How to communicate using BadAss’D Biz Ink techniques!
How to communicate using BadAss’D Biz Ink techniques!
When I run on weekends I always seem to cross paths with the same people. I try to be kind and give the runner’s wave, smile and sometimes say hi. Most of the regulars do the same back. In that brief 5 second interaction, you can just tell these weekend warriors are very nice and likable people.
In court, I always try to be helpful to others. When I’m approached by strangers at the court house who ask me random legal questions, I help when I can.
No matter how stressed or overwhelmed I am, I try to be kind and likeable. It’s not always easy but it is something I just do.
These are all lollipop moments and they go a long way to developing rapport with others. During the communication process, lollipop moments will get you the attention and cooperation of your audience.
What’s a lollipop moment? In about 6 minutes, Drew Dudley from TEDX Toronto explains it better than I ever can…
Good trial lawyers share their lollipops with the court staff and jury. Great trial lawyers do this too but also share their lollipops with the other party and his lawyers.
Add a real smile when handing out your lollipops and watch the magic happen. Guy Kawasaki explains how to share a meaningful smile in this post.
Want to be a better communicator? Want to be a better person. Hand out as many lollipops as you can in life. People will enjoy being around and listening to you. You’ll enjoy the results.
I’m in the middle of reading and enjoying “Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds” by Carmine Gallo. Carmine’s book is excellent and I recommend it to anyone interested in improving his or her speaking skills.
So far, what really hits home for me is the fact that many of the approaches Carmine observes TED presenters doing have been used by good trial lawyers for decades. Reading Carmine’s interviews and observations, and watching the TED videos of these highly intelligent and exceptional speakers reminded me of some closing arguments I’ve had the pleasure of watching over the years.
One of my favorite trial techniques is to push the emotional buttons of my jurors. I was fascinated when Carmine shared his thoughts about this approach while discussing Bill Gates’ 2009 TED talk.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the presentation, Gates talked about the important need for all of us to help solve global poverty and childhood deaths. One of the many causes he, his wife Melinda, and their foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, support with their time and resources is the eradication of malaria in poor countries in Africa and Asia. At the time of his presentation, it was reported that there were a staggering 500 million new cases each year.
During his 18 minute presentation, Gates shared the fact that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. While stressing the point that all human beings are susceptible to being infected, he held up a glass jar filled with mosquitoes and opened the jar letting the insects fly into the crowd.
The audience reacted. Some were stunned and others cheered. All immediately responded in an emotional fashion. After a moment, Gates told the audience the mosquitoes were malaria free but by then he had made his point.
The mosquito demonstration was emotionally charged and created a heightened state of emotion. The audience remembered the message. Gates’ TED video had over 2.5 million views and Carmine reports there are now more than 500,000 links to the Ted speech.
This was a memorable jaw dropping moment delivered with surprise. The release of mosquitoes took up less than 5 percent of the total presentation. That being said, it’s also the part of the speech that has kept people talking about this particular cause.
This wow moment is what got people to pay attention to Gates’ message and share it with the world. You need to do the same thing in your presentations.
Carmine reports in his book that molecular scientist, John Medina, believes emotionally charged events, also referred to as “flashbulb memories”, not only persist longer in our memories but are also recalled with greater accuracy. He explains this is because a part of our brain called the amygdala (located in the prefrontal cortex) uses neurotransmitter dopamine. The memory you have from your experience during an emotionally charged event tells your brain to store a sort of chemical Post-it note, like you might stick on the side of your computer monitor, to help with later recall.
Pictures and graphic events are the best ways to create these emotionally charged events. Trial lawyers have known this for years. That’s the reason why we bring into the courtroom and use demonstrative evidence like blowups, models, broken products, and even real people to help make our point. It’s the reason we use emotional and impassioned arguments to bring home a case for our clients.
University of Toronto psychology professor Rebecca Todd confirmed these findings. Her work, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, reported that an audience who sees or observes something that is emotionally arousing actually does so with greater clarity. This results in better long-term memory.
In your next presentation, emotionally arouse your audience on one or more of the important issues. Give this some thought and plan ahead. Again, according to Todd, if you go about this correctly, you’ll create higher levels of norepinephrine and stress hormones in your audience that will result in enhanced memory.
