Our primary method is an intensive 2-day session for a maximum of 12 attendees in which we use actual prosecutions, extensive role-playing, video playback, peer review, positive suggestions and detailed feedback from our expert instructors.
This is a practical, hands-on course. There are no Powerpoint presentations, no “talking heads”; just real-life experience with expert guidance and teaching.
Our Effective Testimony Program is active, demanding, and intense. Participants learn the details of cases taken from actual investigations, assume the role of a designated investigator in the case and testify accordingly.
To actively engage program participants, we use case studies, interactive discussions, demonstrations of model testimony and role-play in a courtroom simulation. Our instructors provide specific, timely feedback and invite course participants to do the same for their peers.
The participants will :
- Be exposed to actual examination-in-chief and cross-examination in a courtroom/hearing room setting in the presence of their peers.
- Receive critical analysis and feedback on their performance as a witness.
- Experience and learn how to deal with different styles of cross examination ensuring that they are always credible messengers, in particular how to deal with “loaded” questions – those designed to intimidate, irritate, anger or elicit guesses.
- Practice proper use of real evidence such as photographs, diagrams, graphic and other exhibits.
- Be videotaped to assist them in identifying verbal and non verbal behaviours (facial expressions, body language, etc.) observable during testimony which may adversely impact communication and credibility.
Because of the demands and intensity of the program, each program can accommodate a maximum of 12 participants. The program takes place over 2 days. Each day is approximately 10 hours long with short breaks at mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon. The four main components of the program are:
1. Introduction: an interactive lecture which includes discussion and demonstrations that provide the foundation for effective testifying skills
2. Witness Role-Play: In pre-assigned roles from actual cases, each participant is examined in chief and cross-examined in a simulation of an actual court experience. Each participant can expect to be examined for one hour. Their testimony is videotaped and a copy provided for reference and study.
3. Critique: Our expert instructors provide critical analysis and candid feedback immediately following each participant’s performance as a witness.
4. Conclusion: Concluding the program is an instructor lead discussion in which the participants drawing from their course experience identify and review all elements of successful and effective testimony and prepare their personal plan of improvement.