If only my folks had more confidence

Do you have at least 5 people in your firm you’d like to promote if only they had more confidence?

  • Maybe you have someone almost ready to take the first chair on some upcoming litigation, but they doubt themselves
  • You want to delegate a speaking engagement at your industry conference to someone who has been assisting other speakers but are unsure they can handle the pressure
  • You believe it’s almost time to offer the next client to an associate who is earning your respect but you aren’t sure they can act independantly
  • Your new hire has great energy but still doubts themselves when it’s time to plan a strategy
  • An associate who does great work independently but hasn’t spoken up much during meetings

If you have anything like the above, involve them in a public speaking program. The benefits they gain will affect not only their public behaviors but also how they view their own abilities.

Many attorneys, even after their first 5 years of practice, believe they are an imposter to the profession. But when they get involved in public speaking programs that push them outside their comfort zones, they learn they have more value than just book sense, research and writing abilities. They begin honing their speaking skills and suddenly their self-esteem motivates growth in leadership and accountability.

Whatever you do, try to enhance your attorney confidence by creating these things for them:

  • regular practice with speaking to groups, litigator or not
  • opportunity to practice planning and rehearsing a message
  • opportunity to respond after being interrupted
  • opportunity to speak extemporaneously
  • opportunity to give and receive constructive feedback
  • opportunity to see themselves in action (recording) after speaking to groups

If your professional development programming does not include focus on public speaking, now could be the time to do something about it. It may be time for me to bring you my Peer Presentation Group program. A 2-hour program of 6 sessions, this group is made up of 5 – 10 participants from your firm, per group.

During the PPG, your team will learn the 6 common presentation flaws and how to avoid them. How to build 3 levels of confidence for their next presentation, how to respond when interrupted, to speak extemporaneously, to hone their message, to give and receive constructive feedback and to shift from anxiety to enthusiasm when speaking. The peer presentation group is a powerful way to enhance your team’s confidence.

Part of confidence-building is that moment when we roll up our sleeves and step outside our comfort zone. Do most of us enjoy working on our public speaking? No. Most of us don’t. That love/hate response of getting better at something that often gives us anxiety is common. But that’s what confidence comes from. It’s accepting the invitation to speak next, to ask for how well things worked and to learn what needs improved. It’s getting the chance to make our message better. It’s watching others in action deal with the same challenges we deal with and learning that we aren’t the only ones who feel uncomfortable.

Encourage your new attorneys to join Toastmasters. Challenge your associates to take a public speaking class at the local university. Or best of all, let me know when you’re ready to have me facilitate and coach a Peer Presentation Group.

Do you have some attorneys who are almost ready for that next big thing? Then you have an opportunity to help them build their confidence.

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On February 3rd, 2014, posted in: confidence, public speaking by