Incorporating Memorable Demonstratives Into Opening Statements

Some attorneys resist using a demonstrative aid during opening statements because they do not want to appear “slick” or “fancy,” or because they want the jury to “focus on me and what I have to say, not a picture or a chart.” A growing body of research suggests that people absorb information more comprehensively through a combination of verbal communication and visual stimuli. One study that compared opening statements delivered with and without simple PowerPoint visuals found that mock jurors were persuaded more often when an attorney used visuals. Joshua Dubin provides examples of effective opening demonstratives.