On March 15, the Philadelphia Local Group put on its acting shoes for its monthly lunch program hosted at White & Williams LLP. Sharon Geller, actress and creator of Improv for Lawyers, and Robert Kates, Founder of Kates Media, engaged the group with a few exercises to illustrate tips and techniques to help legal marketers as they increasingly incorporate video into their thought leadership and content marketing strategies.
It can be uncomfortable to appear on camera, so Sharon and Rob shared how we can teach our attorneys to improve their presence and project credibility in video, interviews and public speaking engagements, similarly to presenting in front of a jury.
94% of communication is through body language. Therefore, attorneys should be aware that their non-verbal cues are vital to how they are perceived. Whether they are in a courtroom, presenting to a client or speaking into a camera, their confidence will appear through their eye contact, posture and overall physicality. But how do you exude this confidence? Here are some tips from the presenters:
- Know your audience: This will help target the conversation, know whether to be humorous or serious, and connect with those to whom you are speaking.
- Maintain eye contact: Whether you are speaking in front of your audience or directly through the camera, this will make you more likeable, showing you are warm, personable and sincere.
- Avoid large meals.
- Hold strong posture by planting feet shoulder-width apart.
- Breathe from diaphragm.
- Step away from the podium or microphone.
- Do not read: Know your topic so well that you are presenting in more of a conversation style.
- Use easy to understand language and speak from the heart and head.
- Own your space: Work the room, but in a controlled form.
When lawyers are in the courtroom, they should feel and appear authoritative. It is equally important to maintaining and convey this same presence on camera. It helps your lawyers to demonstrate that they are invested in the subject matter at hand, enables them to keep their composure should something unexpected occur, and truly allows them to tell the story of their practice capabilities or a matter. Live video training is a very important skill to have because it pushes many people out of their comfort zones, forcing them to quickly think on their feet and making them a better public speaker in the process.