You are preparing a presentation for attorneys. Have you ever sat in the back of a conference room at an attorney’s annual conference or at a continuing education program? Have you ever talked to attorney about how to simplify a complex case? Trial attorneys put a lot of focus on how can they take a complex case and make it understandable to a jury.
Trial attorneys in particular are focused on taking a complex concept and making it simple. They expect legal nurse consultants to be able to do the same thing when they do a presentation for attorneys at their law firm. The same is true when you are explaining a case to them to help the attorney understand the medical issues.
Most people consistently struggle with the ability to be really clear about what they want their messaging to be. You need to be able to step back and summarize in one simple sentence the essence of your message. What do you want the attorney to know as a result of listening to you? That takes some really thoughtful consideration.
In TED talks, this is called “the idea worth spreading.”
Attorneys think about this too. They work to create a simple theme for a case – what it is really about.
Stephanie Scotti, who presented a podcast for Legal Nurse Podcast on this topic, calls it “your core message.” Know exactly what you want somebody to walk away with in terms that anybody could understand.
Applying this to a Presentation for Attorneys
You may be preparing a presentation to deliver at an attorney’s office. Or you may be a lunchtime speaker at a law firm.
Ask yourself, “What do I want this group of attorneys to walk away with? What will be most relevant to them at the end of my talk?” Get great clarity around that.
Preparing a Presentation for Attorneys
Attorneys are often busy. They come into a conference room for a lunch-and-learn, for example, and they are distracted. The phone is ringing and people are sending them text messages. Somebody says, “Go into the conference room. A legal nurse consultant bought food. Go in and learn something.”
How do you start a presentation in that environment? First of all, how do you get the attention of people so that they can shut off their phones, turn off their distractions and just concentrate? That’s an uphill battle sometimes.
The whole effort to get the attention of the attorneys begins before you walk into that room. Before you plan your presentation for attorneys, find out what they are really interested in. Not what you want to talk about, but given your topic or area of expertise, what part of that is going to appeal to them and why?
You have to take it one step further. You have to put yourself in their shoes and try to figure out why they are in the room. What about this particular topic will appeal to them? I think it starts even before you show up. It starts when you are preparing your message.
You may be thinking, “I can’t do a new presentation for every single group. I’ve got my stock presentation that I give, my boiler plate.” I’m suggesting that you can take about 20% of what you normally give and just add some key questions that allow you to customize it to that audience. That might make the difference between them listening or tuning out.
It could be as simple as you find out about a case they worked on and what made the difference for them in that case. You use that as an example in your presentation. Maybe you find out a question that they’re researching that you may be able to provide insight on. They are sitting there and they think, “Oh my gosh how did this person know that? That’s exactly what I needed. That’s the perspective I was looking for.” That questioning upfront could make a world of difference. Think about just customizing 20% of your talk.
When you know what interests your audience, you’ve done most of the work of preparing a presentation for attorneys.
Pat Iyer and Stephanie Scotti explored this topic in Pat’s Legal Nurse Podcast on this site.