The Research/Practice Gap: You Should Continue to Prefer Live Testimony

May 9th, 2022|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: I recently visited one of the Meow Wolf locations, and my feelings about the immersive art installation tracked with the typical reactions: As vivid as the pictures are, they still don’t do it justice, and you have to be there. This idea that in-person experience is always going to be better than a visual record also applies to many other live events, and the easy availability of video of our favorite teams and favorite musical artists has not dimmed our appetite for expensive tickets to the live in-person events. That is because we believe, at least,

Rethinking Your Assumptions About PowerPoint Slides

May 5th, 2022|The Sound Jury Library (Sound Jury Consulting)|

I was recently teaching a class on visual learning, memory, and attention. I asked the participants to make a list of good rules for designing effective visual messages in slide shows, and I got the answers you might expect. Students said things like “use fewer slides,” “keep the backgrounds light and simple,” “use section headers and signpost for the audience,” etc. These answers aren’t surprising as they reflect much of the conventional wisdom on what makes for effective and persuasive slides. The problem is this: most of what people know about visual message design runs afoul of what brain science

Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 2

May 5th, 2022|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

This is part 2 of the benefits of a jury or trial consultant in commercial litigation. As noted in the prior post, in commercial litigation, high powered people are often involved. We have been involved in many cases in which these parties were “out for blood.” Even though the cases were “only about money,” the litigation became personal. These parties wanted their “pound of flesh.” Commercial litigation can get ugly. The perspectives of the parties are often skewed by these factors. The longer the litigation takes, the “hotter” some of these people become because they want their day in court

Embrace the Power of “You might be thinking…”

May 5th, 2022|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: A seasoned trial lawyer stands in front of the jury, previews the critical argument, and then, making knowing eye contact with the jury, adds, “Now, you might be thinking…” before spelling out and then responding to a key point of expected resistance. That approach — anticipating and reacting to likely responses from your target audience — is an approach that works. I recently completed a focus group with an attorney who used that approach over and over again, wrapping his arguments around the predicted thought processes of the jury, and the focus group participants ate it

If You Don’t Have a Ph.D In Psychology Don’t Presume to Understand Human Nature

May 3rd, 2022|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

I have written about the phenomenon of people who have no education, training, or expertise in psychology who think they know as much about human behavior as I, a psychologist, know. I am frequently asked for my opinion about someone or something, only to be told, “Well, I don’t have a degree in psychology, but I do know about my Uncle Bubba’s situation and it is different than what ‘them there’ books say.” When this happens, I usually shake my head, muster a fake smile, and wish the person well, knowing he/she will never be able to understand what

Address Anti-Expert Bias: 5 Ways

May 2nd, 2022|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It has been a rough couple of years for science. Our newly-unmasked population seems to be more divided than ever about our ability to rely on science in applying systematic and neutral procedures in order to find reliable answers to the questions that matter. A sizable chunk of the population is primed to suspect that anyone who speaks with initials after their name is likely to be spreading BS. Of course, there has always been a tendency for people in some quarters to downplay science as mere opinion. Particularly in a courtroom, there has always been