PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi: Which is best for your courtroom presentation?

by | Aug 23, 2017 | Technology Featured

This is a summary of a presentation by Jeffrey Nadrich, a personal injury attorney, based in Los Angeles. Mr. Nadrich gave the presentation at a legal networking event in August 2016.  He is a founding partner of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP, a law firm that represents personal injury victims as well as patients who have suffered injuries due to a defective medical device. For complex medical device cases, such as the Sorin Stockert 3T Lawsuit, a seamless and savvy courtroom presentation is essential to convey complex medical details to a jury via use of slides, diagrams and much more. Mr. Nadrich created this presentation to assist other attorneys.

When it’s time for a lawyer to make an appearance in court, preparation is essential. Strong arguments are also important, and in order to get a point across, it may be necessary to incorporate a slideshow element. Every lawyer’s goal is to deliver a smooth courtroom presentation, and nothing hurts a presentation more than disorganization. Software can help keep a presentation organized and ensure that all, relevant information is presented. Most lawyers use PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi. What features do they have, and which one is right for your next courtroom presentation?

PowerPoint is known as the standard for presentations. It’s not only simple to use, but simple in its overall design as well. It comes with templates and basic animations that make presentation creation easy for all skill levels. It’s easy to add hyperlinks, and basic transitions between slides. However, PowerPoint uses a linear slide format, which means that you must put your slides in order. If you try to jump around, it distorts and disrupts the presentation. Also, the graphics and clip art choices are limited. The templates are also limited and look dated. The lack of modern templates carries the risk of failing to engage the audience. PowerPoint serves a purpose, it’s easy to use. However, it lacks some of the engaging bells and whistles offered by other presentation software

Pro: Easy to Use

Con: Limited Templates and Graphic choices.

Keynote is Apple’s updated version of PowerPoint. It offers a stylish design combined with fun effects and unique templates. Keynote offers its users, easy integration of images, sounds and videos. The chief drawback with Keynote is its compatibility issues. It does not work on Microsoft platforms, and it’s difficult to share with others.

Pro: Wide-range of Template Choices

Con: Incompatible with Microsoft Platforms, making it difficult to share presentation.

Prezi is a web-based tool that is much more appealing than PowerPoint. It offers a lot of functionality, so you can add fun effects and transitions – just don’t overuse them. You can also easily add sound, images and other media. Unlike PowerPoint, Prezi is non-linear, so you don’t have to play a series of slides in a certain order. You can pick and choose which slides you want to play at any given time without ruining the flow of your presentation. Plus, because Prezi is web-based, you don’t have to buy special software and you can play the presentation on virtually any computer. On the downside, the interface is not as user friendly as PowerPoint, so presentations can be a bit more complicated to create. Plus, there are limits when it comes to font choices and editing capabilities.

No matter which presentation software you choose, here are some key points to keep in mind. Don’t try to put everything on one slide. Only one main point should be on each slide. Keep it simple; don’t try to use crazy fonts and extra colorful backgrounds. While you want to keep your presentation interesting, you don’t want to go overboard. Don’t use clip art; every presenter does that, so it gets boring. Instead, search online for stock photography (some sites offer it for free). Better yet, grab your camera and create your own.

The best software choice is the one that allows you to present your information quickly and easily without distracting from the information. As a lawyer, you need to focus on gathering evidence and preparing for your argument. You don’t have a lot of spare time to deal with the frustrations of learning new software. In the end, you need to determine which is more important – content or design.


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