[Presentation] How to be an Expert Witness in an Adversarial Proceeding

Are you a technical person interested in improving your ability to present expert testimony (in or out of a courtroom)?

If you're presenting testimony for the first time or you've had a bad experience you'd like to learn from, these are skills worth acquiring. Presenting good and effective expert testimony is very analogous to making good technical presentations. In both cases you have to...

1. Master the facts

2. Understand the underlying principles completely

3. Control your nerves

4. "Sell yourself"

5. Create an aura of credibility

6. Learn when to speak and when to shut up

7. Listen well

8. Answer the questions asked

9. Learn how to use your support team

Being a good witness will get you recognized and enhance your reputation and could lead to better and more lucrative assignments. Making better presentations and being able to competitively sell your position or technical premise will almost certainly help you win more jobs for your company, get better funding than your less prepared peers, get promoted faster and increase both your competency and confidence but without inflating your ego too much. The secret to success is to be well prepared and that means 'hard work'. There are no shortcuts.

Of course, even the technical person who says I'll never have to present expert testimony and "I seldom make presentations" really doesn't know what the future will bring. Today many people are operating as independent consultants who in previous times probably thought they would just work for one large company for life.

The ability to successfully present your views as either an expert in a courtroom, hearing room or in a deposition or to make a 'great' presentation in a board room is a tremendously valuable attribute and almost certain to enhance one's career. Another intangible benefit is that doing a good job just makes you feel good about yourself and causes you to willingly take on ever more challenging projects or assignments.

Take a Peek:

If you're an AIChE member, you can view the complete webinar, which qualifies for Professional Development Hours (PDHs).

image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

If you have any thoughts or experiences with respect to presentations and/or being a witness, share them here!