Sunday, April 15, 2007

Speaking Engagements for Attorneys--Don't Just Speak on Lawyering

One of the most commonly discussed business development tactics for attorneys is to secure speaking engagements and panel seats. The search is for groups and events that want to hear about a legal topic, preferably something that demonstrates the expertise of the lawyer talking.

To this kind of thinking I say a hearty, "Nay" (well--kind of hearty). While it goes without question that lawyers are the best experts to talk about legal stuff, there is so much more a lawyer could talk about to win alliances and new business opportunities. Try to stick with me on this. Lawyers are renowned for much more than performing legal tasks. Lawyers are seen as:
  • Business counselors and coaches - "Here are my choices. What do you think?"
  • Connected VIPs - "You know so many people. How do you do it?"
  • Mentors - "How can I advance my career and climb the ladder as you have done?"
  • Business leaders - "How can I run my business in a better way?"
  • Philanthropists - "How can I get involved in my community and make a difference like you?
  • Teachers - "Help me understand this trend or that" and, "Could you offer me your insight?"
When in search of speaking engagements do not limit yourself (lawyers) to sharing the knowledge of what you bill for. Think also about the topics you've become adept at in the course of serving your clients and developing new business. Venture this little bit outside your "box" and you'll find engagements galore and an immediate spike in opportunity.