You’re customer, client or audience will remember the emotional event included in your presentation and create a mental Post-it note. The chances of your empowered audience (last week’s post) taking action will increase exponentially.
Carmine explains throughout this section of his book that the brain is wired to remember emotionally vivid events. It forgets the mundane. I know he’s on to something because I’ve watched my juries respond to emotionally charged arguments for almost 30 years.
Appreciate this fact and always develop and deliver your presentation in a way that connects to your audience’s emotional responses. Do this and they will absorb the information more vividly, create mental Post-it notes and remember your message.
One more thing. Make sure to get Carmine’s book. It’s very good and will make you a better public speaker.
Last Monday afternoon, I had the honor of speaking at two of Professor Niklas Myhr’s business and marketing classes at Chapman University. We talked about many of the different ways I’m using the internet and social media to expand my sphere of influence and build new relationships around the world. I shared ideas and examples about how the students can start doing the same thing.
One of the approaches I tried to highlight is just how powerful storytelling is when it comes to making your point and impacting others. Without telling them I was doing this, I started off my presentation with the story about when I decided to become a lawyer and during the process, how I learned how important it is to develop and build good long-term relationships.
Although not in as much detail, I shared my personal story about not being too comfortable around professionals while growing up. My focus in school was on almost everything other than academics and because of this, I just didn’t think I was smart enough to contribute anything meaningful when communicating with people like company executives, doctors and lawyers.
In my last year or two of high school, a new neighbor moved in up the street and he happened to be a lawyer. Just between us, the first time I met Fred I was extremely intimidated and didn’t say much. This guy was one of the smartest people I had ever met and I was afraid of saying something that would make me look foolish.
Over time, Fred started to join me on my morning runs. My dad and I spent many weekends dove hunting with him in the early cold Arizona mornings and sometimes we’d fish at Pena Blanca Lake down by the Mexican border. On long weekends, we’d cross over into Mexico and scuba dive in the Sea of Cortez. We got know each other pretty well and eventually became good friends.
Spending time with someone hunting, fishing and camping on the beaches really gives you the chance to get to know someone. For me, I learned that Fred was just another one of the guys. Sure, he was a successful lawyer but outside the courtroom he was easier to hang out with and talk to than most people.
Fast forward a few years. In college I had a few friends who, at one time or another, needed the help of a good lawyer. Guess who I referred them to?
I shared Fred’s name with all my friends and even one college professor. I trusted Fred and because of our conversations and experiences, I knew he was a man of good character and an excellent trial lawyer. Because of our relationship, he was my “go to” guy when it came to legal matters and referrals.
Fred is no longer with us. He left his own unique mark on the legal system in Tucson and Arizona law. Even though Fred is not around anymore to make me laugh or give me advice, the life lessons he taught me about the importance and power of relationships are still embedded firmly in my mind.
People do business with other people because of the relationships they build. While my relationship with Fred was built before the internet was around, I told the Chapman University students that I use the same principles today, in an even more effective fashion, to build relationships using social media.
I know that, for whatever reasons, many people don’t trust lawyers. Some are even a bit intimidated by them. Because of this, many people avoid calling lawyers when they need legal help. This can be a big mistake because when they finally do get the courage to call, often times the damage is done and it’s too late to help.
Understanding all this, one of my goals on social is to be a digital version of Fred. I always want to be myself and knock down the unnecessary artificial barriers that might possibly keep people from connecting with me. I want people to feel and know that it is OK to contact me and talk. It’s no big deal. I’m just like their next door neighbor and enjoy helping people.
My primary message to the students is that social allows you eliminate barriers and connect with people on a scale like never before in history. I encouraged them to embrace this new digital technology and human evolutionary process and use it to their advantage.
Just like I learned that Fred enjoyed jogging, hunting, telling good jokes and scuba diving, I reminded the students that they can use social to show and share their interest and passions with the world. I wanted them to know that it’s OK, in fact critically important, to remind others that you’re human and have a family and life just like your client or customer.
