We’ve all seen bad law firm commercials. Unfortunately, if your goal is to bring in more clients, bad commercials may actually achieve the opposite. Potential clients want their attorney to be trustworthy, confident, knowledgeable, and smart. You may be all of these things, but if you are overly nervous or unprepared for your commercial shoot, the end result may portray the wrong image of you and the entire firm. The good news is, by following some simple steps and making sure you are fully prepared, you can reduce or eliminate most of these commercial catastrophes.
- Be aware of body language. Even seasoned actors sometimes focus too much on their voice and words and not enough on their body. Remember that the first connection you make with viewers will be visual. Practice more than just your spoken lines. Sit in front of a mirror and practice how you will hold your body, move your hands, tilt your head. Make sure you feel comfortable with these movements and positions. If you’re not comfortable with how you are sitting, standing, turning, or walking, it will come across on screen. If you practice your physical motions extensively before you’re in front of the actual camera, it will feel more natural during filming.
- Volume, articulation, and diction are key. If viewers cannot understand what you are saying, nothing else matters. They will not be able to connect with you, determine if you can meet their needs, or respond to your call to action. Speaking too quickly, mumbling, and running words together may be a problem if you’re nervous. On the other hand, speaking too slowly and over-enunciating words can make you appear robotic. The best way to overcome either issue is through practice, practice, practice. Someone who has said their lines 500 times in front of a mirror is much more likely to say them with ease than someone who just finished memorizing their lines on the car ride to the studio.
- The horrors of stage fright: Some of us are terrified of public speaking or being in front of a camera. If your firm has many lawyers, there’s a good chance that at least one of them is not terrified of the spotlight. It makes sense to choose the best candidate for the job, if that is an option. But if there are only two or three of you, and everyone would rather take the bar exam again rather than star in a commercial, you have some decisions to make. You could consider hiring a professional actor, but this can be expensive. Alternatively, there are some simple exercises that can help with managing stage fright. Proper breathing, for starters, can be a great way to calm your nerves. Breathe in slowly while counting to four in your head, then do the same while you breathe out. Do this exercise for a few minutes before it’s time to start shooting the commercial. And don’t forget to practice. As with pretty much anything in life, the more prepared you are, the better you will do and the more confident you will be.
- Be confident in your appearance. If you think you look good, you will be much more comfortable in front of the camera. Don’t wait until the last minute to choose your outfit or style your hair. Arrive to the shoot feeling confident in your wardrobe choice and overall appearance. Confidence, or lack thereof, is very visible to your audience.
- Focus on a direct response message: Once you’ve taken care of the wardrobe, the diction, and the butterflies, make sure your message comes across loud and clear. Having an effective call-to-action is the number one goal of any commercial.
Whitehardt – Law Firm Consulting and Advertising
At Whitehardt, we want you to present your best image. Our team will work with you to make sure that you are comfortable and confident and that your message is clear and effective. Our goal is to bring you new business, and to ensure that you come across as the same lawyer your current clients have grown to appreciate and respect. Contact Whitehardt today.