Lawyer PowerPoint Tips: Fewer Words, More Images

September 20, 2012 | By
Lawyer PowerPoint Tips

TOP 6 Lawyer PowerPoint Mistakes

Lawyer Presentation Advice from a Lawyer Speech + Presentation coach — who has watched and listened to 2,000+ lawyer speeches!**

** not that I feel strongly about this!

Top 6 Lawyer PowerPoint Mistakes: The List

  1. Too many slides
  2. Too much text
  3. Reading to your audience instead of engaging them
  4. Too small font
  5. All words — No images
  6. Slides as handouts

Lawyers Use Too Many Slides

  • Assume 2-3 minutes per slide (not one minute — that’s for NON-lawyers)
  • Time it out and then you’ll see I’m right
  • Quick tip: Go ahead and remove 25-30% of your slides now — you know you need to

Lawyers Use Too Much Text on Slides

  • Shoot for one idea or take-away per slide
  • Two levels of bullets max
  • Why? People really can’t read and listen at the same time (I know you can — but your audience can’t)

Lawyers Just Read Their Slides

  • And guess what — your audience can read ahead faster than you can read aloud to them — you do the math!

Lawyers Slides Are Hard to Read and Harder to Understand

  • Use 30 point font — at least try to
  • Tell audience what to look at on a graph and what it means
  • Chop complicated charts into pieces and put each point on a separate slide

Lawyers Slides Have All Words and No Images

  • Images help your audience to think, understand and remember
  • That does not mean you should decorate your slides with clip art — like sprinkles on ice cream
  • Images are hard to use well. So start learning now.
  • A few good slides with images buys audience good will and increases understanding.

Lawyers Actually Project Their Handouts — Not Slides

  • Project a set of slides that has your key points — your synthesis, advice and experience
  • Hand out to the audience your very detailed, all-text slides (you know, the 120 slide deck you used to think was your presentation) as a resource on the issue
  • Yes this will work for programs that are approved for CLE credit

Just so you don’t think I’m unduly harsh — take a look at the PowerPoint advice experts give in the business world.

I love Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint article.  While created for the venture capital and entrepreneur world, his core points are well taken.

Or if you like video, watch Guy talk about presenting well with PowerPoint in this TEDx Talk.  Watch it from 9:12 – 11:30.

For Guy Kawasaki’s PowerPoint advice watch from 9:12 – 11:30.

Filed in: Featured, Public Speaking, Top 5 Tips | Tags: , , , ,

About the Author (Author Profile)

Marsha Redmon is a former practicing lawyer and television journalist who has been teaching lawyers to get the business and recognition they want through business development, communications, video and media interview workshops and coaching for the last 16 years. Contact her at: info [at] marsha [dot] com or 202.251.3390

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