6 Trial Presentation Tips You Can Learn From Actors

Ever wondered why courtroom scenes are frequently shown all over TV shows and movies? That is most often because the audience loves the drama that comes with the clash between right and wrong.

With all that drama, you can barely notice the level of skill actors need to behavior like lawyers. However, actors have been known to study the best lawyers in the world to determine what it takes to get the scene right. That is why we can learn a lot from Hollywood actors in what it takes to make a trial presentation compelling.

Here are 6 Trial Presentation Tips You Can Learn From Actors.

Make Great preparation


By the time actors perform, they will already know everything they need to know about the plot and their role in it. A successful presentation requires hours of preparation. You don’t have to start your presentation as an essay but rather an effective method of communication. If you write your presentation down on flashcards to just read each out one by one, this will create an impersonal delivery and lose the audience’s attention.

Practice, Practice, Practice


While most actors might not have what it takes to be an actual lawyer, they can surely pull it off in their scenes. This is due to hours of practicing. It is important to practice what you are going to say and how you will deliver it. Listen to the sound and confidence in your voice.

Are your nerves causing you to feel disrupted? Do you find yourself speaking too fast? You can deliver your speech in an audio recorder to get a glimpse of how you sound like to an audience. To help you improve, you can send it to a colleague or family to help you gain better feedback.

Warm Up


Even with hours of practice and preparation, do not underestimate the tools you need to perform. Actors will never walk onstage without warming up. Before walking into the courtroom, warm up your voice and move around. Take deep breaths as you stand to get your blood flowing. Make sure to keep your body and voice expressive as this will help activate concentration and calm the nerves.

Use Simple Language


The best screenwriters know how to make simple sentences go far. Using layman’s terms and language will lay out a forward and emotional sense in your opening statement.

Relate to the Jury


It is important to create a moment that relates to the jury. Ideally, consider touching the most crucial part of the case as it is important to relate the knowledge of a local custom to something meaningful.

Be Ready to Respond


Anything can happen during a performance. This forces actors to prepare for the unexpected. Someone may miss their cue or end up on the wrong stage. Remember to take the time to breathe and read the audience.

Conclusion

You’ve done your work, checked your facts, understand your laws and know what you want as well as how you will get it. Just remember to keep your eyes on the juror and invite your audience to care about what you are trying to say.

5 Statements Lawyers Should Never Say in Court

When it comes to major case hearings, lawyers always have a lot to say. However, how the sentences that come out isn’t always what they expect. I conducted an interview with Chris Stoy, which is a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer at Hutchison & Stoy and had him list some of the most common statements that you never want to hear yourself say in court.

Here are 5 statements lawyers should never say in court:

“Can I please have a few minutes to sort out this issue?”

Fixing any sort of issue, especially technical glitches, during the middle of a hearing is something you don’t want to do in court. However, this is one statement that many lawyers end up saying from time to time. While there are some exceptions of technical difficulties that cannot be controlled, most problems are easily preventable. In cases like these, it is always best to have a backup plan.

“You might not be to see this clearly, but here it is.”

If valuable evidence is not clearly shown, why would the juror and judge include it in their decision? Make sure that whatever you plan to show is clearly visible. This is one of the most common mistakes we see in court. A good presentation provides high-quality text and projectors that include equipment, proper font sizes, and more. Be sure to use texts no smaller than 25. Small problems like these can easily be avoided. However, it is one of the most common PowerPoint mistakes litigators make.

“You can take my word for it.”

Litigators often catch themselves saying things like “you can take my word for it” or “believe me.” However, as a litigator, it is your job to prove the evidence to the case. If you find yourself saying something like this, it ruins the effect of the presentation and becomes an inadequate exercise for visual quality. The juror will take it as an excuse to explain your errors. With all the quality testing tools available, there is no excuse to make this statement and be unprepared.

“Put yourself in their position”

Known as the “Golden Rule” in the courtroom, this statement alone creates a negative approach to the case. Yet, we still see lawyers, even from the top law firms making this mistake over and over. The statement is meant to ask the jury to put themselves in their client’s shoes. However, it may do more harm than good. The purpose of the statement is to really help the jury understand. However, there is a line between how it is said and delivered. Avoid statements like “imagine if you were in their place and suffering or “reward my client the same as you would expect to receive.”

“Check out my next bullet point.”

Generally, the use of bullet points on slides must be avoided. This court will be forced to read them rather than listen to your presentation. Additionally, it is important to understand that you must not speak and show at the same time.

Keep these statements in mind for your next court presentation. Knowing what not to say will help guide you in better performance and in results.