Want to deliver a fabulous presentation for attorneys? Follow these 3 tips for a flawless presentation.
Start your presentation for attorneys with a bang
Spend a lot of time on how you’re going to start by thinking of ideas to catch people’s attention. Start with a bang. Grab people’s attention with your opening.
For example, there are certain things that you shouldn’t do at the beginning of a presentation. I’m sure you’ve all heard people say, “Today I’m going to talk about.” It’s boring. It’s a bad way to begin. Or they apologize and they may say, “I’m sorry this topic is a little boring. Just bear with me.” I actually heard a doctor say that. I thought, “Just shoot me”.
I heard somebody say once, “I’m sorry if it seems a little confusing. This presentation was just dumped on me last night, so I didn’t have time to prepare.”
There are things like that which set people off on the wrong foot. People think that you can just start off bad and build into it. You need to dive right in.
“Just because people’s butts are in the seats doesn’t mean their brains are in the room.” Doug Stevenson.
You need to grab that attention, so that’s one of the main things and that all has to be part of your planning. How are you going to get their attention?
Don’t try to cover too much
Do you believe more is always better? For example, the LNC doing a presentation for attorneys may have 100 slides even though you have 10 minutes. Then speed through them because more is better. That is completely the wrong attitude. What a speaker needs to find out is, “What is the core message?” “What do you want that audience to know when they leave?”
Somebody says to them, “What was that presentation about that Pat gave?” They should be able to say exactly what it was about. Once you know the core message then you prepare the supporting material.
Now sometimes when you are at a presentation you may run out of time. Maybe they started late because they did announcements or maybe you’re following somebody and that person went over time. You need to be able to cut your material back right on the spot.
One way to do that is when you’re putting your presentation for attorneys together have some material that’s must know, some should know and some could know. Some people actually color code it and if you’re running out of time you eliminate the “Could Know”, but do you need to eliminate the “Should Know”? You can cut down on the spot.
Do you worry, “What if I end early?”
People are delighted if you end early, so don’t think that you need to go to the last minute. It’s not effective.
Never get angry during a presentation
Any kind of anger does not belong in a presentation. If your video clip doesn’t work you say, “Sorry that didn’t work” and you go on. I was at a presentation in Phoenix once where the speaker had a video clip and it didn’t work. She just kept trying to get it to work, complaining to the people. “Get this working. It worked when we tried it an hour ago.” Throughout the presentation she kept referring back saying “If only you had seen the video clip.” It’s silly because as an audience member we didn’t care what was in the video. We didn’t see it, so go on without it.
I think it’s just a matter of being ready to say like Murphy’s Law, “If something goes wrong, it’s going to go wrong,” but you as a speaker still needs to be ready to carry on the presentation.
This one is really important as well in the courtroom when expert witnesses are testifying because the opposing counsel is trying to get the expert witness angry by attacking her credibility. Often the attorney is sarcastic.
As soon as the attorney is successful in getting the expert to become angry, the expert is going to blurt out things that are not going to be favorable for the case.
Getting argumentative in the courtroom can be a huge mistake. Getting argumentative with a person in the audience is also a huge mistake. Everybody is watching that dynamic and wondering, “Is the speaker going to lose her cool, become annoyed and angry or graciously get control of the situation and continue on?” Stay cool.
“If your presentation skills are weak, you probably will appear less competent even if you are a content expert.” John Kindle
Use these 3 tips to buff up your skills when you make presentations to attorneys. Kathleen Pagana PhD RN provides these 3 tips, plus 4 more in her podcast called Crush the 7 Deadly Sins of Speaking. Listen to her show at this link.