to groove my swing, I need to practice more.

In 1981, I made my first presentation to a group of contractors (clients and potential clients). There is no way to describe how nervous I was the night before. I could not sleep. I visualized my presentation and visualized the audience. I must have given the presentation at least 10 times in my head that night.

The next day I stood before over 100 contractors and delivered the presentation. I was still nervous, and I know I must have focused on my technique, but it went well.

I have probably given over 1000 presentations since that day and when I give one today, it is natural, even when things do not go as planned.

A few years ago I made a presentation to contractors. I was supposed to speak for an hour, but the speaker before me took 30 minutes of my time. I decided to skip the PowerPoint slides and take the 30 minutes to hit the most important points.

Why should we begin training young lawyers in client development? I hope the answer is clear. The earlier they start and the more opportunities they have, the more likely it will become natural to them. 

Prior to posting this blog, I shared my thoughts with an attorney development professional and here is her response:

This makes good sense, Cordell. I would also add that the more you do something, the better able you are to handle the unusual occurrences, in your language – the curve ball or the change up. I think of the times I’ve presented a program I’m very familiar with and something comes up or someone asks a question that I’ve never encountered. Just being more relaxed allows me to focus on this new development and handle it with ease.