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What can you do to persuade a jury?

It's in your best interests to be likable when you show up to court. The jury needs to be persuaded to believe what you and your attorney want it to believe. To do that, it's vital that you take the time to think about how the jury will come to a decision.

There are several ways to make a jury look at you more favorably, from smiling and dressing in neat clothing to answering the judge kindly and nodding or giving agreeable answers throughout the trial.

It's been shown that it's not always the evidence that the jury focuses on. Having a strong voice and not wavering during your testimony, for example, shows you're confident in what you're saying. That sounds more convincing to the jury. Emphasizing positive words in your speech patterns can even catch the jury's attention subconsciously.

Probably one of the most important things to do is to make sure your body language matches what you're saying. For example, if you shake your head no while you're answering yes, that's a clear sign that you're not being truthful or have other things on your mind. Even subconsciously, body language can play a major role in how the jury perceives you, so practice making sure your body language lines up with what you're saying.

No one is perfect at trial, but by focusing on coming off in the most positive way and making a good first impression, you'll go a long way in helping with your defense and supporting the story given to the court by your attorney.

Source: The Jury Expert, "How To Present Yourself In Court To Be Optimally Likable and Persuasive," Katherine James, accessed Aug. 16, 2017

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