By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:
Imagine this: Your success as an attorney or a witness requires a painstaking dig into the fine points of securities trading. Or offshore corporation taxation rules. Or design criteria for inventory-tracking software. Or the minutia of a construction timeline. Or a patent claim for an electronic switch. Or...you get the idea. Legal cases aren't always celebrity murders or dramatic injury stories. Often, the case itself is dry and requires jurors to attend to details that are abstract, technical, and quite divorced from their daily lives.
Alternately, imagine this: Even when the material itself holds some potential appeal, the witness or the lawyer delivering it does not. They might have a flat and monotone voice, and a lack of emphasis, emotion, or dynamism. That dry style carries the likelihood of turning information that is at least potentially interesting into information that is a chore to follow and to digest.
The question is what to do about it. There are limits to how much you can change the nature of the case. Even with selective emphasis on the most interesting parts, a case is going to have its dry moments. And if an attorney or witness has a somewhat restricted range of communication, then there is a limit to how much that person can change their own style without looking and feeling artificial. The answer is to find a way to compensate. In this post, I'll share seven ways to add interest when the details or the delivery of those details would otherwise be dry.