Testifying in a court of law for the first time can be a nerve-racking, anxiety-inducing experience. You want to serve as a good witness, and you also want to present yourself as well as possible. To ensure that your part in the proceeding goes as smoothly as possible, you can do a few things to prepare yourself for the testimony properly.
1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
With a solid eight hours of rest the night before your testimony, you’ll be more clear-headed, focused, and confident. Also, consider going to bed an hour or two earlier than you usually would; your nerves might make it tougher to fall asleep right away.
2. Have Your Teeth Whitened
Presenting yourself well is crucial for having your testimony be as impactful and credible as possible. It’s a simple fact of human nature that a person’s physical appearance will influence how they’re perceived, and the judge and jury you’re speaking in front of won’t be an exception. People who appear hygienic and clean are more likely to be trusted and listened to; one way to achieve this is to have your teeth professionally whitened.
3. Meditate Before the Testimony
Meditation is easy to do, but it’s also an excellent way to calm your nerves and improve your focus. Before you’re due in court, find a quiet space and adopt a relaxed sitting position. Close your eyes, focus on breathing deeply and let your mind wander in whatever direction. This will help reduce your anxiety and slow down your heart rate before you’re on the stand.
4. Dress Your Best
Take the time to select an outfit that looks neat and conservative for your court appearance. Looking good will help you make a better first impression, and keeping your clothing relatively toned town will demonstrate that you’re taking things seriously.
5. Do Any Necessary Research
The type and amount of research needed will vary greatly depending on the specifics of your testimony, but it’s always wise to refresh your memory on relevant topics beforehand. Go over the things you want to say and think about the questions you expect to be asked. You don’t want your answers to sound too rehearsed, but you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about.
6. Eat a Good Meal
It’s rarely a good idea to do anything essential or stressful on an empty stomach. Hunger can make you irritable, but it can also make you lightheaded or unfocused. Plus, the last thing you want is to be dealing with hunger pangs while you’re on the stand testifying. Eat something healthy and filling before you get started.
7. Get in a Positive Headspace
You’ll come off as a more confident and charismatic witness if you’re in a good mindset. If possible, do something you enjoy beforehand. Even if it’s just reading a chapter of your favorite book, watching your favorite movie, or taking a pleasant stroll through the park.