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Practical Pointers for PowerPoint Presentations
by Dan Pinnington and Simon Chester
February 2005

For law firms, big or small, presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint is almost universally available, yet not often used to its full potential. All too often lawyers have too many slides, with too many words on them, in boring sequences of repetitive bullets. Then they compound the problem by reading the slides word for word.

At this year’s ABA TECHSHOW, two Canadian lawyers, Dan Pinnington of LawPRO and Simon Chester, partner at national firm, Heenan Blaikie, provide a crash course on effective presentations. Their talk, Practical Pointers for Powerful and Persuasive PowerPoint Presentations, will help to make anyone a more persuasive presenter or advocate, whose message is enhanced by PowerPoint not obstructed by the software.

For Chester, this topic echoes his first appearance at ABA TECHSHOW. He said, “Back in 1986, ABA TECHSHOW was based at Infomart in Dallas. I spoke at the Third Conference, using experimental animated presentation software that GTE developed. It was a pain to program, we did an all-nighter to debug it, but the audience had never seen vibrant colors, animations and the sort of PowerPoint features we’ve become familiar with”. He’s looking forward to collaborating with Pinnington.

Pinnington said: “We have all suffered through really bad presentations, and a fair few of us will even admit to giving a presentation that was less than optimal. Even seasoned litigators can go to mush when there are unexplained technical glitches in the middle of a presentation. You have to be PowerPoint savvy. It is an essential skill. This presentation is really helpful because we share the best practical tips and tricks we have learned from doing hundreds of presentations."

The PowerPoint twins are only one reason why you’ll find a lot you can use at this year’s ABA TECHSHOW, an unparall opportunity to catch a glimpse of how tomorrow’s tools can make you a better lawyer and your firm more productive and profitable. For information on the program, visit