What Do I Do to Pick a Tone of Speech to Use with Somebody?
Natalie Lynch is your credentialed investigator and licensed attorney, not a vlogger.
What do I do to pick a tone of speech to use with somebody?
It really depends what they need, but we don't... We can be empathetic, but we can't be therapeutic. We can be stern, but we can't be aggressive. And short of that, I think the answer about what tone we use with any particular interviewee is based on what they need.
So, being an investigator is a lot like being a chameleon, and you can get a lot of investigative success by mirroring the tone that people use with you. And so, if you're in a very blue collar environment with a lot of cussing, it might... The first time that somebody cusses, they're going to apologize, "Oh, I didn't mean to say that.” And I’ll often say, "Oh, that's not the worst thing that I'll hear today,” or “That's not the worst thing I've heard today.” And then I will make a point of cussing back to them at some point – and not cussing at them, but using cuss words in my speech.
But by mirroring people – their speech, their speech patterns, the rhythms of their speech – you can get a whole lot of success in getting people to feel comfortable with you quickly. And that is a great way to get good information.