Public speaking can provide a great opportunity to showcase your knowledge and ability as an attorney, while hopefully attracting potential new clients. Many lawyers routinely use speaking engagements to successfully market their firms and it makes perfect sense.
Lawyers are often called upon to provide clarification or explanation about current events, recent court cases or business matters. Litigators speak publically every time they advocate for clients in the courtroom… and a great closing argument can be an effective tool for attracting new clients. But is public speaking right for every attorney and every firm? Let’s talk about it.
Not everyone can be a compelling public speaker. It takes skill and personal attributes to hold the attention of an audience for an extended period of time. No one wants to sit and watch a nervous speaker bumble through a boring speech. You need confidence, personality, and the ability to present information in a manner that is easily comprehended. If you have these necessities covered, consider the following challenges to implementing public speaking as a marketing tool.
- Preparation takes time – You can’t go into a public speaking event unprepared. You need to do your research and ensure that you are providing accurate, up-to-date information. Once the research is done, you need to organize your presentation and create visual accents when appropriate. None of this happens with the snap of a finger. Adequate preparation takes time, so make sure you have some to give before committing to a speaking engagement.
- Booking takes effort – While it is possible for a speaking engagement to fall from the sky, you generally have to put in the work of establishing yourself within the public speaking circuit. Not only must you identify opportunities, but you must also put in the work to secure those opportunities. If you aren’t willing to put forth the effort, there’s no reason to start down the road.
- There are no guarantees – Remember, as with all marketing strategies, there are no guarantees with public speaking. There’s no guarantee that you will secure engagements and there is no guarantee that your appearances will result in paying clients. So, make sure you weigh the effort with the risk before making a decision.
Public speaking can quite possibly be the spark your practice needs to reach the level. Just be sure to consider the pros and cons before committing to the process.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a Virginia based writer with a passion for all things legal. As a former domestic relations attorney, she understands the challenge of determining the best fee structure for your practice. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.