Creating trial exhibits for the modern juror can often feel like a delicate balancing act. Your overall presentation needs to be interactive and highly visual, without being over-the-top and distracting. Trial exhibits should be viewed as another tool in your belt: their purpose is to boost the jurors’ ability to comprehend and retain information. But, just like any tool, if they are not used properly, they can actually hurt your case by distracting jurors and hindering understanding. Here are four tips from Precise’s experts on how to best use trial exhibits in your case.
How to Use Trial Exhibits Wisely
Focus on key themes and evidence – You could conceivably create a graphic for every step of your presentation. However, if you use demonstratives too often, they lose their punch. By eliminating unnecessary graphics, you will help jurors focus on your narrative and not be distracted by inconsequential data.
Know how you will incorporate them into your presentation – Good illustrations are the product of a healthy dialog between you, the illustrator, and your expert. Not knowing how the trial exhibits fit into your presentation limits their potential impact. If you can tell the illustrator how you will be using the graphic and the effect you want it to have, they can tailor the design to best suit your goals.
Less is more… – Trying to cram every bit of information into a visual can cause it to become overwhelming and distracting instead of clear and informative. Remember, the purpose of trial exhibits is to increase understanding. The jurors don’t have to understand the minutiae of your case, just the key themes. This truth applies to more than just text in trial exhibits: graphics can also have “visual clutter” that needs to be cleared away. There is a limit to the amount of information the brain can process, so you must find the fine line between accurate depiction and easily processed visual.
…except when it isn’t – While “less is more” is a good mantra for the content of trial exhibits, it isn’t necessarily true for the amount of exhibits themselves. While you don’t want to overwhelm jurors with demonstratives (see the first point) you don’t want to underwhelm them either. Studies have shown that using trial exhibits consistently throughout your presentation produces a maximum benefit. So rather than creating a few slides for your opening and closing statements, ask our trial experts how to incorporate trial exhibits throughout your presentation.
Expert Trial Exhibits from Precise
If you are looking for effective trial exhibits for your next case – including trial graphics and animations – call the experts at Precise, 866-277-3247.