Five Ways to Extend the Life of Your Speech
"How did your speech go?" Lance asked sister Linda as she walked through the door of L & L Law.
"Great," said Linda. "I think the whole chamber of commerce was there. I was asked lots of questions about wills and trusts and handed out all my cards. I think we might get some business out of it."
"I think so too," said Lance, "and I have some ideas on other ways to use your information."
Lance suggested the following:
Give the speech a new audience. There are several ways to connect with another group interested in the same topic. Start by asking the people who invited you to speak if they know of others who might be interested in your topic. Next, search for conferences, forums, or seminars held by independent event organizations, associations, industry trade and professional groups, academic institutions, and think tanks that relate to their interests. Often, these organizers are looking for speakers who contribute to the group.
Write an article. The research is done, you've created some great PowerPoint visuals, and the material has been tested in front of a crowd that asked a lot of questions. All it will take is an hour or two to turn your speech into an article. Editors are always looking for content of interest to their readers. Linda could start with the chamber newsletter, a local legal newspaper, or local and state bar journals.
Blog it. It could be your own blog, the firm's blog, or a national blog for the chamber. The article needs a new format—shorter, with bullets and lists, and less formal. Remember to include a link to your profile in the SBM Member Directory.
Bespoke speech. A bespoke speech, like a bespoke suit, is tailored to the needs of the individual client. Offer a private legal education seminar to your biggest clients on topics of the most concern to them. You can offer to do it in person, at their facility, as a password protected webinar, or invite the key parties to your office. This provides a secure setting where clients can learn how a current legal issue might affect them.
Stay informed. Take time to research upcoming events and opportunities. Try Google Alerts. Enter your search terms and Google will let you know when events in your practice area are happening or when event speaking proposals are being accepted.
Preparing and giving a speech takes a lot of valuable time and effort. Using the material before different groups and in many outlets makes the whole procedure worthwhile.
Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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