With the unrelenting pressure and time constraints of litigation, it’s easy to forget certain basics of persuasive trial communication. One of those is the judicious use of pace.
Pace refers to the speed of your voice. If you speak too quickly, jurors will have trouble following what you are saying, and will eventually stop trying. If you speak too slowly, everyone in the courtroom will fall asleep. Neither is conducive to making a convincing point.
A desirable pace is one that is easy to follow but quick enough to remain interesting. Good pace reflects good energy, Good pace, reflecting good energy, is the vocal equivalent of walking at a brisk pace. Use this as your basic rate of speech.
Anything done the same way for long periods of time, however, becomes monotonous. Vary your basic pace by:
1. slowing it down
– when you wish to appear thoughtful
– when you have something particularly important or serious to impart
– when you wish to show great respect.
2. speeding it up
– when you review information you have already covered
– when you wish to make something seem unimportant.
Persuasion is grounded in a variety of factors, including good vocal pace.