How often do we look back and wonder whether we could have done things better, worked harder, been clearer, obtained a better result? Especially with those trial skills we don’t often get to practice. Presenting a powerful and persuasive direct examination is one of the most challenging parts of a trial. In our discovery and pretrial work, we get to practice argument and deposition-style cross-examination, but rarely do we get the chance to prepare a witness thoroughly and then present him or her to a judge or jury. And how hard it is for most litigators to step back after all the hard preparation and let the witness be the star! To avoid regret after direct examination, listen to the witness, get to know the witness, and weave your examination around his or her human story—the interesting and unique aspects of the witness that best highlight and teach about the issues in the case.