New Rule: Wider is Better

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New Rule for all PowerPoint users: If you’re presenting on a widescreen, switch to 16:9 slides. Otherwise, you get big black vertical bars on either side of your presentation that amount to nothing but wasted space. Open it up from small screen to big screen. And if you don’t know how to do that, spend the 2.8 seconds and 5 nano-joules of energy required to run a Google search and find out. Your audience will be grateful.


Size Matters

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As I always say to lawyers, teachers, and presenters of any kind, if the audience can’t see, read, decipher, or otherwise make sense of your visual aids, then you’re wasting time, energy, and precious A/V real estate. Enlarge the font, enlarge the font, enlarge the font. Please.


Snapshot of CNN coverage of the Owen Labrie trial. August 19, 2015.

Lawyers as technical writers?

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Absolutely! If you are a lawyer and you haven’t accepted the fact that you are a technical writer (just like folks who write jet engine assembly instructions and software manuals), then you’re missing the boat. It’s time for lawyers to shed the scrolls and white wigs and realize the immeasurable benefits of bulleted lists, tables, charts, and other forms of visual and spacial organization that offer much higher yields than your average perfunctory “wherefore” clause.

Check out the Society for Technical Communication. Great tips and resources for concise, ergonomic, reader-focused (or, as they would call it, user-focused) writing.