With the new demands on litigators to adapt trial presentation techniques for proceedings conducted by virtual conferencing, success will be driven by how well you are prepared.
Here are a few essential tips and techniques to help you make your next case.
- Always hold a practice session.
- Save your link to the hearing where you can find it quickly.
- Make sure your profile picture is appropriate.
- Have a good microphone that filters background noise and picks up your voice loud and clear. Avoid using your device's microphone and know where your mute button is located.
- Be sure your lighting and camera angles are right. The light source should be in front of your face and the camera at eye level.
- Be mindful of your background. A neutral background is best.
- Know what's visible on your screen and know how to share your screen. Be sure to take precautions to control what attendees see.
- Deploy a highly focused cross-examination to capture the attention of the arbitrators, which is all the more critical when participants are not present in the same room.
- Use the screen share feature to pinpoint specific, relevant provisions and highlight key points of interpretation.
- Use a PowerPoint presentation during closing arguments to emphasize key legal and factual considerations for the arbitrators.
- Access to exhibits: Pretrial proceedings take on added importance in virtual hearings. It is vital that the arbitrators, witnesses, and counsel all have access to exhibits to minimize disruptions during the trial.
- Remember that you are still in a court hearing despite the fact you are not physically in the courtroom, and the judge should have your undivided attention. Be sure to mark and ready documents and exhibits to be used at the hearing.
- Practice, Practice, Practice, Test, Test, Test: This will uncover problems and will help you to appear confident, credible, and engaging.
As litigators, we need to be ready to handle myriad types of proceedings via video conferencing. Just since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. In today's legal environment, winning a virtual environment requires both old-school fundamentals as well as the ability to utilize cutting-edge technology for a successful outcome.