Before you step into the courtroom to testify, it is important to be familiar with your surroundings to maximize your confidence, comfort and success. The following are suggestions that will cumulatively lead to your success as a witness. Knowing how to answer questions, the ability to control your reactions, and knowledge of proper courtroom behavior can help lead to your success and comfort as a witness. How to Speak When You Are Testifying
- Speak loudly and clearly, especially when you are sworn in and say, “I do.”
- Once you have been seated, sit up straight and look at the questioning attorney. Use eye contact with the judge, but DO NOT invade the judge’s space. You should be speaking to the judge and the counsel conversationally. The purpose of looking at the judge is to gauge their reactions. Observe if they are bored, unconvinced, or simply does not understand what you are talking about. The purpose is not to pound the judge with information.
- Keep your hands in your lap and away from your mouth. Do not hold pens or other items that may distract you or your audience.
- Speak at a normal rate of speed so the court reporter and the entire courtroom can hear and understand your words.
In the following posts we will share how to manage the questions, the Dos and the Do Nots.