How to tell if a witness is lying? Surefire tips for truthful testimony for witnesses that apply in court and everyday life.

Have you ever heard the expression, "What a person says is not important.  How they say it is what matters."?  Nothing could be truer.  Facial  mannerisms, body language and delays in speech are critically important in telling whether a witness is lying, hiding information or guarding a secret.

How do you tell if a witness is lying? First of all, liars have difficulty maintaining eye contact with the person asking the questions.  If the witness looks up at the ceiling while thinking of an answer, or looks down at the floor, they are liying every time.  When a witness covers his mouth with his hand, he is about to lie.  If the witness folds both hands across his chest, he is uneasy and in a defensive posture--this means he is uncomfortable with the truth and does not want to answer the question.  When the witness uses pauses and lots of verbal pauses, such as "uh" and "you know", he is not being direct and candid in answering the question.

How do you tell if a witness is truthful in answering questions?  By far the biggest cue is eye-contact.  If the witness maintains eye contact with the questioner while listening to the question and giving the answer, this is a great sign that the witness is telling the truth.  Another sign of truthful testimony is that the witness smiles, tells funny jokes and has a pleasant disposition--these are signs that the witness is at ease in the surroundings and wants to come clean with the truth.

My best advice to witnesses is simple: keep your hands on your lap while testifying and look the attorney dead center in his eyes and keep your eyes there.  Just as importantly, be yourself--do not use the words that your attorney uses.  Use simple and plain words that you use in everyday life.  Most importantly, you must bond with the jury.  Pick a single juror who reminds you of someone you like, such as a friend, and focus on that person while giving your testimony.  Any small joke will break the boredom and get the jury to bond with you.  This is the goal of every witness's testimony.