The credibility your witness has with jurors plays a key role in whether their testimony is heard and given proper consideration in deliberations. Witness credibility can be enhanced with participation in a series of witness preparation sessions. During these sessions a witness preparation specialist will take the witness through a series of exercises that will improve their presentation and prepare them for trial. Ultimately, a prepared witness will come across as credible and likeable to the jury, bolstering your case and your client's chance of winning.
DOAR's Witness Preparation Methodology
Our witness preparation methodology focuses primarily on guiding witnesses through a series of sessions designed specifically to improve credibility and positive influence over a jury. Initially our witness preparation consultants will elicit the full story from a witness by interviewing them in a more intimate setting, such as a conference room. Once this has been accomplished, the witness is placed within DOAR's mock courtroom. This gives the witness the unique opportunity to experience interaction within a true courtroom environment. During courtroom preparation, the witness will testify before a mock judge on direct examination and on cross, with a member of the trial team playing the role of opposing counsel. The witness will have the opportunity to sit in a witness box and interact with the judge, jury, lawyers and graphics during questioning. This interaction gives the witness a valuable opportunity to experience what it is like to testify at trial.
DOAR's witness preparation sessions focus on:
- Exploring witnesses' initial knowledge, personality and comfort level with testimony in a conference room setting.
- Exposing witnesses to a true courtroom environment by utilizing DOAR's fully equipped mock courtroom.
- Videotaping witnesses to evaluate the verbal and non-verbal behavior they exhibit during testimony, such as failure to make eye contact, which diminishes credibility.
- Teaching witnesses how to use graphics effectively in order to reinforce testimony.
- Helping witnesses cope with the pressure of being at trial by teaching stress management techniques.
- Evaluating word choice and assessing speech rate.
- Observing and addressing facial expressions and body language during testimony.
- Preparing witnesses for different cross examination styles, and ensuring they are always credible and in control.