You might be a competent attorney with strong evidence and a confident legal team offering the illusion of validity, but that doesn’t mean a guaranteed win for your case. The truth is, as airtight as you believe your case may be, the way you hold yourself may also impact the outcome. Put as much effort into your body language as your case, and the two can work in harmony. So, body language In the courtroom is very crucial.
Here are some tips
Whether you’re representing your client for the first time, or you’re an experienced lawyer, it pays to study in the lead up to the big day. Stand in front of the mirror to find out how you look when feeling different emotions.
When you’re feeling neutral, does it show on your face? When you’re feeling confident, do you look smug instead? You may even see the value in smiling, but are you able to smile with your eyes to show that you’re warm and genuine, or does your smile just appear forced? Trustworthiness with the jury is paramount, so by working on your facial expressions, you may be able to exude this.
Play Your Role From Start to Finish
Most people know the importance of first impressions. They prove useful when landing job interviews, making new friends, and, surprisingly, when you enter a courtroom. Still, once you’ve created that solid first impression, you’ve got to work hard to maintain it. Plan your role from start to finish. Create a character as soon as you enter the room. Remember, all eyes will be on you, not only while you’re speaking, but even when you’re not.
The jury can form an opinion of you based on your demeanor alone. The more ‘trained’ that character is, the better the view of those jurors can be.
You might think that steamrolling your opponent is the way to win. Be a bulldog in the courtroom; defiant and fierce. However, being kind can also put you in an advantageous position. It’s vital to show that you’re friendly, respectful, and worthy of being heard.
What’s more, being kind can allow jurors to view you favorably. If they believe you’re a good person, they may be more inclined to see good motives behind your words.
Practice that Smile
We don’t always have something to smile about, but that doesn’t mean this nonverbal behavior is not relevant in a courtroom. You don’t need to plaster a cheesy grin on your face, but work on a smile that screams ‘composure.’ That subtle smile can allow you to appear confident no matter the outcome at any stage of your case. Keep that smile on your face even when things don’t seem to be going your way, and you’ll appear strong for your team and the jurors.
Your evidence and witnesses can undoubtedly put you in a strong position to win a case. In saying that, a lot can be said about your body language. Work on your composure as strongly as your case, and you may just find that you have the winning recipe.