As an attorney, I know that testifying in court can be very stressful for my clients. Here are a few simple guidelines I have picked up from judges and other attorneys that can help with the process:
- Carefully listen to and focus on the question being asked;
- Pause for a few seconds before answering if you need time to think;
- If you have a tendency to try and answers questions quickly then slowly tap your foot three times after each question before answering;
- Answer the question directly;
- If the answer is “yes” or “no” then answer “yes” or “no”‘; and
- If an answer needs to be explained, explain it after making a direct answer.
Cases can often turn on the credibility of the witnesses. A witness who directly answers questions will usually appear much more credible to a court.