Tips on Testifying

Helpful Tips
  • Always tell the truth. Remember that you are under oath. Do not try to figure out if your answer will hurt or help the case. Just answer truthfully to the best of your knowledge.
  • Listen carefully to the questions asked of you. If you do not understand a question, ask to have it repeated. Whenever possible, answer the question with a simple “yes” or “no.” Do not guess or speculate. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so.
  • If an objection is made while you are testifying, stop, and do not answer the question until the judge determines whether you must answer.
  • Dress neatly and appropriately and be courteous. The way you dress and act is a direct reflection on you and your case.
  • Be prepared to wait. Trials occasionally do not begin at their scheduled time.
  • Do not discuss your testimony with other witnesses in the case.
  • Never smoke, chew gum, eat or drink anything while in the courtroom. Also, do not have alcoholic beverages the day you are to come to court.
  • Remember, if the defense attorney makes you feel uneasy, he/she is just doing their job. You are not on trial. You are in control. The defendant is on trial.