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"PowerPoint 2007 Takes On the Fear Factor"

Here's where presentation-savvy paralegals [PPT] can save the day (or at least the PowerPoint slides). Still, it's good to hear that "Microsoft Corp.'s upgraded presentation tool adds user-friendliness to increased visual interest."

"The very word 'PowerPoint' instills grim fear in the hearts of would-be speakers and dread lethargy in the minds of would-be listeners. No other software application can boast such ominous power over sophisticated professionals.

"I've personally witnessed scores of skilled attorneys desperately plead for help in using Microsoft PowerPoint to express their stilted, creative side; and conversely, I've been in the company of many audiences that collectively cringe at the sight of another text-laden, bullet-pointed slide. (The FutureLawyer also feels the "pain of PowerPoint" eloquently illustrated by comedian Don McMillan).

"While the solution to many of these issues requires an organic acumen of presentation techniques and psychology (Dennis Kennedy and Cliff Atkinson's book are great places to start), the Microsoft Office 2007 team recognized that some adjustments had to be made to PowerPoint. Team members on the PowerPoint & OfficeArt Team Blog lamented the fact that 'the vast majority of users fail to create [stunning] documents [and presentations]' and vowed to make it easier to design visually effective presentations in PowerPoint 2007. That apparently was one impetus behind the development of Office Themes."

Author Brett Burney writes a monthly legal technology column for LLRX.com and contributes to ALM's Law.com Legal Technology section and Law Technology News magazine.

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