It’s often said that 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. While this figure is a misrepresentation of the research on which it is based, the reality is the things people say actually capture a very small percentage of what they are communicating—a person’s eyes, tone, facial expressions, authority, and posture all have a significant impact on the way their message is received.
In the context of depositions, nonverbal communication can have a significant impact on the perceived veracity, competence, and acumen of a witness. Employing professional videography in a deposition can preserve the record in a way that a paper transcript simply cannot. Some of the specific benefits of videotaped depositions are listed below.
When you ask a witness a question, their initial nonverbal reaction can reveal a lot about their frame of mind and whether the things they are about to say are true and accurate. A professional videographer can capture and highlight a witness’ true reaction to a particular question, including their facial expressions, mannerisms, and eye movements, all of which can influence a judge or jury’s reaction to a given response. Sometimes, a witness may even demonstrate physical or emotional pain without any words, which is extremely important to portray.
Illustrate Credibility—or the Lack of It
There are often telltale signs that you can trust a person—or not—during a conversation. Many of these signs involve body language, eye movements, and simply whether a person appears to be trustworthy. None of these come through in a written transcript. In addition, if an opposing lawyer tries to manipulate the responses of the witness and what exactly they meant, a video replay can clear up any discrepancies.
Present a Strong Witness Who Cannot be in the Courtroom
There are many reasons why witnesses may not be able to make it into court for trial. They may have travel restrictions or medical conditions that make their physical presence impossible—a witness may even pass away before their court date. However, if an attorney knows they have a strong witness that can benefit their case, they also know it is imperative for the jury to see the witness. Video footage from a deposition allows the jury to watch the witness while you present their testimony. It’s especially important to get witnesses on video if there’s a chance they’ll die before trial—otherwise, the nonverbal components of their delivery will be lost forever. Even though having a witness in court is sometimes the best option, a video transcript of deposition testimony is definitely preferable to a written transcript.
Video Allows the Witness to Tell a Story
Every strong litigator knows that a trial is all about telling a great and convincing story. When it comes to witness testimony, seeing the witness talk is much more powerful than reading the transcript. Video footage not only does more to keep the jury’s attention but can also more successfully convey the point of the story you are trying to portray.
With society’s attention span constantly decreasing, having a certified professional videographer at your deposition can help immensely when it comes to presenting your case to a jury. A qualified videographer can easily sync the transcript to the video, allowing you to search all of a case’s transcripts for specific words or topics and find the precise frames of the video in which they’re discussed. You should always seek the services of a court reporting firm that understands the advantages of professional video deposition services.