Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Three Ss of Jury Persuasion.

In Change the Way You See Yourself (2008), Kathryn D. Cramer and Hank Wasiak posit three basic assets of communication:

1. Substance - WHAT you say (i.e. content);

2. Sizzle - HOW you engage people (e.g., tone, volume, pacing, etc.) and HOW your craft it (e.g., stories, metaphors, analogies);

3. Soul - WHO you are (e.g., passions, aspirations, and values) and WHY your message is important to you.

They argue that "Sizzle" and "Soul" account for 93% of why an audience remembers and believes what has been said.

I couldn't help but think this observation has direct relevance to a trial attorney addressing a jury. I think one of the most important factors for trial attorneys is developing credibility with the decision-makers. I suspect credibility would probably fall largely, if not exclusively, under "Soul."

In witnessing many trial attorneys over the years, I think the predilection is to emphasize "Substance," by dryly working through the law (or arcane rules) and the evidence, with heavy doses of legalese and tedium. However, according to the authors, this factor carries the least weight. Probably true.

via Pastor Scott Hodge: