When a witness testifies in a courtroom, the visual aspect of their testimony is a one-time event. Afterwards, if jurors wish to review the testimony they are limited to court transcripts. Conversely, video depositions can be viewed multiple times during the course of a trial and even during jury deliberations. This makes the visual aspect of video depositions all the more critical as it becomes an intrinsic part of the testimony that can influence juror perceptions and attitudes toward your case. In this blog, our litigation experts offer three video deposition tips to ensure your deposition is visually persuasive.
3 Video Deposition Tips for Persuasive Visuals
Be conscious of nonverbal behavior. Certain body language and facial expressions can not only be distracting, but give the impression that a witness is being evasive or untruthful. For example, repeatedly scratching one’s nose while speaking is often interpreted as a sign of lying, while crossed arms imply defensiveness. Behaviors to avoid include:
- Exaggerated or frequent eye movements
- Drumming or tapping fingers and/or feet
- Repeatedly clearing one’s throat
- Fidgeting or rocking
- Smirking, looks of disgust, and other exaggerated facial expressions
Instead, a witness should appear relaxed and comfortable, keeping a neutral but sincere expression. They should sit up straight, listen attentively, and keep hand gestures to a minimum. Leaning slightly forward as opposed to leaning back keeps the witness from appearing cocky or too carefree.
Dress to impress, not distract. While it is important not to underdress for the occasion – no sweatpants or tank tops, please – it is equally important that deponents not overdress. Witnesses should minimize jewelry and accessories and avoid bold patterns. Patterned suits and ties can even be problematic, as pinstripes, checks, herringbones, and plaids can translate poorly on camera. Instead, deponents should dress conservatively in simple but business-appropriate clothing. Choose sedate, middle range colors, as white, black, and red can make your complexion appear washed out.
Ensure your exhibits can be seen by jurors. When deponents are interacting with exhibits, it is important that jurors can clearly see the interaction in order to follow the accompanying testimony. At Precise, we utilize telestrators and picture-in-picture technology to display exhibits and witness interaction simultaneously. These interactive depositions allow jurors to follow the testimony and focuses their attention on key information and helps with both memory retention and recall.
For Superior Video Depositions, Call Precise
At Precise, we provide all the services you need for a dynamic courtroom presentation. Our professional, highly trained staff of legal videographers can help you craft the powerful trial tools you need to win your case. And our courtroom technicians can sync depositions to transcripts, allowing for “on-the-fly” editing, clip creation, and seamless courtroom playback. If you would like to learn more about video depositions from Precise, call us today at 866-277-3247.