Yes we did talk about the specifics of certain platforms and the importance of approaching each platform in the right context. But, I think when the afternoon was all said and done, the message I was really trying to share was that when it comes to building a digital footprint, everything you do online should be focused on helping, building trust, and developing relationships.
I also reminded the two guys talking in the back of the room who were sitting next to their skateboards propped up against the wall that often times in life, people never get a second chance to make a good first impression. I understand where they were coming from because that was me in high school and college. In any case, they both “got it” and participated with good questions and comments during the rest of my presentation.
I never thought I’d say this but I really enjoyed going back to school. All of these young adults are going to do great things in this world. If they take me up on my offer, I can’t wait to do all I can to help open doors for them. A few have already reached out to me on Twitter. What happens next is of course up to them!
Here are some pictures from Monday afternoon and some of the students shared their thoughts on Twitter using #NiklasandMitch. A partial summary of tweets is below.
At the end of the presentation of my evidence (sometimes several weeks later) I make sure the bookend I finish up with, the one on the right, is the person who I feel will make the greatest emotional impact with the jury.
The formula to persuading 12 complete strangers is multi-layered and complicated. But at the top of my success list is making sure I always start and finish with the correct left and right bookends.
The first bookend is one of establishing the facts, credibility and trust. Starting with the first witness, I explain the facts of my case. I don’t ask my jury to do anything other than simply listen to the evidence.
Sometimes, if I’m representing someone who was harmed by a very unlikeable defendant, I call the defendant as my first witness. I’ll share certain facts and tell my client’s story through the direct examination of the defendant or CEO of the defendant corporation.
Each witness I call to the stand and each piece of evidence I introduce and talk about explains and describes the facts. I’m honest and don’t exaggerate the situation. I respect and avoid any unnecessary wasted time or inconvenience to my jury.
The second bookend is all about showing and leaving my jury with a memory of the raw physical and emotional harm, loss and damages. Once all the facts are shared, and that includes being the first lawyer to be transparent and also share the bad facts, I then grab the other bookend from my bag and focus my time and attention on the physical and emotional harm and damages to my client. The game plan is to make sure my last witness leaves nothing on the table and his or her emotional testimony leaves my jury with a lasting impression as to the harm and impact on my client’s life.
By using the right bookend correctly, at the end of the trial, the jury understands and appreciates how my client’s life has forever been changed by the wrongful conduct of the careless or intentionally bad defendant. They get it. They don’t feel as though my client or I are reaching for something that isn’t reasonable.
Jurors also tend to remember the last thing they hear during a trial. Saving the emotionally focused right-side bookend for the end of the trial also helps plant seeds that may be harvested later in the jury deliberation room.
If I flipped things around and instead started my trial with the right bookend first, the arguments just wouldn’t have any impact or credibility. The jury wouldn’t have any context to properly absorb the information, harm and loss.
You can and should do the same thing when you’re making a presentation to a single person or large audience.
It’s important to start with the left bookend to build a relationship based upon credibility and trust. Sharing facts and details is critical. Being transparent and the first to acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service will allow you to earn the respect and trust of your audience.
While you’re doing this you need to keep the attention of your audience. Attention spans are short in today’s fast paced digital world and people will tune you out. Avoid this from happening by presenting facts using short and pithy stories, diagrams, pictures and videos. Keep things interesting and accurate.
After you have shared all the facts and established yourself as the person in the room or on the stage that everyone can trust, then and only then should you pull out and use the right bookend. But once you do, don’t hold anything back. Share the emotional side of your presentation and finish with your specific and unambiguous call to action.
Persuasion is a two-part process starting with two properly placed and utilized bookends. The left bookend is all about facts and details. The right bookend is focused on emotion, harm and call to action.
Start your presentation off with the left bookend and use the first part of your sales pitch or presentation to share facts and details. Earn the trust of your audience by being the first to share negative issues. Don’t highlight them but do bring them up and then move on. Become the trusted advisor and expert in the room.
Once you’ve completed this first step, show them the right bookend. Take things to the next level and start to focus on the more subjective emotional aspect of your case and finally, your call to action.
Always bring both bookends to your presentation and try not to get them mixed up. Be patient and let your audience appreciate the facts before asking them to fix the harm, right the wrong, or follow your call to action.
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