Deliberations (which, but for copyright and manners I would simply cut and paste here every day) has up a great, short article from another jury consultant title "Stop Thinking Like A Lawyer!" A sample:
Another widespread myth is that jurors make up their minds during opening statement. Again, this simply doesn’t comport with common sense. Jurors want to see the evidence. They want to hear from the witnesses. They won’t simply accept what the lawyer says on faith.
Which is not to say that the opening statements aren’t important. Indeed, we believe opening statements are critical to jury persuasion. The problem is many lawyers don’t use this opportunity to its full advantage. For example, many litigators spend opening statement describing every single piece of evidence they will present at trial. In typical lawyer fashion they go into all the minor nuances of their case, including every last little detail.
The result is information overload. Giving jurors too much information before they have a context confuses them. Rather, you should stick to the broad strokes in opening statements. Identify the key themes and facts that tell your story and provide moral context. Use the opening statement to frame your case, to establish the
wrong that jurors must right.
Clear, simple, correct and true advice. To add an additional point not raised there, be yourself. There’s, for whatever reason, a debate going on now about "Ivy retardation" sparked by some faux-rebellious article about how ‘elite’ universities create a divide from the mythical common man. To wit,
It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League dees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness. "Ivy retardation," a friend of mine calls this. I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.
The best response I’ve seen, courtesy of a science blogger, is:
… talking to plumbers has nothing whatsoever to do with education, elite or otherwise. It’s entirely a matter of personal choices– if you find yourself unable to make small talk with someone in a blue-collar job, it’s because you have chosen to be the sort of person who is incapable of talking to people in blue-collar jobs.
The same goes for juries. Don’t think of them as captive, uneducated spectators. Doing that is the same as choosing not to be able to associate with those of different backgrounds. Jurors are just people, entitled to the same respect, and capable of the same glories and mistakes, as everyone else. If you start playing around with your "image," you’ll just screw that up.