Trial Presentation – Glossary of Terms

When people go to trial in court, it can sometimes be boring for jurors and people sitting in the courtroom, watching to find out what happened in the civil lawsuit. Some lawyers are exciting, while others are boring. Sometimes, the very nature of a case is uninteresting. Lawyers need to explain complex ideas so that everyone understands. One way to make court cases more interesting and easier to understand is through trial presentation and special preparation. For the most part, the more, the better. There are special terms that describe some of the things lawyers and their helpers do before, during and after a trial. Some of them are as follows:

Document Review
Lawyers always ask people to produce documents when they are involved in a civil court case. Someone needs to look at them before they are handed over to the other side to make sure that what has been requested is the most accurate information and that the other people are, in fact, entitled to have it. Some of them get stamps and stickers put on; others do not.

Video Synching
Witnesses that have their depositions taken in front of attorneys, a court stenographer and video cameras are under oath. New computer technology makes the video digital and the written record electronic. They can be combined for one audio-visual package.

Day-In-The-Life
When people are affected by a physical or emotional injury, the lawyers sometimes want to give jurors an understanding of what life is like at home for this person on an everyday basis. A legal videographer will put together a day-long video of typical activities and life-style adjustments that have occurred as a result of the incident.

Graphics
Statistical data should be jazzed up with graphics and computer-based presentation programs to help people better understand the information given. Examples are charts, graphs and maps.

War Room
During lengthy trials, both parties may “camp out” in special conference rooms at an office or hotel. These are affectionately dubbed war rooms. Two groups may relay their time spent in the courtroom and the war room, depending on which witnesses are testifying and which lawyers are questioning witnesses.

Opening and Closing Statements
When a trial starts and ends, the attorneys involved give a brief summary at the beginning and end of the case. This usually happens before and after the witnesses go to the stand for questioning. The statements presented by lawyers can be difficult to pay attention to or to understand. Sometimes they do all the talking; sometimes they bring in specially designed slides and photos to supplement their opening and closing statements.

Negotiation Tip of the Week

Positioning in a #negotiation impacts a #negotiator‘s ability to #negotiate before the negotiation begins. Because the way you position yourself determines how the other negotiator will perceive you. And it’ll regulate your interactions. Thus, to be a better negotiator, you must #control any risky #positioning that might impact a negotiation.

Everyone considers what they might encounter before they engage in an activity – that’s especially true in negotiations. And it’s better you shape their perception before they do. Doing so delivers the image you wish them to have of you compared to the haphazard perspective they might create.

The following are examples to control your positioning before a negotiation occurs.

Hanging with Influencers:

You’re perceived as an influencer when you surround yourself with those that influence others – that allows you to become better positioned. To advantage your position, consider becoming seen with the influencers that’ll have the greatest impact on those that you wish to influence. That will improve your positioning based on how others perceive you.

Controlling Your Message:

People will attempt to control your message. And they may hijack its intent to serve a purpose that’s better aligned with their goals, not yours. To oppose their efforts…

  • Control others that attempt to control your message. Don’t let them brand you or your message if it doesn’t support your positioning – confront them when they oppose you.
  • Beware of ear-jackers – Ear-jackers are people that will eavesdrop on your conversations when they’re in your environment. Most likely, they’ll appear to be engaged in other activities. They may be seeking salacious information that they can twist to demean you or enhance their positioning (e.g. I heard him say ‘XYZ’. I knew there was another side to him that he doesn’t want the public to see.)
  • Observe what happens in slow motion. Because we’re bombarded with activities, sometimes we miss what’s before us – most occurrences happen over an extended period-of-time. Take note of the changes that occur around you daily. It’s the short-term changes that could become long-term detriments to your positioning that you should be aware of.
  • Be innovative – When you’re seen as an innovator, you’re viewed as someone that’s leading others to their future. If they perceive that as a benefit, they’ll follow you more readily. And when you’re at the negotiation table, they’ll be more willing to accept your offerings.
  • Control the flow of your messages. Always consider the impact one message will have on another when you send it into the realm of public opinion. If you initiate messages that are less important too frequently, messages that might have a greater impact on your positioning will be less potent – and the more important messages may miss your intended audience altogether.

Use Appropriate Words:

Words control emotions. And emotions control perceptions. To control your positioning better, control the words that control your message. As an example, depending on the situation, it may be beneficial to use the word squabble versus fight (e.g. we had a squabble) – that’s less impactful than, we had a fight. The exchange of those two words alters the perception of the situation.

Perception is Reality:

When it comes to controlling your positioning, perception is reality. Your integrity intentions can be in alignment with your actions and if someone taints it with their ill-will, you could become seen as someone with less integrity. That’ll impact the way the other negotiator interacts with you. That could be to the detriment of both of you and the negotiation.

Being a better negotiator starts first with how you’re positioned. It shapes the way you’re perceived at the negotiation table. It determines how the other negotiator will strategize to negotiate against you. And it will have an impact on how effective your negotiation efforts will be. To negotiate better, always pay careful attention to your messages and how they position you. Because, the better you position yourself per how you wish to be perceived, the easier the negotiation will be… and everything will be right with the world.

Presentations – PowerPoint – Leave the Laser Pointer Behind

One very common lament about presenters using PowerPoint is the unfortunate tendency so many have to talk to the screen, instead of the audience. It’s uncomfortable for an audience to have to look at a speaker’s back while he reads his slides. And, of course, it’s huge disconnect between speaker and audience, which is defeating the whole purpose of the presentation in the first place. So why in the world did anyone think the laser pointer would be a viable, effective presentation tool?

For those of us who love toys and gadgets, the laser pointer is almost irresistible. You hold the pen-shaped object in your hand, and with the click of a button, you can shine a pinpoint of bright red light on the screen to draw the audience’s attention to a particular item. You can move it around to circle some important item or make a flourish over some point. It’s fun, it’s high tech, and it seems to be state-of-the-art presentation technology.

However, I’m sorry to disappoint you gizmo-lovers, but this device, for all its high tech appeal, has absolutely nothing to recommend its use. Here’s why:

1. First of all, if your visuals are done with a good color contrast, which means the background will be a dark rich color (with light type on it), it’s extremely difficult to even see that little red beam on that dark background. I’ve seen presentations where the audience had no idea the speaker was even using a laser pointer because they never saw its light.

2. Secondly, the very nature of its use — having to direct the laser to the screen — requires the speaker to face and point to the screen. This means her back is turned on the audience and she’s talking to the screen, not the people in the room. Obviously, this is a big disconnect between the speaker and the audience.

3. There’s also a minor problem that can occur if the speaker forgets to turn off the laser beam and, while making gestures, ends up throwing that red light all over the room.

You can be the pointer. With the exception of large convention hall screens, the vast majority of screens are of a size that makes it very easy for the speaker herself to refer to the items on the visual. By stepping back to the screen and referring to the points on it, you are effectively directing the audience’s attention while keeping yourself in the picture and making purposeful gestures.