Electronic Discovery Trends and Beyond Bullet Points

I’m giving a keynote presentation tomorrow on electronic discovery trends at a conference of electronic discovery vendors. This audience is different from my usual audience of lawyers and that has allowed me to take some creative new approaches to the topic.
I was fiddling with the introduction this evening and went back to Cliff Atkinson’s approach outlined in his essential book for presenters, Beyond Bullet Points. He has a great exercise to help you organize your introduction. I worked through the exercise and was pleasantly surprised with what came out of the exercise. It’s a little long and doesn’t fit the recommended template, so I’m not sure that I’ll use the entire thing, but I thought I’d post it here, in part to help me get it fixed in my mind by typing it out.
Let me know what you think and whether this intro makes you interested in the presentation that will follow it.

The December 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were supposed to “change everything” about electronic discovery. As we approach the first anniversary of the amendments, the impact is probably not what anyone expected and the electronic discovery industry is caught between two polar opposite forces. On one side is the relentless, accelerating pace of technological change, especially as it impacts data, and the acceleration growth in volume and variety of data. On the other side is the stubborn reluctance of the legal profession to take more than baby steps toward dealing with data and EDD issues. Call it the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
You, me, and everyone else in the EDD and lit support industry are caught up in and trying to navigate safely the waters of the in-between, without being swept into the whirlpools of Charybdis or eaten by the multi-headed monster of Scylla, for those who had an ancient Greek lit class in college. We know it as being caught between a rock and a hard place.
Let’s face it, we struggle to keep up-to-date and have enough actionable information to deal with either force, let alone both at once. If there are opportunities, how do we recognize them and what to do we do to make them happen? Are we at a time of great opportunity, as many believe, or have we reached a crossroads where we must choose new directions, recognizing that what has served us well before might no longer be the right course?
There’s no doubt that we want to deal with both forces successfully and profitably, and helping our customers help their customers and clients. We know that we cannot slow the pace of technology, no matter how much lawyers wish that that could be. That means that we need to find ways to bring lawyers further into the world of e-discovery than they have shown themselves to be comfortable. Or, perhaps, determine new roles for lawyers and others within this system.
How do we get from here to there? Working together – beginning with the conversation we start today.

It’s a little too literary and I’d like it to be more conversational than “written,” but I like the way the exercise has helped me focus on my themes and my story for the presentation. I highly recommend Atkiinson’s book and the exercises in Chapter 2 in particular for your next presentation.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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