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3 Ways to Abridge Communication with Your Clients

Try these tips that will guarantee effective and efficient communication without overwhelming your clients.

  • Ditch the Legal Jargon

Within the world of law, it is appropriate to use legal jargon amongst others in the profession. However, it is important to use simpler language with your clients.  We often forget that our clients are not lawyers, and the last thing you want is to make them feel inferior or confused while conveying messages to them. For instance, instead of using legal terms such as append, Choate, nul, ordinance and preclude, try simplifying by using attach, complete, no one, local law and prevent.

  • Explain Your Reasoning

Make sure that you are on the same page as your client when it comes to their case. They need to know that you fully understand their goals and have those goals in mind when you are making decisions. After all, happy clients make your job run a lot smoother. It is important to remember that when you begin working on their case, you need to be able to effectively communicate the reasoning behind your choices.  Always offer to clarify or explain things further to ensure they have a real understanding of the information you provide to them. This will not just help the case itself but improve your credibility and trust amongst clients. Lastly, have an explanation prepared at all times both for them and for the court.

  • Give Ample Facts, but Do Not Overwhelm Them

Although it is important to keep your clients in the loop, it is equally as important to not completely bombard them with information. As you advance within your career, you will find that, sometimes, less is more. It is important to also recognize that each client is unique. A recommendation would be to tailor the way you convey information to each client. Keep it short and simple. This is where all of your education, skills and knowledge of the legal practice and effective communication will come into play.

4 Ways to Energize Your Scripted Speech

Authenticity is key to giving a speech. Speeches you prewrite can sometimes come off as fake and robotic. To strengthen the overall effectiveness and authenticity of your speech, follow a few key steps.

  1. Make your big choices first.

The use of varying emotion is vital to any successful speech and the impact it has on your audience. One tip is to use highlight your speech, marking various tones and emotions with different colors. After you do that, look at the speech and make sure there are enough turning points to keep the audience interested, but don’t bounce back and forth between two separate tones. It could confuse your audience as to the point you are trying to make.

  1. Know the information you are conveying and why.

It’s important that you disseminate the information you are going to be speaking about. It’s easy to get lost in a list of words and lose focus of the meaning behind those words. Make sure you fully understand the topic you are speaking about and that you can answer questions about it. It will improve your confidence level knowing you are skilled in the meaning of your words.

  1. Rehearse.

Giving a speech and reciting a paper are two different things. You don’t need to know your speech word for word. In fact, public speakers will sometimes run into this issue by trying to recite their speech perfectly. If you forget a word, however, your mind can go blank and you can forget where to start up again next. Rehearse by keeping bullet points of your main points on the side. In essence, public speaking is going to be somewhat impromptu. Be able to pull yourself back to your talking point if you misstep on a word to finish your speech with a bang.

  1. Deliver it effectively.

If possible, a good idea is to visit the venue before you make your speech. Visualize yourself in front of the crowd and give the speech you envisioned. Make eye contact and slowly build the energy up until the very end. Remember, it’s okay to start your speech on a subtle note and build energy until the end, just don’t get depleted before you finish.

How to Master Time Management as a Lawyer

Time management is a critical skill but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It boils down to what works for you and how you’re able to maneuver through your personal and professional affairs. Try incorporating these 4 behaviors into your routine and watch how they transform your life:

 

Make a to-do List

Planning out your days by writing them out in advance can make all the difference. Try it out and see if it benefits your productivity. Invest in a daily planner to keep your schedule at your fingertips. This will help you to buckle down and get your tasks in order which will only help prevent stress, over-booking and potential client disappointment.

Utilize Your Smartphone

Technology has come a long way, and there are millions of apps for Apple and Android that specifically target lawyers. These apps were created to assist people in the law business with their time, money, productivity and clientele satisfaction. Some apps worth trying include: MyCase, Practice Panther, LogMeIn, and FastCase.

Keep Your Workspace Clutter-Free

Nobody likes a cluttered desk, much less a cluttered life. And in so many ways, your workspace is a reflection of your life.  Taking the necessary steps to get your desk or office organized will ensure a neat, orderly and efficient space to make for clear thinking.  Doing this will also make it much easier for you to easily access papers, invitations and announcements that could have otherwise been misplaced. Do yourself the favor and organize your area­­­­—you’ll thank yourself later.

Sort Out Your Tasks

It is imperative to understand the difference between tasks that require your immediate attention and tasks that can wait—so make sure you learn to prioritize. Tasks that are critical to respond quickly to include: meeting important deadlines, responding to emails, answering calls, being physically present for court hearings, depositions or business meetings. Whereas important but less demanding tasks may include: writing weekly blogs for your firm, following up with clients and evaluating case files.

