Are you still using a screen and projector in the courtroom and in your live presentations? If so, this is one you might want to change.
As lawyers and all in the legal business, we are constantly called on to persuade, teach and communicate with others. Like us, most of the people we interact with consume content in ways many lawyers have been slow to adopt. This can put us at a disadvantage.
Take screens and projectors. Many of us still use them to put evidence and information in front of an audience. But now that courthouses are opening back up slowly and some jury trials commencing, and we are having at least some in person interactions, it might be time to rethink using this hardware.
I recently ran across some sound some advice courtesy of David Notowitz. Notowitz is the founder of the National Center for Audio and Video Forensics. Here’s how he describes what he does: “I help attorneys gather, analyze, and get clarity with their digital evidence in preparation for court…” He frequently serves an expert on video forensics and knows a thing or two about how to make effective use of video in the courtroom and in presentations.
Notowitz recently appeared on the Digital Edge podcast hosted by my good friends Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson and talked about how to enhance presentation using video. The podcast is worth a listen.
Here’s Notowitz’ advice on what to use in the courtroom or, for that matter, any presentation venue. Don’t use a screen and projector if you can avoid it! Instead says Notowitz, use a high definition flat screen TV to do what you used to do with projector and screens.
According to Notowitz, a projector system will simply not show the evidence and information as clearly as a flat screen, even if the flat screen you use is one quarter the size of the projection type screen. This is especially true if the details of what you are showing are important.
Not to mention the fact that lighting in courthouses and meeting rooms is often less than ideal making what is shown on a projection screen system even less clear. Flat screen TVs are cheap and pretty portal these days. My thought is that in the time of physical distancing, 2 screens might be better than one.
Some other advice from Notowitz: Plan ahead. Test the equipment in advance video and audio. Always have a back up system. Bring your own stuff even if the courthouse has its own system. Make sure you know how to turn off or dim the courtroom lights. Become familiar with the video and audio evidence you want to use and what it shows.
People expect to be able to see clearly what’s being presented. They are accustomed to viewing things on high def flat screen TVs. Use them.
Next: I’ll share what I have learned about making your virtual appearances better.
Photo Attribution: Roberto Nickson @rpnickson via Unsplash