Testifying in Court

Helpful suggestions that will aid you on the stand:


  • TELL THE TRUTH. Never forget that you are under oath.
  • DON’T GUESS. If you don’t know, say you don’t know.
  • DRESS IN A NEAT RESPECTABLE AND RESERVED MANNER. You want to be sure your appearance and manner does not distract the jury or judge, or make your testimony seem less valid.
  • DON’T LOSE YOUR TEMPER. Many defense attorneys will try to discredit you. Maintain your composure, and your testimony will be of far greater value.
  • SPEAK LOUDLY AND CLEARLY. Everything you say is being recorded by the court reporter. Don’t nod your head yes or no.
  • AVOID JOKING AND WISECRACKS. A criminal matter is a serious matter.
  • STICK TO THE FACTS. Do not draw conclusions of state opinions unless asked.
  • THINK BEFORE SPEAKING. Be sure you fully understand the questions. If you do not, ask that it be repeated or explained. If you cannot respond, say that you do not know or cannot remember.
  • RELAX. Your testimony will be completed sooner than you think, and the truth is all that the judge and jury wish to hear.