The SlideDeck is available here
Equipment & Software
- Epson PowerLite HD Projector – This is the projector we use for our presentations. It had great reviews at Amazon (4.4 stars), and has proven to be a reliable workhorse. Every law firm should own its own projector, especially if the lawyers want to get adept at trial presentation. Even if you’re going to hire someone to do your trial presentations you still need to practice. Having a projector is now indispensable, and if you’re going to get one you should get one that’s reliable and puts out a lot of light.
- Epson Duet 80″ Screen – configurable for 4×3 or 16×9 aspect ratio. Portable, versatile, and solid.
- Apple iPad – You need the 2nd generation or later to do wireless presentations (see below equipment that is required to do wireless presentations). The 16 GB model is sufficient, but we recommend the 32 GB model if you can spare the extra $100.
- TrialPad – This iPad app was discussed in the program, and recommended because it’s easy to use for trial display (and less expensive than Sanction or Trial Director). The same folks who make TrialPad also make a deposition review app called TranscriptPad, which we also recommend for managing transcripts.
- AppleTV (newer model) – if you want to wirelessly connect your iPad (or iPhone) to your projector then this is a critical piece of the puzzle. You’ll also need to set up a local wireless network, and you’d do that with the Apple Airport Express ($99).
- Apple Keynote – if you own a Mac computer then you should be using Keynote, and not Powerpoint. Keynote has better themes and transitions, and makes it easy to create well designed presentations.
- Tutorial on Apple Keynote – only $4.99 but a comprehensive video that will teach you how to get the most out of your Keynote software.
- AirParrot – software that allows you to project wirelessly from your computer (works with Mac or PCs)
Below are some of the best books to learn the important “visual grammar,” design and typography principles you should be aware of. Some of these are available in electronic form. However, for the design and typography books it’s best to get them in print form because the display is not good in the Amazon Kindle version (the Apple iBook versions are acceptable, but still less preferable). The materials denoted with an asterisk (*) are highly recommended.
1. Law specific Persuasion & Powerpoint articles
- Powering Powerpoint – Attorney Craig Ball’s article on how to use Powerpoint in litigation.
- Cogent Legal Blog – San Francisco attorney Morgan Smith litigated complex cases; his blog is about trial graphics tips.
2. Cognition Principles
- Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, John Medina
- Brain Rules for CLE Presentations (blog post), Ernie Svenson
- *Information Anxiety, Richard Saul Wurman (a very helpful book for people who manage information – e.g. lawyers)
- Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Stay Efficient, Productive (and Sane) in an Information-Saturated World, Douglas Merrill and James Martin
- A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, Daniel Pink
3. Design Principles
- Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design, William Lidwell and Kritina Holden
- *Before & After: Graphics for Business, John McWade (An excellent, and easy-to-read primer on basic design grammar)
- Before & After: Page Design, John McWade
4. Typography Principles
- The Mac is not a Typewriter, The (2nd Edition), Robin Williams
- The PC is Not a Typewriter, Robin Williams
- *Typography for Lawyers, Matthew Butterick (a must-have book for any lawyer who creates briefs or any written material)
5. Developing “Visual Thinking”
- The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, Dan Roam
- Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work, Dan Roam
- Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards
- The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential, Tony Buzan
- Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative, Edward Tufte
- Beautiful Evidence, Edward Tufte
6. Presentation Principles
- *Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, Garr Reynolds (Buy this book first, and read it often)
- *slide:ology, Nancy Duarte (Great book to learn how to build a visual presentation from scratch; also explains design principles)
- Power Persuasion – Attorney Craig Ball is a master of Powerpoint and used it extensively in his successful plaintiff’s law practice. Here he explains why it’s useful, and how to use it for legal presentations.
- Really Bad Powerpoint (free web post), Seth Godin
- Nine Steps to Powerpoint Magic (free web post), Seth Godin
- Powerpoint makes us stupid – these bullets can kill (free web post), Seth Godin
- Mac PowerUsers podcast on Keynote, David Sparks & Katie Floyd (two practicing attorneys who use Macs discuss how to prepare and give presentations using Apple’s Keynote program)
- The Articulate Advocate, Brian Johnson and Marsha Hunter – Soup to nuts practical guidance on how to deliver a talk, or how to speak in court. These are the things that veteran actors learn, and which lawyers should be taught as well, but for some reason never are.
- Finding your POWERful Point – 1 hour talk on the different styles of presenting and how you find out which one you are.
7. Examples of Visuals (to learn from)
- Movie: Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore (assisted by Nancy Duarte) – put aside politics and just study how visuals are used to support an argument; this is a Master Class conducted by Nancy Duarte, who crafted all of the visuals that Al Gore uses.
- Hidden Gorilla – Selective Attention Demonstrated
8. Online Sources for Images
- iStockPhoto.com ($$$) – expensive, but worth it.
- Fotolia.com ($$) – less expensive, and also worth it.
- Google Images (free, but be careful because the images may still be copyrighted)
- Flickr Creative Commons (free and generally available free of restrictive copyright limits)
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