Should I use demonstrative aids such as exhibit boards and PowerPoint in the opening session?

Demonstrative aids can be powerful.  While trial prep ready discovery isn't always needed before mediation (it rarely is), I think trial quality demonstrative aids are what you should try to use. Not every case requires demonstrative aids, but images really can be worth a thousand words. Videos can be worth ten thousand.  Whatever you use should be targeted and tailored to the case at hand and should not look generic or “stock”.  Quality exhibits help others understand things, show preparation, and show that you have and will continue to invest in the case.  Less can be more, especially when it comes to PowerPoint. Embedded deposition or sworn statement video is a solid choice when using media.  And if someone for the other side will attend remotely, send digital files to them in advance so they can follow along.


Richard Lord is a shareholder mediator at the firm of Upchurch, Watson, White and Max. For more information visit Richard Lord's biography.

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