Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Visuals – Cut to the Chase

The importance of visuals in presenting your case to the jury is well known, and increasingly trumpeted, as ours becomes a society of glowing screens, large and small. As you decide which visuals, what part of the story they are to tell, and how best to design your visuals accordingly, one aspect is often missed: pace.
It’s easy to forget pace in your ardent desire to communicate as much as you can with the assist of visuals. But here’s the thing: look at any primetime dramatic TV show, and you’ll quickly realize that images succeed each other at lightening speed until a dramatic moment requires everything to slow down, so the audience can absorb this critical sequence. Then the pace picks up again.

So too with your visuals. Cut to the chase. Make your visuals easy to see, uncluttered, highlighting one important fact or bit of testimony, so that the jurors aren’t hunting through your visual for that important fact, having to parse through lots of relatively less important items. The pace of presenting such clear visuals can be quick, because that’s what jurors are used to from the media. Then, when you hit that one piece of evidence critical to your case, you can slow down and take your time with it.

The jurors, having not been bored or confused with your set-up or establishing visuals, will be better able and willing to give their full attention to the crux of your case.

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