When Creating Attorney Video, Stop Using Lawyerly Language

Nobody cares if you know what Res Ipsa Loquitor means.

Nobody cares if you know what a ‘prima facie case’ is.

Nobody watching your attorney video really cares if the burden of proof is a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ or proof ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

Your viewer doesn’t care what a ‘motion in limine’ is or whether you know how to make lemonade (or some other nonsensical metaphor).

Instead, they want information in simple, bite-sized pieces that they can understand and comprehend.

Lawyers are fascinated with what comes out of their own mouths. They love being erudite. They love being overly professional. They love being formal.

What these lawyers don’t realize is that consumers and people searching online for information don’t care about any of that. Instead they want to consume information to make them smarter and better educated so they can make better decisions about what to do next.

If you continue to wow them with bombastic phrases filled with Latin and filled with pompous messages, you will put your viewer off, never to return.

You want to talk to your viewer about voir dire?

Go right ahead. Just don’t use that phrase. Instead talk to them about jury selection.

You want to talk to them about precedent? No problem. Just tell them what other similar cases have found. Don’t use the word precedent.

It you want to tell them what some arcane area of law means? Great. Explain it to them in clear and simple language that they will understand without talking down to them.

The last part of that sentence is critical.

If you appear to be talking down to someone, they will immediately get turned off and go elsewhere. That is also another reason why I strongly recommend when shooting video never to have the camera way below your face. If you do that, it will appear as if you are standing tall, high above someone talking down to them. Not only will you appear to be condescending in your appearance but your mannerisms may reflect that attitude as well.

When communicating a message with your ideal consumer client, stop trying to talk like a lawyer. Instead, talk like a human being. That will make all the difference in the world.

As lawyers, we are supposedly “trained” to to talk to our clients. The sad reality is that most lawyers simply don’t know how to communicate properly.

Eliminate the lawyer language and you will simplify your messages with the people who are eagerly searching for your information.

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Gerry – I can’t thank you enough for guiding me through what would have been a disaster had anyone but you been behind the camera. My power point slides somehow disappeared from my laptop when using the hotel wireless internet … or maybe it was my “fat finger.” In any event, I knew the stuff because I had been giving public seminars on the content for years. But I tend to freeze without a visual cue. So, without visual cues, the day could well have been a huge disaster. While my practice niche is Elder Law, not PI or MedMal, you were like a football or basketball coach; despite my usual stumbles without visual cues, you were successful in getting me to go beyond the stumbles to a successful video shoot. Many thanks for your coaching!

Richard Habiger