As a professional Lawyer, you're asked to do a presentation to a group in an interview or at work.
How do you react? Run for the hills?
Follow these simple steps by our legal recruitment team, many of whom are qualified attorneys, and have the audience eating out of the palm of your hand.
It goes without saying that preparing and rehearsing your presentation is important, but not nearly as important as the way you actually practise. Claire Vogelpath-De Longh, an admitted attorney and legal recruitment consultant at Robert Walters says, "If you pigeon learn your lines then the moment you lose your path the whole presentation can fall apart leaving you red faced. The trick is to sit back and think what your audience really wants from you, then deliver that. Think about why they are there, think about them and you'll have a satisfied audience."
The key is to view the presentation as a chance to bring the audience up to speed with a project. Picture yourself as the host of a party where you want the guests to feel engaged. Making the presentation less formal and more conversational, particularly by asking questions, helps engage the audience and build up a rapport.
Say goodbye to the fear factor
The word "presentation" can send some people running for the hills or breaking out in a cold sweat. The key is to view the presentation as a chance to bring the audience up to speed with a project. Picture yourself as the host of a party where you want the guests to feel engaged. Making the presentation less formal and more conversational, particularly by asking questions, helps engage the audience and build up a rapport.
Fear factor: 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health
Nic Rainier, a qualified attorney and legal recruitment consultant at Robert Walters says, "Be yourself and structure your talk around what you know you can deliver clearly and knowledgably. All too often the idea of presenting can turn other confident legal professionals into quivering wreaks and that will affect you ability to present. So play to your strengths and be yourself."
Make it memorable
The least memorable presentations are those where the speaker reads lines from a PowerPoint presentation. All too often people want to deliver their content and get off the stage. That's what fear does to people. So consider the way you are going to make the audience feel and ask whether you'd be entertained or interested by what you are talking about.
Presentation dos and don'ts
- Do dress to impress - you want to be taken seriously
- Don't let your body language let you down - stand up straight, smile, and don't wave your hand around like you're drowning
- Do make eye contact with your audience
- Don't whisper, but don't shout either
- Do take your time when speaking, rush and you will make mistakes
- Do move around a bit. By moving around a bit you will stay relaxed and appear confident
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For more career advice please contact:
Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
+27 (0) 11 881 2414