Founder of Great Legal Marketing and a practicing personal injury trial attorney in Fairfax, VA
I was shooting some videos to market my Do-It-Yourself online video tutorial training program called “Everything I Know About Video Marketing at $25,000 Off!”
It was one of the only times I was using a Teleprompter. I never use a Teleprompter. Ever.
I’m a very strong advocate of only using outlines for my own New York medical malpractice videos and that is exactly what I teach attorneys in my lawyer’s video studio programs. There are two important reasons why I never recommend using a Teleprompter:
(1) When a client comes into your office and sits down in front of you and asks you a question, do you raise your hand and tell them “Just one second Mr. Jones, I have to run to my file cabinet to grab my script to answer your question?”
(2) Reading from a Teleprompter is not as easy as it looks. Even experienced actors can look stilted and formal when reading from Teleprompter. Just imagine what a novice attorney is going to look like trying to read and present themselves in a nice, warm and friendly manner. It doesn’t work very well and I personally don’t like it.
While shooting a series of videos at home using my Teleprompter, I asked my 10-year-old son David to come down and help me shoot some of these videos. He eagerly accepted. As soon as I finished one of my videos, he reached over and started the Teleprompter and sat on a chair and began reading. It was remarkable. It was hilarious. He was saying the words on the screen with such inflection and copying my mannerisms that I had to laugh out loud. I stopped David midway and said “Come here, let me actually hook up the microphone to you and then try it again.”
Once his microphone was attached to his T-shirt he eagerly pressed ‘start’ on the Teleprompter and then ran back to the chair to sit down and wait for my signal. I pressed the ‘record’ button and then started to smile.
He was reading beautifully. His intonation was excellent. He was becoming very animated and very expressive. Similar to what he’d seen me do just minutes earlier. I let him read through the entire clip and told him how proud I was that he had done something that most attorneys have great difficulty doing.
Most attorneys have great difficulty relaxing and focusing on the viewer who is watching them while talking about their great content. The great thing about kids is that they have no fear. My son wasn’t worried about what someone was going to think of him. He wasn’t worried about his content. He just wanted to have some fun. When I played it back though, he did say he was uncomfortable listening to his own voice and it sounded weird. I told him that was natural.
My son was so excited about shooting one of the clips that he asked if he could do another. I agreed and watched in fascination as he did a really remarkable job shooting the next clip. When I told him that I would use one of those clips in my marketing, he quickly said, “But my voice sounds awful.”
I reassured him that “Your voice actually sounds great and I’m really proud of how you did on video.”
For all you attorneys who are worried about what other people think of you, I want to make this very clear. If my 10-year-old son can do this, so can you.