I have assisted many clients in their county court cases, whether it's a claim or a defence. I do not have automatic right of audience in court, although in a case which is termed a small claim, the rules allow for a Lay Pepresentative to speak on behalf of a Claimant or Defendant, but at the discretion of the Judge.
Some Judge's welcome the assistance to help them not only grasp the facts of the case, but to put over the relevant facts to assist the Judge.
Unfortunately, there are a minority of Judges who dislike Lay Representatives. They also dislike the McKenzie Friend who is someone that assists the defendant or claimant by whispering in their ear, instructions on what to say.
The most important point I would make is, don't waffle. Stick to the core reasons that support your claim or defence. Assist the Judge by giving him the facts which matter to the case.
When cross-examining, again, keep it to the core facts. The Judge has the power to limit the cross-examination if you start to waffle.
When asking questions of the other side, I make notes of the answers, as they may weaken their case.
When summing up at the end of the case, I refer to these answers the other side has given, giving weight to my case presented.
I never allow any Judge to intimidate me or my client and I stand my ground.