In "The Opening Statement: Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You," the distinguished lawyer Michael Jones emphasizes the importance of telling a story. Jones's article, which itself tells a story, focuses on a trial in New Orleans:
Though not familiar with opening statements, these jurors’ everyday lives fully acquainted them with stories of all kinds, soap operas, comedies, movies, and dramas. Despite being new to an opening statement, they were fully familiar with other types of speeches, most especially sermons and political speeches.
To begin with, every movie they had ever seen had a title, which to a greater or lesser degree signaled to them something about its content, whether “Waiting To Exhale,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Exorcist,” “Lord of the Rings,” and so on. Every soap opera that they had ever seen had a title: “The Young and the Restless,” “Days of our Lives,” “As the World Turns.” And, in black churches in particular, every sermon they had heard had a title. Such sermon titles often were memorable and creative, such as those of the Reverend Leo Daniels, “What in Hell Do You Want;” the Reverend Samuel Wright of Monroe, Louisiana, “Pass the Peas;” and the Reverend Hersy Jones, Jr. of Shreveport, Louisiana, “The Next Family Reunion.”
Like the rest of us, since childhood, they knew about, could identify with, and are moved by stories.
In the article, Jones related how he gives his opening a title--his was "The FulFillment of a Medical Prophecy"--and how he tells a different, but consistent, story during closing. It's a short article that packs a punch, and one that's worth placing into your research folder about opening statement.