How to Maintain Relationships with Journalists as a Practicing PR Professional

Help them with their stories.

Your job as a PR professional is to make journalists’ jobs easier, not harder. Foster your relationships with journalists by supplying them with the information they need to formulate their stories accurately. Journalists will remember that you gave them information in the past and will find you more reliable to work with in the future.

Work with them, not against them.

While they have different goals in mind, journalists and PR professionals bring their best work to the table when they are working together. You both have different agendas to fill but your work and information can benefit one another. Ask how you could be of use to each other to improve your chances of both being successful.

Treat them with courtesy and respect.

Journalists receive hundreds of pitches a week, so they have many different story options to choose from to cover. Refrain from giving a negative attitude if they are too busy to respond right away. Have empathy for their work and how busy they are. They can’t say no to every single pitch, so if they choose to cover your story or even respond to your inquiry, show gratitude and be thankful for their time.

Don’t act like they work for you.

Some PR professionals just expect that journalists help them out with their own work. Many journalists have different niches that they tend to write about, and not every pitch is going to be a match for them. It is your job as a PR professional to find the right journalist to send your potential story ideas to. It is not their job to fix your errors; make sure you are proofreading and factchecking your work prior to sending it.

How to Sustain your Mental Health as a Law Professional

Having a career in law can be gratifying yet overwhelmingly stressful. Here are some ways to nurture your mental physical and emotional well-being to ensure that you deliver your best self to clients.

Sweat it Out

Regardless if you get a workout before or after work, make sure you are helping your body out in the healthiest way possible by getting out and active. Exercise is more important than you may think. Getting your blood flowing improves your mood and focus while increasing your energy levels for the day or day to come. By working out at least a few times a week, you will decrease your chances of feeling sluggish or unmotivated.  Not only that, but exercise is said to release serotonin and endorphins which aid in your body having the ability to wind down after a busy or stressful work day and avoid feelings of depression.

Sleep

It can take some time for your brain to shut down from a long day’s work. It’s important, however, to make sure you get enough hours of proper rest and allow your brain to rest and your thoughts to rejuvenate. The mental focus and energy that clients, partners, colleagues, opposing counsels, judges, can demand from you can cause you to feel burnt out at work. you can bet that you will arrive to work refreshed and ready to take on any stresses the day may present to you.

Put Aside Some “You” Time

Have an outlet outside of work that you can use to release emotions that negatively impact your mental health. While it is understandable that you may be limited on the number of hours you have in a day for recreational activities, take some time for yourself. Do something you genuinely enjoy. Read a book, start painting classes, join a sports club or take that trip you’ve been thinking about.  Taking on a hobby and doing activities you enjoy create more room for mental happiness and help with your work-life balance.

Separate Work from Personal Life

Many law professionals bring their work home mentally. In order to preserve your mental well-being, it’s essential to separate your work life from your personal life. If a day didn’t go as planned or if you didn’t win that case you’ve been working on, have the ability to separate those work emotions from the ones affecting your personal life and connections. This will help keep your mental health in check, which will then benefit you when it’s time for you to focus on your work and clients.

4 Bad Writing Habits and How to Break Them

It’s shown that the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a new and better one. In this digital age, there are some essential habits that all public relations professionals should implement in their business communication.

Ignoring your audience.

Communication is now a two-way connection, meaning your audience isn’t just reading your content anymore. They have thoughts and opinions that should be addressed and taken into consideration when writing for your business. Just because your company has a job to do and an agenda to adhere to, you still want to make sure that your content is what your readers want to hear. Think of your audience before you begin writing and make sure it is something that they will find beneficial to their own lives.

Burying the lead.

Your audience can’t read your mind. When writing content that will be read by audience members, an important rule is to put the most important information first. Online viewers especially don’t normally read through the whole content, especially when the main idea is buried somewhere in the middle. Convey the most important and relevant information first to increase the chances that your audience will want to continue reading your content.

Leaning on “crutch” phrases.

It’s common for writers to use vague phrases to convey messages or connect two thoughts. Delete phrases such as “as many of you know” or “it is worth noting.” The words are meaningless in front of the important information. Just say what the message is and try to transition your sentences and thoughts in more thought-provoking and specific ways.

Overusing complex words.

Just because a word is more complex does not mean that your message has any more conviction. In fact, many audience members will often overlook words that they don’t understand, which can hurt your chances of properly conveying the message that you want. Use clear and concise words that are easy for your audience members to understand that won’t require them to whip out a dictionary.