Public speaking is a critical part of both public relations and public affairs. Being confident, understanding your audience, organization, and conveying communicative messages in a succinct manner all play an important role in public speaking.
Here’s a fun fact, did you know most people would rather die than having to speak in public?
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
Now, it’s likely that your position within public speaking is not that dramatic, and you only need a few pointers on how to strengthen your delivery and presentation to benefit your agency, organization or business.
Take note that public speaking has the power to help us influence decisions, formulate connections and generate change, but there are many mistakes we see in this space that we want you to be aware of and avoid.
Not tailoring your message to its intended audience is a mistake we see far too often; while on the technical side of things…dumping too much data at once and rushing through the content are other public speaking tendencies that should be eliminated ASAP.
Now, here are some tips, tactics, and tricks to assist you in efficiently delivering a public message, now and in the future!
Build your confidence
Public speaking can be terrifying, we understand. But know that the more you do it, the easier it will become.
It’s important to understand that if you want to come off as confident when delivering your message, be sure to truly understand the material at hand. Sometimes our nervousness comes from the fear of the unknown, and questions in our head arise that suggest that we may be asked something we do not have the answer to; the more you practice, research, and learn about the topic, the easier it will be to deliver the message, confidently. Writing down the talking points and reading them out loud is a great way to build comfortability when public speaking.
Also, when delivering your message, remember, your audience does not know what you’re going to say. So if you miss or skip a point, don’t worry, keep going and come back to it as soon as you wrap up your current point.
Try not to read from a script, unless you have to. There is no one better to share this communication than yourself. Remember that.
Be sure to make eye contact with your audience and refrain from holding a piece of paper, because if you are indeed nervous, your paper will start to flutter from your shaking; it becomes more evident when an object is in your hand.
Who is your audience?
Defining your audience is a key component when speaking in public. Have you ever attended a speaking engagement or press conference and did not understand a single word that was shared? Yes…we’ve been there too. Avoid all jargon.
When delivering a public speech, before even drafting your talking point, ask yourself, “Who is my audience?” Is your audience the general public, law enforcement agency professionals, entrepreneurs, fire captains, college students, or members of a legal association? Always be sure to write your talking points according to your audience. Put yourself in their shoes, if you had their background, would you understand the material?
“Before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement.”
Harvard Division of Continuing Education
Organize talking points
Always remember to organize your talking points. Could you imagine if a public figure or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company stood up in front of an audience and just started talking, jumping from the middle, back to the beginning, before landing at the end? It would sound like a mess.
Be sure to place the most important talking points at the beginning of your speech. A majority of the attention placed on your message will be at the beginning, before people’s attention span wears out.
“Create the framework for your speech. Write down the topic, general purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and main points. Make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.”
Harvard Division of Continuing Education
A startling piece of data or findings have the power to generate an attention grabbing introduction and will set you up for a dynamic ending.
Keep it concise
Anytime you speak publicly, we cannot stress the need to keep your message succinct. Eliminating any filler words or information that is not directly related to the topic, get rid of it…if a member of the media or public is interested in additional information, have them contact you via phone to learn more.
Staying on topic and reinforcing the focal point when delivering a public speech will ensure that your audience is following along, listening, and understanding all the way through. Of course, when public speaking the context should be as long as it needs to be so you can get all your points across, share data, examples, and visuals, but no longer than that.
Remember, sometimes visuals implemented into your public speaking engagement can be distracting to your audience, so be strategic with graphics and images and use them only when discussing that specific topic or point, then get rid of them, as people may be distracted with visuals, which will take away from the message.
Be concise all the way through, from beginning to end with all talking points, visuals, and nonverbal communication.
How are you marketing your law firm? Do you have an intuitive website? Do you have a relationship with the media? Are you optimizing social media? Have you implemented a digital newsletter into your marketing strategy? All of these are questions you should be asking yourself to maximize client engagement through law firm marketing.
