As a “hot seat” presenter, I have had the privilege throughout the years to see some really great openings from well- practiced articulate “Trial Warriors” in Court. Some will start their opening with a quote, others will tell a story, while some will make promises to the Jury.
An opening statement is a critical moment in a trial, and it sets the tone for the entire case. Here are five tips for delivering a better opening statement at trial:
- Grab the Jury’s Attention: Begin with a powerful statement that captures the jury’s attention and sets the stage for the case. This can be a quote, a question, or a statement that highlights the key issue in the case. It an also be something simple as raising or lowering your voice at a particular time during your opening presentation.
- Provide a Roadmap: Provide a roadmap for the jury, outlining the key points that you will cover in your presentation. This helps the jury to follow your argument and understand the structure of your case.
- Use Storytelling: Use storytelling to help the jury understand the facts and the key issues in the case. Use examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points and make the case more relatable.
- Build Credibility: Establish credibility by introducing yourself, your client, and your team. Highlight your experience and qualifications, and explain why you are the best advocate for your client’s position.
- Be Persuasive: Be persuasive in your delivery, and use language that is clear and easy to understand. Avoid legal jargon and technical terms that may confuse the jury. Focus on the key issues and be confident in your arguments.
By following these tips, you can deliver a strong and persuasive opening statement that sets the tone for the rest of the trial. Remember to grab the jury’s attention, provide a roadmap, use storytelling, build credibility, and be persuasive in your delivery.