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The Art of Testifying

Witnesses have the opportunity to connect with -- or disconnect  from --  jurors. They are the storytellers to whom you have entrusted your client's case. Regardless of their expertise in their field, or their experience on the witness stand, your witnesses should be specifically prepared for the idiosyncracies of your particular case.

Jeri Kagel teaches witnesses the tools and techniques to communicate their part of the case story in ways that relate to, and engage, the jury.

After the preparation is complete, the witnesses will have confidence in their presentation, they'll understand the significance of their behavior and their testimony, and they'll present themselves in a way that touches the hearts and minds of jurors.

As Jeri works with the witness, she'll increase their confidence about their place in the case sotry:

  • The significance of their choices and why they made them
  • How they manifested those choices
  • Their reasons for not doing what they chose not to do

Jeri also prepares them for the questions that will come at them from the opposing side, so that they are calm and confident when they face cross examination.

The Witness's "Job"

At trial, the witness's job is to educate the jury -- to share information in a cogent, thoughtful and easy-to-understand way.

Jeri's witness preparation process includes:

  • Explaining the structure and dynamics of the trial so they witness understands the significance of their testimony
  • Teaching strategies to "do the job of the witness" on both direct and cross examination
  • Handling an overbearing cross examiner while keeping the focus on teaching the jury
  • Infusing the testimony with storytelling tools and techniques, to keep jurors engaged
  • Practicing with the attorney
    • Aiding the attorney in preparing and organizing the direct examination
    • Building rapport between the lawyer and the witness
    • Demonstrating how to do their job as a witness during cross examination

From the attorney's perspective: "She was able to quickly assess the witness's strengths and weaknesses and devise exercises and strategies to enhance the former and minimize the latter."

From the witness's perspective: "I found most valuable her suggestions for answering questions likely to be put to me by the opposing attorney...Jeri taught me to deal with a leading question...Because of Jeri I am now more on my guard against compound questions."

From the defense perspective: "Trial Synergy is also invaluable in preparing employees or expert witnesses to become better communicators in the frequently intimidating and hostile deposition/courtroom environment."

In a family law situation:  "Jeri's work with people is transformative...Jeri turned our most unlikable, reticent clients into likable, effective witnesses."

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