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Movement in the Courtroom
• As trial lawyers, this tends to be the last thing
on our minds.
• We plan our movements and ge...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Herein lies the problem. Strategies or plans to
move around the courtroom can lack the fluid
m...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Let’s take a short digression.
• Michael Chekhov analogized the body to that
of an instrument....
Movement in the Courtroom
• Experience comes to us through our bodies as
sensations.
• Our bodies record this as knowledge...
Movement in the Courtroom
• In fact, we seem to have lost a connection to
the original statements.
• What do we mean when ...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Behold our common language of movement.
• We say we are either “moved” or “not moved”
by thing...
Movement in the Courtroom
• We feel others out, put our heads together
and touch upon the problem, sidestepping the
real i...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Movement is at the center of these
statements so it is essential to pay attention to
movement:...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Actors never “wander” around the stage.
Every move is done with purposeful intention
to emphas...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Wandering, pacing or even unconscious
weight shifting is distracting and takes your
attention ...
Movement in the Courtroom
Think Like a Director
• Just as a director looks at the stage to see the
areas of strongest impa...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Look at general areas of the courtroom as
points to reach your jury (all of your jury) on
as m...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Look carefully at the placement of furniture
(lecterns, tables, projection screens) in
relatio...
Movement in the Courtroom
• The following theatrical techniques will help
you stage your opening and closing in a way
that...
Movement in the Courtroom
Upstage and Downstage
• Directors block the movements of actors to
emphasize dramatic meaning an...
Movement in the Courtroom
• The downstage area, closest to the audience, is a
strong position and is the best place to pre...
Movement in the Courtroom
Movement in the Courtroom
Stage Right and Stage Left
• In American and British theater, Stage Right
and Stage Left refer t...
Movement in the Courtroom
• The position Downstage Right is perceived by
western audiences as having intimacy and
importan...
Movement in the Courtroom
• In theater, love scenes, monologues and
narration are usually performed Down Right.
• Good pub...
Movement in the Courtroom
• Downstage Left traditionally has a
conspiratorial feel to it, a place for plots and
discussion...
Movement in the Courtroom
Tips
• Follow your instincts. Be led by those
jurors who seem to beckon for your
attention. You’...
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Module 27: Movement in the Courtroom

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Module 27: Movement in the Courtroom

  1. 1. Movement in the Courtroom • As trial lawyers, this tends to be the last thing on our minds. • We plan our movements and gestures when we are in front of a jury just like we plan our opening statements and closing arguments.
  2. 2. Movement in the Courtroom • Herein lies the problem. Strategies or plans to move around the courtroom can lack the fluid motion of natural movement. • As a result, it comes off artificial.
  3. 3. Movement in the Courtroom • Let’s take a short digression. • Michael Chekhov analogized the body to that of an instrument. • Our instrument is the same body that carries on a life: it eats; it sleeps; it laughs and cries; it experiences pain and anguish; it dies.
  4. 4. Movement in the Courtroom • Experience comes to us through our bodies as sensations. • Our bodies record this as knowledge. • We speak a language of experience that we are comfortable with, using word pictures that are absolutely connected to movement.
  5. 5. Movement in the Courtroom • In fact, we seem to have lost a connection to the original statements. • What do we mean when we say, “she fell into despair,” or “fell into confusion,” or “fell in love” or “fell asleep?” • How can these things be connected? Do we really “fall” into them?
  6. 6. Movement in the Courtroom • Behold our common language of movement. • We say we are either “moved” or “not moved” by things. • Our hearts go out to others, or they break, our chins drop, we rise to the occasion, and swell with pride, we shrink in fear, or firmly stand our ground.
  7. 7. Movement in the Courtroom • We feel others out, put our heads together and touch upon the problem, sidestepping the real issue until we are able to draw conclusions and then are finally rest assured.
  8. 8. Movement in the Courtroom • Movement is at the center of these statements so it is essential to pay attention to movement: the movements we make, the ones made around us, and the ones happening within us.
  9. 9. Movement in the Courtroom • Actors never “wander” around the stage. Every move is done with purposeful intention to emphasize, draw attention to, or offer “subtext” to the script or content. • When an actor moves from place to place on stage, it’s called a cross. Crosses are precise, clear movements from one place to another. Each movement should be done with purpose, at a specific point in your presentation.
  10. 10. Movement in the Courtroom • Wandering, pacing or even unconscious weight shifting is distracting and takes your attention away from where it should be: the jury. It weakens the impact of your speech. • By moving to a specific point in the courtroom, you can punctuate a point. • Tip: If you want to make a strong point, taking three steps forward will alert the jury you are about to say something important.
  11. 11. Movement in the Courtroom Think Like a Director • Just as a director looks at the stage to see the areas of strongest impact for the audience and sets the stage for the scene, so should you. • As a public speaker, you should always think about the courtroom from the juror’s point of view, keeping it balanced and visually interesting.
  12. 12. Movement in the Courtroom • Look at general areas of the courtroom as points to reach your jury (all of your jury) on as many levels as you can. For example, you may move closer to the jury box to get closer to one or two of them, or keep your distance in order to take in all of them.
  13. 13. Movement in the Courtroom • Look carefully at the placement of furniture (lecterns, tables, projection screens) in relation to YOU and where you are in the jury’s view. • Make sure you are not “upstaged” by an unnecessary piece of large furniture, which unconsciously draws the jury’s attention away from you.
  14. 14. Movement in the Courtroom • The following theatrical techniques will help you stage your opening and closing in a way that uses movement to enhance content.
  15. 15. Movement in the Courtroom Upstage and Downstage • Directors block the movements of actors to emphasize dramatic meaning and to maintain clear sightlines.
  16. 16. Movement in the Courtroom • The downstage area, closest to the audience, is a strong position and is the best place to present the most important content of your speech. However, you don’t want to live there. • Upstage, away from the audience, is less powerful but can be used effectively for reflective pauses. • Moving from upstage to downstage in order to make an important point is highly effective.
  17. 17. Movement in the Courtroom
  18. 18. Movement in the Courtroom Stage Right and Stage Left • In American and British theater, Stage Right and Stage Left refer to the actor’s – or speaker’s – point of view.
  19. 19. Movement in the Courtroom • The position Downstage Right is perceived by western audiences as having intimacy and importance (probably because we read from left to right).
  20. 20. Movement in the Courtroom • In theater, love scenes, monologues and narration are usually performed Down Right. • Good public speakers use this position for their most important content, or for stories that have a strong emotional effect.
  21. 21. Movement in the Courtroom • Downstage Left traditionally has a conspiratorial feel to it, a place for plots and discussions in the theater. • Humor in a speech is often very effective when delivered from this position.
  22. 22. Movement in the Courtroom Tips • Follow your instincts. Be led by those jurors who seem to beckon for your attention. You’ll see it; you’ll feel it. • But NEVER leave anyone out.

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