Rainmaking Recommendation #139: Speech, Speech!

(Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/iosphere

(Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/iosphere


You’ve been asked to present a seminar!  This is great news because public speaking can be a fantastic way to create a book of business.

So you’ve given your presentation and you were amazing.  Why aren’t the phones ringing with new clients clamoring for your services?

There may be a number of reasons why you didn’t get any clients from standing in front of a room full of people:

  • They weren’t your ideal audience.

While I have no issues with attorneys participating in CLE seminars in their practice area, what you are doing is speaking to people who are your competition.  You should give back to your industry and help to educate other attorneys.  But, the likelihood of getting a referral from this audience is slim.  Yes, there may be times when conflicts of interest will arise and then an attorney who sat in on your seminar may refer you clients that they cannot ethically retain.  Instead, you should be giving presentations to your ideal clients; you need to fish where the fish are.  The fish are your referral sources and potential clients.


  • You didn’t speak their language.

Every target, every niche has a language they use.  Attorneys, on the other hand have a totally different language- legalese.  Using words that should be reserved for a brief or an oral argument not only will leave your audience confused, it will probably bore them to tears.  Instead, if you are speaking to a specific industry, use their terms and language to get your points across.


  • You didn’t get a list of the attendees.

For every speech you present, you should try to get a list of the attendees.  If the organizer of the event is not you, then ask for a list of the attendees.  In some instances, the organizers will balk at the idea of providing you this list.  This is usually because, in the past, some other speaker has taken advantage of this list and spammed them to death.  If this is the case, ask the audience, at the end of your presentation, to provide their business cards or contact information if they would like to know more or be on your newsletter list.


  • You didn’t follow up.

Regardless of how you get the attendees names, you must follow up with each and every one of them.  A simple note or email saying “thank you for attending the presentation; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me” is all you need to do to start the relationship ball rolling.

Public speaking can be a great way to showcase your knowledge.  But just speaking for speaking sake isn’t going to get you the clients you want.  Be proactive – find a way to reach out to your audiences.


And speaking of presentations:  If you are in a law firm with 10 or more attorneys in NY, NJ or PA and have a conference room, you can schedule a Rainmaking Training Seminar with Ethics CLEs at your convenience.  Please call or email for more information, topics and prices.


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