Testifying in court for the first time can be an anxiety-inducing and nerve-racking experience. You want to be a good witness, and present yourself as well as possible. To ensure that the proceedings go as smoothly as is possible, prepare for the testimony properly.
- Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep
Try having a solid eight hours rest the night prior to your testimony, to be focused, confident and clear-headed. Do go to bed an hour or two earlier than you usually do as nerves might make it tough to fall asleep.
- Have Your Teeth Whitened
For a credible and impactful testimony, presenting yourself well is crucial. A person’s physical appearance always influences perceptions. The jury and judge you speak to, are no exception. People who look clean, hygienic are trusted and listened to and having your teeth professionally whitened, helps or just try some at-home remedies.
- Meditate Before the Testimony
Meditation is easy to calm nerves and improve your focus. Before appearing in court, find a quiet space and sit in a relaxed position. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and let your mind wander to reduce anxiety levels, slow down heart-beat rate before taking the stand.
- Dress Your Best
Select a neat and conservative outfit for your court appearance. Looking good helps make a good first impression, and relatively toned down clothing shows your seriousness. Dress neatly. Wear clothes acceptable for a workplace or church and no casuals like t-shirts and distressed “torn” clothing and never wear a hat. A neat, professional looking dress in court conveys proper respect for the Court for an important first and lasting impression.
- Do Necessary Research
Refresh your memory on relevant topics and go over things you wish to convey and the possible questions you may possibly be asked. Be prepared as you know weeks ahead when you testify in court. Reflect about the incident and what exactly happened so that you may recall small details accurately when asked to recall in court. Think ahead about answers to questions you expect. Stick to the facts! The Judge or jury wants to hear facts as you know them.
- Eat a Good Meal
Never do anything stressful on an empty stomach as hunger can make you irritable, or lightheaded or unfocused. Why deal with hunger pangs while testifying on the stand? Eat something healthy and filling before starting.
- Get into a Positive Mode
A confident and charismatic witness has a good mind-set. If possible by a stroll through the park, reading a chapter of your favorite book, or watching your favorite movie. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will answer your questions prior to court appearance. Tell the truth, always! This is the paramount advice given to any and all witnesses. While “I don’t know” and “I don’t recall” could be very truthful answers, if you never knew the answer. If you knew the answer at some time but are unable to recall information, the truthful answer is “I don’t remember”. Do not have chewing gum or candy in your mouth, etc. Turn off all cell phones, pagers, etc. Conduct yourself with dignity and make absolutely gestures to the people seated in the courtroom.
Relax and speak at a regular speed, so people hear you clearly! Do not be afraid of anything if you’re giving true answers. When questions are asked, say your answers clearly and expect to be questioned by the lawyers