- Arrive early so you can look around the courtroom and become comfortable with your surroundings.
- Neat appearance and proper dress are important.
- Before testifying, prepare yourself by recalling the facts, but do not memorize your testimony.
- Listen carefully to the question asked, and think before speaking. If you do not understand a questions, ask to have it explained.
- Speak clearly and loudly enough for the jury or judge to hear you.
- Answer only the questions asked, directly and simply. Do not volunteer information. Do not guess or speculate.
- Do not answer if there is an objection. Wait until you are told to proceed.
- Do not lose your temper. During cross-examination, remain calm, composed and courteous. Even if the attorney questioning you appears to be discourteous, being polite makes a good impression on the court and the jury.
Above all, remember that you are speaking to a judge or jury. Look at them when you answer questions. A good rule of thumb is to look at a different person for each answer that you give.