Dr. Noelle Nelson

Want Powerful Testimony? Adopt the Power-Sit

Witnesses are nervous enough already at the thought of testifying. Being loaded down with 10 body-language directives from well-meaning attorneys doesn’t necessarily enhance their testimony.

I have found that one simple directive ‘fixes’ a whole host of body-language problems. That is the “Power-Sit.”

Simply put, the witness sits with their rear planted firmly in the “L” of the chair, which assures good posture without having to think about it. They then are asked to avoid leaning to the left or right and to keep their back in contact with the back of the chair at all times. That the more nervous they get, the more the witness can press their back into the back of the chair. It becomes their ‘secure’ or ‘safe’ place.

The impression jurors receive from the “Power-Sit” is that of a confident, straightforward, credible witness – one whose testimony is far more likely to be believed than the testimony from a witness who slumps, or leans to the left or right, or aggressively forward, to give but a few examples.

What a platform for effective testimony! Without your witness having to remember 10 different directives, they only have to focus on one. Now you are free to focus on the substantive issues in your witness’ testimony, knowing their body language won’t be contradicting the testimony.

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