Thinking Graphically



Thinking Graphically  

Some attorneys have asked me, "How can I be more creative in graphically representing their case to jurors using charts or slides? How can I help a graphics consultant understand what I want to get across my meaning?

When presenting information to jurors graphically, there are actually very few categories of images to consider, although there are many variations within these categories.


Lists, Processes and Inter-Relationships  


Sometimes, you merely want to present a list, or a hierarchically ordered list of things for the juror to know or remember.  


Other times, you are representing a sequential list to show a process, chronological timeline or causal linkage of things.  


And sometimes, you want to show some time of inter-relationship among things.


I took the following examples from the "Insert: Smart Art: section of Microsoft Word, which does a good job of showing how graphics can be distilled down to just a few different types of categories of representation.


Spending just 15 minutes scanning the choices in Smart Art will rent a little space in your unconscious mind and help you immensely in "thinking graphically." 


It's just creative variation from there.

Graphic Choices



Ordinary Language and "Graphic" Representation


The graphic that you use is not "reality," it is only a metaphoric representation of reality, just as a map is not the territory represented.


The building blocks of ordinary language to express our experience using these same visual concepts. It will help you think "visually" as you focus to "hear" the visual in our everyday language. For example, prepositions in our language, like the above examples of graphics, also express hierarchy, process and relationship.   




Above, below, beneath, down, over, under, underneath, up, upon...



After, as, at, before, behind, between, beyond, during, following, from, past, since, through, to, towards, towards, until, via...



Aboard, across, against, along, amid, among, anti, around, away, beside, besides, but, by, concerning, considering, despite, except, excluding, in, inside, into, like, near, off, on, onto, opposite, outside, regarding, than, versus, with, within, without, unlike...


In future newsletters, I will discuss metaphors, moral themes and other language representations that used to convey meaning and advocacy to jurors.