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Speaking in the Courtroom
Some people are natural born speakers. They can strike up a conversation with anyone on the street or rile a crowd up into a frenzy at any event. Sometimes they are naturally charming, naturally comical, or they just have that confidence to start that random conversation. A few of us though are less than happy to speak in front of others. Even when it comes to friends it can take some time before we talk openly and frequently with them. So what happens when we have no choice to not just talk to people, but talk in front of people who are actively judging us? For many, this is a situation that has to face in the courtroom.
Regardless of what it is, that has you in the courtroom, you are most likely going to have to talk to someone there while everyone else is watching. What you say is going to be recorded and the judge is going to focus on the words you use. Under this much pressure, it is easy to stumble with your words. You might even forget your words altogether or have problems recalling what facts you need to present to the court. It is an understandable response to being put under that kind of pressure. The case does still have to go on though, and some people might try and use this against you. So how can you help overcome this stage fright? Here are a few tips.
Practice: It is difficult to practice what you are going to say since you don’t really know what to expect. Your attorney will help prepare you for the courtroom. We all know, however, that telling us and being there are very different. One way to help is to practice speaking in front of friends or family. We wouldn’t recommend revealing any details about the case, but you can always make up a case to talk about. You can even just ramble a bit while standing in front of all of them. Just make sure you do this in a neutral state. Alcohol can make the job easier, but you can’t show up with alcohol on your breath in the courtroom. You can’t smoke in the courtroom either so keep a cig out of your hands when practicing speaking.
Get Plenty of Sleep: You don’t want to enter the courtroom with sleep in your eye. For one, it makes you look less confident and professional. It also makes you feel more stressed and easily irritable. That is not something you want to be when you feel the eyes of the courtroom upon you. You also don’t want to feel irritable if accusations are being tossed at you. So get a good night’s rest so you can come in looking vibrant and feeling confident.
Learn to Breathe: It is typically when our heartbeat starts pounding that we start getting stressed, anxious, nervous, etc. It causes our body temperature to go up, makes us start fidgeting in our seats and can cause us to start going into panic mode. When we keep in control of our breathing, we help keep our heart rate down. It helps to keep us relaxed, calm and can keep our mind focused on the task at hand.
Work With the Nervousness: Being nervous is a persistent sensation that only gets stronger the more you try and fight it. Instead of trying to combat it, forget about it. Easier said than done, we know, but if you double-check your notes, breathe, think about what you are going to say, eventually, you will distract yourself from the fact that you are nervous. If you continue to focus on it, it will only continue getting worse, so show it who’s boss by ignoring it.
Trust your Attorney: Your attorney is there to help you. After all, that is what you are paying them for isn’t it? They have been in the courtroom before, they have gained their victories before, and they know what they are doing. If you need help, talk to them about it. Ask them for ideas on how to make the process easier for you. They will guide you through the process anyway, but each of us is unique. So don’t be afraid to tell them you have a phobia of public speaking.
To get an experienced attorney that will bring determination and understanding to your case, contact Koleilat & Miller today. We have years of experience with a matching track record. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us at (386) 253-4720.