In all businesses, Presentation Matters. As an attorney or legal professional, you have been through thousands of presentations, either in the courtroom, CLEs, client meetings, or elsewhere. You've also surely seen more than your share of "bad" PowerPoint presentations.
Whether your firm is using presentation technology to educate other lawyers, clients or prospects, using this technology at mediation and trial, looking for a way to better explain complex concepts to your clients, or simply trying to be sure your law firm's logo and website reflect the level of professionalism your client will receive from you, Presentation DOES matter.
A presentation, no matter what the content, has a life cycle. From concept to design to organization to set up, every stage of the presentation is critical. If you want your firm to be taken seriously, the presentations and communications that come out of your office must portray a professional, competent, and consistent message and theme.
Consistency starts at a very basic level. Every letter, fax, and email that are sent under the company name are done so with the same letterhead, the same fax cover sheet, and the same structure in the email signatures. When your client, or prospect, receives communications from your office, they should maintain consistency regardless of who is signing or sending the communication.
When a client or prospect receives a letter from their attorney under one letterhead, then another letter from an associate with a different letterhead and a logo that has been improperly stretched across a margin, and then receives their bill for services under a completely different format, that simply appears unprofessional and disjointed. They might think your firm is made up of a bunch of tiny islands, acting independently of one another, and without knowledge of what occurs on the other islands. That does not install confidence in your prospects or your clients.
Start with the basics.
Create a template for your basic letterhead that is stored in a central location and used by everyone. Enforce its use. When you come across a letter that did not use the firm's template – ask the sender why it wasn't used. Reinforce the use of the template and explain the importance of consistency.
Create an email signature with a properly formatted firm logo if desired, and make it the same for everyone. Determine what information will always be included in the email signature, and enforce the consistency. For example, if the firm has a policy against publicizing direct dial numbers, be sure that some faction of the firm is not including their direct dial number in their email signature. Make it easy to communicate with your firm by breeding consistency in everything your firm does. Don't make your client or prospect wonder "Why does Jenn give her direct dial in her email signature, but Josh doesn't?" Consistency.
Create a Power Point background template that is required for all presentations done by the firm, both to internal and external audiences.
Make sure the logo and design artwork you use to represent your firm are professional, and can be reproduced in print and electronically at a high quality level. Do not allow skewed or blurred firm logos to reach the public eye, ever. This portrays a lack of attention to detail, or an acquiescence to sloppy work – neither of which are good qualities in legal professionals.
If you want to learn more about why Presentations Matters, as well as how to begin building impressive, professional presentations for your firm, join us on January 28, 2014 at 2:00 Eastern for a Free Webinar, where our own Josh Hoeppner will demonstrate the importance of these concepts, and also share several presentation tips and tricks. Click HERE to register.