This has been a busy week behind the scenes at eLife Mentor. We’re changing some things around, and moving forward on some projects that will make this blog and website more helpful! I’m learning how to make podcasts and videos, and I’m working with my mentor Gerry Robert to build a program that will give young associates, transitional lawyers, and law students the daily tools to build a practice you can call your own.
In the meantime, I’ve taken some essential time off to gather insights on what you want. So keep commenting, either through e-mail or comments (those are the best because they feed instantly into my blackberry).
In another life, I work with nuclear power. I get daily updates from the Nuclear Energy Institute, or NEI. Here is a borrowed post from the NEI Smart Brief, courtesy Ivana Taylor and American Express Open.
Getting what you want is really just a function of three things:
1. Being clear about who your audience is and what’s important to them.
2. Taking the time to analyze the situation, design a solution, and craft a creative and visual presentation of your idea.
3. Making it easy for your audience to say yes to your idea and take action.
Ms. Taylor says you can get what you want within seven minutes:
This is a simple formula that you can use to structure your thoughts and your message in a way that will literally take your audience by the hand and lead them exactly where you want them to go, while informing and educating them about the situation.
Here’s her outline, minute by minute:
:30 – 1:00 minute
What’s happening? This is the first statement of the presentation – but it will probably be the last thing you actually write. Starting your presentation with an authentic statement about what’s happening will get everyone on the same page. After you make your “What’s Happening” statement, the little voice inside your audience’s head should say something like “WHAT? How can you say that?” Your “What’s Happening” statement should be no more than two or three sentences.
1:00 – 3:00 minute
How did we get here? In this section of the outline, you get to prove your point. This is the section where you place all your data, charts, and graphs. Don’t overwhelm your audience with numbers and tables. Make the title of each graph what you want your audience to be left with. Instead of “2011 Sales By Region” use “Southern Region Exceeds Sales Goals.” Your audience will thank you because they won’t have to analyze the data themselves and you can move on with your presentation.
3:00 – 5:00 minutes
What will we do? At this stage, the little voice inside your audience’s head is begging for solutions. Now you have them where you want them. They are eager to hear your ideas. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Take the time to present your idea in a tangible, visible way. Use props or demonstrations to engage your audience and get them living into the future of your idea in action.
5:00 – 6:00 minutes
What’s the payoff? You have a great idea, but why is it good for your audience? That’s what they will want to know and you get to tell them. Be clear and descriptive about the benefits. Use lots of adjectives to describe how wonderful the future will be with your solution in place.
6:00 – 7:00 minutes
How do we get started? By the time you get to this stage of the outline, your audience will be excited and ready to do something. Tell your audience what you want them to do and make it easy for them to take action right away. If there is something to be signed, make sure that you have the forms, the pens, and anything else that’s required.
This will work anytime, whether you’re convincing a client to hire you, a jury to like you, or a judge to rule in your favor. Give it a shot sometime, and comment back!