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How to Win Friends and Influence Juries

By Edward Tan, JD | Last updated on

Ask most trial attorneys what's the hardest part about their job and they'll probably say winning over a jury. It's no easy task. People are fickle and can be influenced in very unpredictable ways. So wouldn't it be great if you could just hack a juror's minds?

It might actually be possible. And no, this doesn't require some "Matrix" type human modifications. All you need for this feat is your voice, according to an article in Psychology Today.

How does it work? It's actually pretty simple.

The way a person speaks has a huge impact on how others perceive them. While this may seem obvious, that's not the whole revelation.

To our unconscious minds, what or how a person says something isn't the only factor that influences our opinion of a speaker. Rather, the sound of a person's voice is actually one of the most important aspects our brains consider, according to the article. This is especially true when we're trying to determine a person's credibility.

For instance, the article cites that a person's mind tends to associate those who speak in a higher pitched voice as being less truthful. In addition, those who talk too slowly or with too many pauses also are deemed less credible. President Obama has been criticized for being notorious for speaking with too slowly or pausing.

Conversely, those who speak in deeper more expressive tones were often associated with higher intelligence and trustworthiness.

So what does this mean for trial lawyers? It might suggest that when you have to present your case to a jury, lowering the pitch and tenor of your voice could curry more favor. While it can be hard to change your natural speaking voice, doing so could be the mind hack you need to win over those stubborn juries.

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