Number 15 of 21 for 21 – Teaching Trial

Teaching Trial

Grateful for the chance to present live and in person at a recent Practicing Law Institute ADVANCED TECHNIQUES & BEST PRACTICES in New York City. I was particularly pleased to put my long given courtroom presentation advice to the test. Icing on the cake was that feeling of being prepared that allowed for the serendipitous moments of exchange during the presentation itself. So, what was the particular advice in this instance?

Use a picture as a starting point. Pick one that will give your mind all the right cues to let your points flow, rather than provide words for you to read aloud.

My co-presenter and I had committed to preparation, meeting months before the scheduled delivery and outlining our main goals and drafting a paper about them – Practicing Law Institute requires it. It helped to teach the “basics” as groundwork for our discussion of advanced techniques in trial preparation.

We were able to start off with the traditional and expected summary PowerPoint bullet points, but as we discussed our message, we replaced them with visuals that had no words. It felt more authentic to use images of our work in action (here, a still from a mock jury deliberation), to teach with enthusiasm and context for the attendees.

We included three images in the PowerPoint, but I could have waxed poetic about just one for my allotted time to speak. Having no text on the screen, it was up to me to support it, not the reverse. It was a perfect talking stick and launching pad for us to explore with specificity and interest our cache of experiences that made our presentation rich with teachable moments and memorable points for any attorney preparing for trial when so few make it that far.

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