Geetesh: Tell us more about your book, PowerPoint for Court and how can it help PowerPoint users in the legal profession.
Herb: I created PowerPoint for Court almost 10 years ago. At that time there was very little written about presenting digital material in a court of law. Since then there is much more material available but not that much concerning the actual presentation of electronic material in court.
Many use Document Management systems like Sanction and Verdict. Those programs are designed to easily access and display documents only, when it is time to display a presentation of some sort, they usually call up PowerPoint to do the heavy lifting.
There is so much more digital material out there now than there was even a few years ago. With surveillance cameras everywhere, with most cell phones capable of recording video all this has translated into a wealth of digital material that needs to be presented in a court of law in a compelling and easy to understand manner.
PowerPoint has evolved too! The latest versions of PowerPoint have some powerful features for the legal community.
One feature that is overlooked or the power of it is not properly understood. That is the Photo Album Feature.
Let’s say you are putting together a “Day in the Life” presentation to show how your client was affected by his accident. You may have a large quantity of pictures that you want to present with a caption or explanatory text nicely formatted on each one.
With the Photo Album feature, you simply put all the photos that you want in that presentation in one folder, you can arrange them by simply naming them in numerical order, then designate that folder in Photo Album and PowerPoint creates a slide for each photo, centers the photo and allows space for you to annotate or add a caption. This alone can save you hours of tedious slide presentation. It will organize hundreds of photos in a couple of minutes!
Geetesh: What sets PowerPoint presentations created for legal use as different from those created for conventional, business use?
Herb: In my book, PowerPoint for Court, my focus is on legal presentations. Business presentations are a bit different as we have more leeway as to formatting and graphic design.
Let me illustrate the difference: years ago I was asked to produce a Cast of Characters exhibit (my very first courtroom graphics project). I produced a nice slide with pics of the 10 or so defendants. And for the slide background, I used a blow up of a federal prison. Boy did I get in trouble for that! The judge blew his top. In a courtroom setting, we can’t use any kind of prejudicial graphics.
PowerPoint for Court is updated every year and comes with five (5) years of email support — I personally answer any of your legal presentation questions.