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12+ Lessons From Top Trial Lawyers & Great Presenters

Ken Lopez
By: Ken Lopez

Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Demonstrative Evidence, Trial Preparation, Presentation Graphics, Storytelling, PowerPoint, Visual Persuasion, Persuasion, Visual Storytelling

Sometimes I fear that my tips for trial lawyers might be perceived as self-serving. They're not, I promise, but I understand how someone could think that.

Well, for at least for the duration of this article, don't take my word for it, please. Every day, we work with some of the world's best trial lawyers. I learn a lot from watching how the very best prepare for trial, and it is a pleasure to share what I witness with other great trial lawyers.

Today, I'm presenting a collection of videos (some are from A2L clients, and some are not), trial presentation examples, sample litigation graphics, and other instances where trial lawyers and other great presenters lead by example. In this article, I'm not just asking you to accept what I say. I am asking you to watch your peers show or tell how to best persuade judges, jurors, and people in general.

Here are twelve tips (really, there are hundreds of best practices embedded in here) from some of the world's best trial lawyers and presenters:

  1. Persuasive Storytelling Matters! Watch three accomplished trial lawyers explain why: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/three-top-trial-lawyers-tell-us-why-storytelling-at-trial-is-so-important

  2. Litigation Graphics should not be created by trial counsel - ever. These examples show why: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/excellent-litigation-graphics-in-the-impeachment-trial

  3. Litigation Graphics - It's no longer about reading bullet points. Jurors simply expect more!: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/still-think-persuasion-is-about-talking-while-showing-bullet-points-and-not-litigation-graphics

  4. Love him, hate him, respect him, disrespect him - whatever - this politician presents better than most trial lawyers (the linked articles are a trial lawyer presentation goldmine!): https://www.a2lc.com/blog/netanyahu-persuades-and-presents-better-than-most-trial-lawyers

  5. Presentation style and quality matter a lot. Here's an example of one Harvard law professor presenting well: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/lawyer-delivers-excellent-powerpoint-presentation

  6. Display documents like a pro. Watch two sets of trial lawyers in action: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/71580/5-tips-for-displaying-documents-well-at-trial-cvn-video  and  https://www.a2lc.com/blog/litigation-graphics-lessons-from-the-impeachment-hearings

  7. How you tell stories is complicated. Here's a method from design pro Nancy Duarte: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/67075/litigators-can-learn-a-lot-about-trial-presentation-from-nancy-duarte

  8. You don't have to be a lawyer to present well. Here's a fundraising professional doing an excellent job: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/68036/every-litigator-should-watch-scott-harrison-deliver-this-presentation

  9. We can all learn a lot from how news anchors present: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/70480/10-things-litigators-can-learn-from-newscasters

  10. One U.S. President gave better PointPoint presentations than 99% of trial lawyers: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/56806/presentation-graphics-why-the-president-is-better-than-you

  11. TED Talks are Great. But a TED Talk about what makes a great TED Talk is a treasure trove for trial lawyers: https://www.a2lc.com/blog/5-things-ted-talks-can-teach-us-about-opening-statements

  12. Even more TED. Here's a collection of TED Talks we think are ideal for all trial lawyers to watch (or just listen to on your way to work): https://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/71820/the-top-14-ted-talks-for-lawyers-and-litigators-2014

So few people go to trial regularly these days. Only a tiny handful of BigLaw attorneys do so. So, it just makes sense to pay attention to how others are presenting and succeeding. I hope these tips - offered by others - are helpful to you.


Other A2L Consulting articles and resources about presenting well, trial preparation, jury consulting, and litigation graphics include:

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