The New Literacy: Connecting with the attention deficit economy

This year, the Law Society of Upper Canada is mandating Ontario lawyers to take 9 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) courses to remain current (how ironic, the Law Society itself is hinged to the old “Upper Canada” denomination). The very thought of withstanding 9 hours of CLE where most conference speakers are going to either: 1. Speak tediously of a fluke judgment in some district court and scare the bejesus out of us with the 2% worst case scenario or 2.  Read back to a room full of lawyers, a new provision in a specific law, just in case some of us are illiterate.

Yes, we have all become attention deficient. But I am trying to hold your attention and you likely have a million things you want to read. What do I do? Simple. Tell stories. And then, tell it differently. Great educators are great story tellers. And great story tellers are great marketers.

Think about the best conference speaker you ever heard. For me, it was Frank Abagnale Jr., the protagonist in “Catch me if you can” movie. He had this monotone voice and an unlikely stage presence. But his story telling style compelled me to believed him!  His simple structure was clearly going to surprise me. A Fraudster was going to educate me on the power of the Truth.  Every block of information was casted carefully in his system. It was going to be paradoxal. That, I realized, was the basis of story telling.  A great story is about two truth that should not be together.

We lawyers are the new illiterate. We try too hard to make sense. It’s time to rethink why I argue. I am switching to story telling.

I have a lot of work to do.

ps. Here are some great ressources on this topic:

1. One of my favourite marketer is Sean D’Souza of He is a former ad guy who launched this great little advisory shop on how to use neuropsychology with marketing. Here is a link to his free, straightforward ressources.

2. The “story-as-a-marketing-strategy” was catapulted by Sean Godin, with his book “All Marketers are Liars“.


About sleclair

Suzanne is a "connected lawyer" and a cloud office fanatic. Suzanne helps other professionals like her, work out of the best espresso bars in the world. Suzanne runs, & runs her business anywhere.