Greetings from Los Angeles. I am here for the 5th and final coaching session this year with a group of lawyers who started in January.
We’ve covered a lot of territory in our group meetings. One topic was writing and speaking to get hired.
Are you writing and speaking to become more visible to your potential clients? If so, how is it working for you?
Because I developed my practice by writing and speaking, I am asked to teach lawyers how to write and give presentations to get hired. In this post I will share with you some of my teaching points.
If you are not achieving the success you have been hoping for, you likely have one of two potential problems:
- You may not have chosen the right topic, or
- You may not have structured your presentation in an effective way.
Your clients do not care about what you do. They do not care about the background and history of a case, law or regulations.
All they care about is their problems, opportunities, internal changes and external changes. So, if you write an article that does not address one of those items, it will not result in attracting existing or potential clients.
Your clients do not have much time. So, they want to find out the answer to their problem or how they can achieve their opportunity without having to search for it.
Blogging and Twitter have become popular in part because of the time shortage. The time your potential clients will spend also means you should not write a linear article or give a linear presentation.
As noted communication expert, Nick Morgan suggests in his book: Give Your Speech, Change the World:
The problem-solution approach works best because it is easy for the audience to digest.
Readers and audiences begin reading or listening asking why will reading or listening to this be important to me. Morgan writes:
Stating a problem first answers that question right away.
When I write, I pay special attention to the title and to the first sentence because I know potential readers will look at the title and may read the first paragraph to decide whether the article will be valuable to them.
When I speak, I know I have only 90 seconds to get the attention of my audience. I must answer the “What’s in it for me” question. I know I need to start and finish with high energy.
Years ago I was in the hallway getting ready to speak at a large firm retreat. I had my headphones. The managing partner who asked me to speak came by and looked. Finally he asked:
You’re going on in five minutes. What are you listening to?
My simple answer:
If you want to start a presentation with high energy, or if you want to cut a minute off your mile run, put on your headset and listen and watch Tina, Elton John and Cher. Guarantee you won’t bore your audience with your opening.
So, if you are getting ready to write or speak, what problem or opportunity are you addressing and how will you frame it so the readers or audience will want to read or hear your solution?
P. S. Do you have 7 minutes? Watch Carmine Gallo video on Make a Presentation Like Steve Jobs. Watch particularly how he verbally opens and closes each segment of his presentation to make it easy for your listeners to follow his story.