A survey found that 54 percent of law firms actively market to find new clients, and 65 percent of law firms commit over 50 percent of their marketing budget to online marketing activities. If your firm isn’t paying attention to digital marketing and social media, you really should.
Whether it’s Google Reviews, a well designed website, or engaging social media profiles, it’s important to take full advantage of marketing tools the internet has to offer because the value opportunity it brings to your clients is substantial.
Below are four ways to effectively market your law firm to stand out from the crowd and strengthen your relationship with clients.
Have A Well Designed Website
Think of your website as a first impression. If your website is difficult to navigate, has repetitive content, or isn’t user-friendly, people will exit quickly. When building your website, be sure to keep it clean, simple, and the messaging must be succinct.
If potential clients have to click more than three times to locate an item, odds are they aren’t going to keep looking. Keep in mind that the average time a person spends on any website is only 45 seconds; first impressions are everything, it’s crucial to build a simple yet intuitive site.
When it comes to being user-friendly, it’s essential to make your website accessible through mobile optimization. A recent survey showed that 71 percent of people said they used mobile phones to search for a lawyer, so when a potential client visits your website through a mobile device, you want it to look good!
Check out one of our client’s websites, Silver & Wright Attorneys At Law, for reference.
Do you have a relationship with news publications, reporters, and the community? Having all three of the listed media relations are vital to the success of your law firm marketing. Media relationships pose the opportunity to greatly expand your audience reach that pertains to your communications, press releases, and features.
From writing the press release to talking with the media at the press conference, media relations are among the most crucial aspects of marketing your firm.
Building your reputation with the media will give you an advantage as you build trust with them and have the opportunity to share your side of the story. When a controversial case rolls around, you’ll already have strong relationships with the media.
A big part of marketing and public relations is being proactive and not reactive. Building trust with those you represent and the media will make it easier for your firm to stand strong in the eyes of the public during a controversial case. With a strong relationship, the media will begin to provide your firm advantage in terms of coverage somewhere down the line.
Social media has taken the front row seat when it comes to brand awareness and effective marketing. If your firm isn’t on social media, they need to be. You not only need to be on social media, but you also need to be active on social media. What good does it serve to have a public social media account that offers zero value? It’s basically just existing and taking up space.
Social media allows you to create and strengthen your brand while showing the public what your firm is truly about by being transparent. This is where you get to control the narrative.
You have the potential to share parts of your firm that the website can not. Maybe it’s a behind the scenes look into your day to day law firm life, an attorney highlight, or a successful case highlight that will generate interest for months, even after it’s initially published.
These are all strategies that will draw in potential clients by keeping them connected to your firm. A great way to market your social media platforms is to have them linked on your website and vice versa. Be sure to utilize the link in bio space across all social media platforms with the link to your website.
Finally, it’s important to remember that social media is constantly changing and evolving; optimization is key. Be creative, take risks and have fun when creating content.
A digital newsletter is one of the most modern and effective tools used to market a law firm.
The value that a newsletter can offer clients is one that often helps retain clients and strengthens the relationship between firm and client. Think of it this way: with a digital newsletter, you are essentially providing clients or potential clients free information, thus adding value to their lives.
“Email marketing is a key component of any successful marketing strategy — in fact, email marketing provides companies with a potential ROI of $44 for every $1 spent. In particular, email newsletters are an essential way for your business to keep your subscribers up-to-date with relevant information, and ultimately drive more leads. Newsletters give marketers the ability to capture email sign-ups through form submissions, and nurture leads.”
Click here to familiarize yourself with some of the top-rated digital newsletter platforms!
There are so many law firms in California that it can seem overwhelming. We live in a digital age and see that the ones who make the strongest impression online will get the client. Word of mouth marketing quickly turns into looking the firm up on the internet. Make sure your firm’s brand is on point to draw prospective clients in.
For more information on how to market your law firm, check out the services we offer.