Getting ready to be a witness can be an awesome task, especially if you are nervous because you have never testified before. To help you feel more at home on the witness stand, more confident and better prepared to testify, here are several common sense tips.
By “listen,” we mean you should focus intently and pay attention to what is being asked. Jumping to conclusions or assuming what the question will be and trying to get out an answer before the other person has finished the question will often cause you to “open a big, old, ugly can of worms,” which you will never be able to close again and which will result in your having to answer a bunch of questions that otherwise would never have been asked.
By “think,’ we mean you should never answer questions before being certain you have considered them and formulated your shortest full answer to the question, just the question, and nothing but the question. Think before you respond to a question, just like you would in a normal, everyday conversation. If you do not understand any part of the question, then you should feel free to ask for clarification of any unclear part.
By “wait,” we mean you should pause long enough to allow your counselor to make an objection if he or she feels the need to. You do not have to immediately answer every question as soon as it is asked.
By “answer,” we mean you should simply reply to only the exact and specific question that is being asked and never go beyond that original question.
Trust us, all you have to do to be a good witness for your side of the case is be sincere, respectful and thoughtful so you will be credible in your testimony.
If we can help you at any time to help you prepare to testify in any matter, , please feel free to contact us at any time.
Beyond “listen, think, wait, then answer,” here are 10 more ABC's for credible testimony: