Treat Witness Eye Contact As a Three-Way Conversation, by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm, Persuasive Litigator™
Please note the additional posts at the bottom of the page on witness nonverbal communication. -CCE
The advice is as old as the art of communication: Look at the person you are talking to. And it is good advice. Eye contact makes it easier for audiences to stay engaged and more likely that speakers will focus on their targets. For a witness on the stand during trial testimony, that means ‘Look at the jury.’ But not just the jury. A witness who shuts out counsel and fixes their gaze only on the jury is likely to look a little contrived, or even creepy. So the advice is to look at the attorney when she is asking a question, and then look at the jury when delivering your answer. But that advice can create its own problem. . . .
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