The Visual Learner: Trial Visuals that Educate
When we think about the effectiveness of trial visuals we tend to resort to this memory retention graph that we have all seen at least once before.
The graph illustrates what percentage of information is retained in our memory when presented in an auditory manner, visual manner, or both.
What trial attorneys often fail to remember when preparing their trial visuals is exhibits are not only used to help jurors retain the facts of the case, but more importantly are used to teach the jurors. Sixty-five percent of the population, myself included, are visual learners. So, if you fail to use trial visuals to accompany your medical expert’s testimony, you are reaching less than half of the jurors.
Before the facts can be retained in our memory bank, they first must be understood. Simplifying complicated medical information is one of the biggest benefits of using trial visuals. Visual learners don’t just use nontextual images (illustrations, graphs, photos, etc) to help them learn but also printed words. As a visual learner myself, I don’t learn well when I am being read to but rather when I can see the words and read them myself. If you have ever noticed the glazed look in a juror’s eyes during an expert’s testimony, you are witnessing a visual learner’s attention span slowly tuning out. To keep your jury engaged and to initiate a trusting relationship with each juror, it’s important to never forget the visual learner.