Witness Defense Tips: How To Be The Best Witness

Humans are emotional. We don’t take things lightly if they’re directed towards us. Especially in competition mode, our goal is to win and sometimes that urge gets to us.
Often in Mock Trial, witnesses (and attorneys) will become defensive against the opposing team. However, at the end day, each team is trying to win the round.
These are tips on how to control your emotions and what to look out for as a witness.

Let out a deep breath

Picture This: You’re a witness in Cross Examination and the opposing attorney is trying to steal your spotlight. Maybe they’re asking tough questions or they just impeached out.
The first step before showing your anger is to take a deep breath and think about the situation. If you’ve just been impeached, how can you play off the situation and restore some credibility? If they’re asking tough questions, is there a way to answer them without being snarky? Can you lighten the mood of the jury and backstab the opposing attorney with a witty phrase or comeback?
These are a few things that you can think about and do before you get angry or offensive against the opposing attorney.

Have you developed your character?

A witness in a trial plays a crucial role in the outcome of the case. Their testimony can be the deciding factor in whether or not a defendant is found guilty or innocent. It is important for witnesses to understand how to be the best witness they can be, and how to defend themselves while on the stand.

Be Honest: Always tell the truth when testifying. Lying on the stand can lead to perjury charges and can damage the credibility of the entire trial.

Listen Carefully: Listen carefully to the questions being asked and only answer the question that is being asked. Do not volunteer information that is not relevant to the question.

Speak Clearly: Speak in a clear and concise manner. Speak loudly enough to be heard by the judge, jury, and everyone else in the courtroom.

Be Confident: Show confidence while on the stand. This can be done by maintaining eye contact, speaking clearly, and being honest.

Be Prepared: Prepare for your testimony by reviewing any documents or evidence that will be used during your testimony. This will help you to be more comfortable and confident on the stand.

Keep Calm: Remain calm and composed, even if the defense attorney is trying to rattle you. Do not let their tactics affect your testimony.

Understand the Burden of Proof: Understand that the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As a witness, you should not try to prove the defendant’s guilt, but rather, provide accurate and honest testimony about what you saw or experienced.

Review the testimony of other witness: Before giving your own testimony, review the testimony of other witnesses who have already testified in the case. This will help you to understand how your testimony fits into the overall case and can help you to avoid contradicting other witness’s testimony.

By following these guidelines, witnesses can ensure that they are providing the best possible testimony and that they are defending themselves while on the stand.