The bad news for any courtroom litigator is that no matter how hard you work, how many facts you gather, and how much you obsess over your content, the jury will forget most of the information you present to them.
Fortunately, there is a ton of great research into retention and how to make your presentations memorable.
All this month our presentation experts will be showing you how to build winning slides and awesome, memorable graphics for any type of legal proceeding, whether a trial, arbitration hearing, class action certification, or Markman hearing.
But before we show you how we build our demonstrative graphics, we’re going to tell you why we work the way we do.
The Science of Better Trial Presentations
Research has shown that that immediately after a 10-minute presentation, listeners only remembered 50 percent of what was said. By the next day that had dropped to 25 percent, and a week later it was 10 percent.
To start, remember that no one wants to be lectured at. If the audience is lectured at in a boring, lifeless way from behind the podium, less than 20 percent of information is retained.
Hit them from Multiple Directions
Information must be presented in multiple ways. Very little information is retained if it is only heard.
The same is true if it’s only seen.
However, anywhere from 50 percent all the way to 2/3 of content is remembered if the information is contained in an audio AND visual presentation.
Repeating a theme (some studies suggest up to seven times) increases retention rates by 10 to 20 percent. Repeating a theme (some studies suggest up to seven times) increases retention rates by 10 to 20 percent. Repeating a theme… well, you get it. Keeping a message simple increases retention rates by up to 45 percent. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and people retain more information if the presenter is likable.
Things that science has proven increase retention:
When bullet points are necessary, keep them short and punchy, like this:
- Have excellent visual aids
- Repeat core themes
- Simple, simple, simple
To prove our point, watch any video by economist Hans Rosling. He turns the economic history of the world into compelling presentations with great graphics and charm. Seriously.
We’ve borrowed most of the aforementioned statistics from a great presentation at this year’s ABA TechShow called “How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint” by Randall Juip with Foley, Baron, Metzger & Juip in Livonia, Michigan. For more tips and information like this check out:
Garr Reynolds blog www.presentationzen.com
Cliff Atkinson and Richard Mayer on www.beyondbulletpoints.com