Attorney Presentations: Is Yours Up to Snuff?

For those of you familiar with SlideShare.com, the online presentation software portal recently announced the winner of their 2010 "World's Best Presentation" contest.
A design firm in Honolulu won with "Smoke - The Convenient Truth".
Nearly 80 slides long, it packs a graphical punch, bringing home the ravages of cigarette smoking. Strong messaging, meaningful graphics and stark lay-outs emphasize their points.
One of the judges, leadership and communications coach Carmine Gallo, compiled what he thought were the 4 winning strategies to a stellar presentation:
  1. Put your audience first
  2. Sketch the story
  3. One idea per slide
  4. Take your time to design--the winner said it takes them 60-90 hours to complete a project.

Of course, this got me to thinking about some of the law firm presentations that I've seen in the past and I had to cringe.

Remember the goal of the presentation: educate the audience. And most people in this day and age want to be entertained when educated. Ask any teacher. A combination of personality, immediacy and valuable information is what makes a great presentation.

When marketing, the presentation is just the appetizer that whets the appetite. The lawyer's presentation is an opportunity to demonstrate his or her persuasiveness, creativity and intelligence. And if done well, the presenter will be stampeded at the end of the presentation and peppered with questions. I've seen it happen.

A slide crammed with data is not the way to go. A wise winnowing of influential and impactful data is far more persuasive.

Want to learn some lessons in persuasive presentations? Just take a gander at SlideShare's other contenders.

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