“Send me the visuals,” I said to the personal injury lawyer on the line. Moments later, a massive email delivered 186 digital slides. Each navy blue backdrop contained a single medical record with streams of bright, yellow highlights and bold, red arrows and circles blighting each page. It was truly no wonder that the focus group returned a defense verdict. It’s been 15 years that practitioners have stressed the importance of not overwhelming a jury with these types of presentations. We’ve known to keep text to a minimum and streamline important points, yet every legal conference where I spoke in 2019 and several more attended via Zoom during COVID-restricted 2020, had at least half of the presenters violating the most basic practices.

Before moving to advanced use, the practitioner should know and be comfortable using basic features of any good demonstrative piece of evidence such as:

  1. Clear and easy to read fonts and color themes;
  2. Simply stated essential points using keywords and phrases that are proofread;
  3. Appealing layouts that readily identify salient points; (call-outs, color, and images can achieve this quickly if used with restraint); and
  4. Easy maneuverability or navigation.