OSHA and safety expert witness Chip Darius explains.

Q. What are some of the non-verbal messages expert witnesses send?

Non-verbal communication is a complex area of study. We perceive non-verbal messages in how a person is dressed, colors and styles of clothing, physical appearance, posture while walking and sitting, facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, rate of speaking, and more. People tend to believe that “rehearsed acting” is fake, and “spontaneous reacting” is real. That is, what “leaks out” is seen as more truthful. The expert may simply be tired, but the juror interprets droopy eyes or a stifled yawn as bored or disinterested. The expert wants to project confidence, but the juror may interpret it as arrogance. The expert must address the jurors when speaking, looking to the jury as a whole and making eye contact with each juror in turn. People will trust their readings of nonverbal behavior clusters or patterns more than a specific single nonverbal cue.

 Mr. Darius will be speaking at the SEAK National Expert Witness Conference to be held on May 3-4, 2014 in Orlando, FL.

 Persuasion Skills and Communication Techniques for Expert Witnesses

Chip Darius, OHST, CET

To be effective and successful, expert witnesses need both technical skills and the ability to communicate with and persuade the judge, jury, or other fact finder. Mr. Darius will explain and demonstrate what makes expert witnesses more persuasive and successful communicators. In this presentation he will explain and demonstrate specific techniques that experts can utilize to become a more persuasive expert witness before, during and after testimony including: 6-second size-up; using powerful and memorable language, analogies, and metaphors; optimizing teaching skills and opportunities; using demonstrative aids and evidence; verbal and non-verbal communication; focusing on the messages between the lines; and managing meta-communication.

Chip Darius, OHST, CET is an OSHA / Safety Consultant and Trainer with over 20 years’ experience serving clients in general industry, construction, utilities and emergency services. Mr. Darius is an Instructor for the OSHA Training Institute Region 1 Education Center, where he has been teaching courses on OSHA regulations for over a decade. Mr. Darius is an experienced Forensic Expert Witness and Litigation Consultant in catastrophic injury, fatality and personal injury matters. He has experience in both plaintiff and defense cases, in state and federal matters. He has testimony experience in depositions and at trials. Mr. Darius has conducted training at international, national, regional, state and local conferences and seminars. He earned BS and MA degrees from the University of Connecticut. Mr. Darius has also been a certified Emergency Medical Technician for 34 years.