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4.3 Oral Testimony

While it is important to submit documentary and/or digital evidence in advance of a hearing, it is equally important to provide cogent oral testimony at the hearing. For example, sworn or affirmed testimony from witnesses often carries more weight than written statements – even affidavits – since oral testimony can be tested through cross-examination. When providing oral testimony, or preparing a witness/client for oral testimony, try to keep the following in mind:

  • speak at a steady pace and stay on topic;
  • always tell the truth and avoid exaggerating;
  • listen carefully and take your time before answering questions;
  • ask for clarification if you do not understand a question; and
  • stay calm and always act professionally towards the arbitrator and opposing party, regardless of how they are acting towards you.



Credibility is the trustworthiness of a person, and by extension, their testimony. In a legal proceeding, a witness’s credibility can be damaged if they provide testimony that is exaggerated, or inconsistent with documentary evidence or their previous testimony. When opposing parties give conflicting evidence, and there is no other evidence to support one side or the other, the arbitrator must decide which party to believe based on credibility.