Secure a positive outcome for your case with a composed, likable, and compelling witness.
Jurors consider themselves experts on people, so the impressions made by a witness can strongly influence a jury’s decision making. This article dives into the psychology behind how jurors perceive witness testimony, and which factors you should focus on in order to prepare your witness.
The Psychology of Effective Communication
The ideal witness falls squarely within the parameters of being informative and assertive when expressing themselves and the information. Think good communicator in the vein of a ‘newscaster.’
Ensuring Witness Credibility
It is important for witnesses to understand expectations for their testimony, and correct behaviors that get in the way of jurors’ positive perceptions.
What makes a likeable, credible witness?
- Conversational Language
- Eye Contact
- Posture & Appropriate Attire
4 Easy Ways to Lose Credibility:
Witness Testimony: Presenting a Clear Message
Help your witness present a confident, clear and well-perceived testimony.
Ensure that your witnesses are familiar with your storyline and the themes of the case and can incorporate them into their testimony.
Witness preparation sessions will help them practice staying on-course and remaining faithful to their beliefs. A consultant will work with the trial team and witness to develop and practice home base messages to which they can retreat when they are threatened or challenged.
Your witness should:
- Know their message & stay true to it
- Know the case story/ themes
- Know it well enough to recognize when they are going off course
- Practice it so that it becomes the place to which they retreat when they are challenged
- Stay confident and concise. Jurors get lost in rambling answers
Making the Testimony Memorable
Utilizing Consultants for Witness Communication Training
Witness Communication Training:
- Manages anxiety with knowledge & practice
- Clarifies the deponent’s role in the case
- Teaches witnesses case themes
- Develops Home Base messages
- Creates visuals witnesses can use to guide jurors
- Provides techniques for effectively handling documents & exhibits
- Helps witnesses meet juror expectations
Magna Legal Services’ expert consultants will help your witness feel in control of their testimony, prepare them for responding to challenging questions and allow them to deliver the most effective message at trial.
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