Friday, February 22, 2013

Techy Presentation Tips

For those about to rock the speaker podium, here are a few techy tips to help you boost your exposure and integrate contemporary presentation tools.

1. Put your web and blog addresses in the footer of each slide along with your e-mail, Twitter, Skype and blog address.

2. Print a QR code link to the presentation on a special business card with your name and contact info and the presentation title on one side and the QR code on the other. Hand these out at the beginning of your presentation.

3. Start your presentation with the links or twitter address to ask questions or vote on speaker-posed questions. Offer multiple ways to interact. Designate someone to field the comments and questions and present them during your presentation scrolling across the top of your powerpoint.

4. Add social media site links to your presentation to enable others to 'like' or link to your presentation and spread your knowledge.

5. Wear solid color clothes as patterns can cause wacky effects when broadcast by video. Smile, look people in the eyes, and be approachable. Pause to allow questions and to emphasize important points.

6. Remember to periodically engage with the camera for the simulcast or recording. Make viewers feel part of the room.

7. After the presentation, tweet and post links to the webcast and materials for your presentation.

8. Take the presentation and carve it up into several blog posts and schedule them in advance so you have several weeks of postings taken care of. Add the presentation to your firm's website.

9. Use the webcast to generate more speaking engagements. Produce presentation highlights and send the highlights video to appropriate industry organizations with an offer to speak on the subject.

Technology enables greater access to a larger pool of people. While your speaking presentation should be designed specifically for the audience in the room, the work you put into producing it should be re-purposed and pushed out to a larger audience.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Never Ask for Business When a Client Feels Cornered

Asking for business is best done when the mood is right. The mood is rarely right when a prospect feels cornered or is made to feel uncomfortable. Examples of this include asking for work in social situations, asking for work after giving a gift, or during social events when the client has had too much to drink or doesn’t want to talk shop.

No matter how you cut it, these situations will make the client feel uncomfortable, at best, and manipulated, at worst. Sophisticated clients know better. If you are insensitive as to how a client feels and when the timing is right for a pitch, how likely are you to be sensitive to client needs in other areas?

The best place  to ask for work is over a meal (breakfast is the best meal for business development). The next best place is in your office. The location matters much less than the situation. Be attentive to what your client may be feeling and don't ask for work when they are least receptive to that conversation. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Emotional Stories are Remembered Best

Communication is the transfer of emotion. And emotions are best communicated through stories. Since the earliest days of human existence, important information was passed down through generations through story telling. With the absence of paper and pen, story telling was the best way to convey complex information in a way that could be easily recalled. And the emotional volume of the story helped to amplify the story's importance and memorability.

Great communicators tell powerful stories. The movie, Lincoln, demonstrates the power of story telling and gives a glimpse into why Lincoln was such a great leader capable of rallying others to the adoption of the 14th amendment. Go see Lincoln. It's long but well worth it.

Find ways to tell stories filled with emotional dynamics to capture the attention of your audience.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Be the Last to Present

There is a powerful force called 'The Recency Effect' that most marketing professionals and trial attorneys know about. The Recency Effect posits that the most recent item in a list is typically recalled best. A similar effect is the Primacy Effect which states that the first item in the series is the easiest to recall. Both theories point out the difficulty of being remembered from among a dense group of other presenters.  Where possible, always try to present last. If you can't present last, then try to be the first to present. Regardless, avoid being stuck in the middle.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Give Gifts of Your Expertise and Network.

I believe in the path of least resistance. If someone doesn't like doing something, it will be hard to get them to practice that skill. You have to find a way for people to like what it is that they have to do. I learned this teaching young drummers the rudiments of drumming. They all wanted to be rock stars but didn't want to put the time into learning the basic stick control skills necessary to be an exceptional drummer. I found that they took to practicing the skills much more readily when they were shown the rock songs in which those skills were used. Teach them to practice the rock song parts and they found more reason and enjoyment in practicing the rudiments. 

We are all like that. Most of us hate the idea of "selling". Cold calling, closing the sale, overcoming objections and many of the other rudimental “skills” of business development make attorneys uncomfortable. They didn’t get into the practice of law to be salesmen. They got into the practice of law to help people. That’s where they find enjoyment.

The best rainmakers give small, unsolicited gifts of their expertise, experience and networks without the expectation of reciprocity. They are seen as someone who can get things done, who know a lot of people and who have an overflowing treasure chest of goodwill. They get this reputation by finding ways to help others, following through on doing these favors and by never expecting those favors to be returned. It is deeply effective, not only as a means toward building a strong network of contacts but also in boosting the self-esteem and enthusiasm for but as a means to getting attorneys into a behavior that will result in new clients over time.

Doing favors builds tremendous goodwill with new contacts. Done in a way that is purely selfless, the actions will be seen as helpful, even flattering. The more you help others, the more you will become a resource for getting things done. And when they have questions of the type of attorney to handle a particular matter, you will be the one they call.