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Morgan Smith

A PowerPoint Sample for Business Trial Lawyers

PPt slide of attyThe Association of Business Trial Lawyers asked Cogent Legal to prepare the graphics for a presentation last night on mock trials. The panel consisted of some of the best jury consultants in the country exploring the factors that make successful and worthwhile mock trials. Beth Bonora, Karen Jo Koonan, Andy Sheldon and Ron Beaton all touched on some of the key issues that attorneys should keep in mind regarding the proper use of mock trials in developing your case.

The presentation had three parts, with the first part handled by Karen Jo discussing what type of focus group or mock trial you may need depending on what information you seek to obtain. Beth and Andy then followed up with a discussion on issues of confidentiality and how to keep any process as confidential as possible. Lastly, Ron and Andy shared insights on how you take the information you learned from the mock trial and apply it to the actual trial. Attorney Doug Young did a great job moderating.

This terrific panel discussion gave my firm a chance to do a fun slide-based presentation for the jury consultants, which is often not possible in the serious world of litigation. While this presentation (embedded below) was intended to be playful, it provides a good example of some of the techniques I blog about concerning do’s and don’ts for PowerPoint or Keynote presentations.

If you scroll through the presentation slides below (uploaded using a tool I recommend, Slideshare), first you will notice that there are very few words overall. We mainly used pictures, not text, that relate to the topic of discussion. The primary cause of dreaded “death by PowerPoint” is bullet points that the presenter simply reads to the audience as the points show up on the screen. Secondly, audience members appreciate a template style they have not seen before. The background on this slide presentation was custom made in Adobe inDesign so it would look fresh to the viewers. Thirdly, the images chosen are big, clean and immediately understandable without explanation. These three guidelines almost always will guarantee a nicely done presentation that an audience will respond to. (For more advice on creating effective slide-based presentations, please see my post “Five Essential PowerPoint Tips for Attorneys“).

Now, it’s certainly true that litigation presents more circumscribed parameters on what you can present, but each one of the factors above can be used to increase the power and persuasiveness of a visual presentation for mediation or trial.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to learn more about how Cogent Legal creates multimedia slide-based presentations for attorneys.

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