Lawyers, put DOWN the PowerPoint!

I have taught undergraduates design for about 15 years, and one of my tools is creating and using PowerPoint slides. I am not alone in doing this, of course. Most professors create and use PowerPoint in their classes. It is old news- something students expect and if you do not provide them with your PowerPoint slides, they will ask you for them.

So when I attended last month’s ABA TECHSHOW, my jaw dropped when I heard lawyer presenters gush about how great it is to use PowerPoint in the courtroom setting. The general takeaway was that jurors were really impressed and moved after seeing PowerPoint slides.

I thought, “Stop. Just stop,” although I did not say a thing about this to anyone at the show because, well, I am not a lawyer.

But I did tell my students about it. And they just laughed. Hard.

As an academic, I overuse PowerPoint. I admit it. But it seems like so does the rest of those who teach.

(Lawyers, please listen to this next part.)


Many jurors will not like seeing that the trial lawyers are using PowerPoint.

What happens when I turb on my computer at the front of the class and connect my PowerPoint slides to the projector is… the students’ eyes glaze over. And that is with the students who have their heads up! Others simply put their heads down and start tapping away on their phones.

Now I do believe being a juror is a different experience than being a student, but my point is this…

… If you have a juror who is in college, or went to college within the last 15 years, they have been forced to overdose on viewing PowerPoint.

I believe that one surefire way to disgust a juror who has a college education is to power up your PowerPoint.