GPSolo | Feature

Persuasion through Body Language in (and out of) the Courtroom

Kathleen Balthrop Havener

As lawyers we need to teach ourselves, by repetition and discipline and exercise of will, to write, to speak, to comport ourselves as officers of the court. We practice openings and closings, oral arguments on motions, appellate arguments, mock trial and boardroom presentations over and over to make sure we’re honing our message and saying precisely what we hope our listeners will hear. But there is a form of persuasion that is far too often neglected. And on this stage, what we don’t know can indeed hurt us.

Our physical cues (or miscues) bear serious consideration—indeed, even practice.

Our physical cues (or miscues) bear serious consideration—indeed, even practice.

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