Winning with Stories: Using the Narrative to Persuade in Trials, Speeches & Lectures

Jim M. Perdue

Format: Hardcover
Condition: New
Sale price$145.00

"Once upon a time ..."

So begins Winning with Stories: Using the Narrative to Persuade in Trials, Speeches and Lectures, an examination of the power of the story in the art of persuasion. In this eminently readable work of sound scholarship, author Jim M. Perdue proves that the story, as our primary vehicle for learning and teaching, is as valid today as it was to our ancient ancestors. "Stories reaffirm our belief that our institutions exist as solutions to problems," writes Perdue. "Stories deny the proposition that life can only admit to hopelessness and uncertainty. Since the beginning of time, narratives have carried the truths of hope and justice."

Beginning with an exploration of the story concept, Perdue analyzes narrative elements in detail, showing how to craft a story with a strong beginning, memorable scenes, believable characters, a logical plot, vivid action, and a moving conclusion. Going beyond these basics, Perdue demonstrates how to tell the story to maximum effect, with attention to concepts as broad as giving "soul" to the story and as specific as what the speaker should wear. Perdue covers mannerisms, physical movement, use of illustrative visuals, and other storytelling considerations in detail. The author gives generously of his more than forty years of courtroom experience to show novice and veteran lawyers alike how to tell a powerful story to motivate an audience.

Far more than a practical analysis of storytelling, Winning with Stories is also an invaluable anthology of stories that speakers can use to make and illustrate a point. Perdue includes abundant examples of useful labels, metaphors, similes, clichés, analogies, quotations, poetry, personal anecdotes, and humorous stories. He traces them to their roots in ancient and modern history, the Bible, children's tales, books, movies, plays, and folklore. Rounding out these invaluable resources are illustrative examples of actual opening statements and closing arguments the author has used to inspire juries to a just verdict.

Like Perdue's previous books, Winning with Stories will be an indispensable reference for the trial lawyer seeking more effective persuasion techniques and an invaluable tool for lecturers, ministers, and teachers—anyone who studies or practices the art of persuasion.

Hardcover: 602 pages; 1st edition (2006); ISBN: 978-1892542229
Publisher: State Bar of Texas
  1. Letter from the President of the State Bar of Texas
  2. Preface
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Part 1: The Story Concept
  5. The Power of the Story
  6. Why a Story?
  7. Part 2: Crafting A Story
  8. The Strong Begining
  9. Setting the Scene
  10. Developing Strong Characters
  11. Presenting a Compelling Plot
  12. Let the Audience Live the Action
  13. Choosing a Cognitive Theme
  14. Negating the Negatives
  15. Complete the Circle with a Strong Ending
  16. Part 3: Telling The Story
  17. The Power of the Person
  18. The Power of the Telling
  19. The Power of the Sequence
  20. The Power of the Pictures
  21. The Power of the Story from Adverse Witnesses: Cross-Examination Storytelling
  22. Part 4: Our Values
  23. The Source of the Trial Lawyer's Values and Beliefs
  24. Consider Your Audience
  25. Inspiring with Your Trial Story
  26. Part 5: Stories Within Stories
  27. Labels
  28. Metaphors
  29. Similes and Cliches
  30. Analogies
  31. Quotations
  32. Poetry
  33. Anecdotes and Humorous Stories
  34. Part 6: Courtroom Stories
  35. Illustrative Opening Statement: Truck-Auto Collision Kills Plaintiff's Son
  36. Illustrative Opening Statement: Premises-Unsafe Ladder
  37. Illustrative Closing Summation: Baby Brain Damaged at Birth Due to Obstetrical Nursing Negligence
  38. Illustrative Closing Summation: Pathology Mistake Leaves Woman Disfigured
  39. Illustrative Closing Summation: Anesthesia Misadventure Kills husband
  40. Notes
  41. Bibliography
  42. Story Morals Index
  43. Name and Title Index
  44. Subject Index

What Legal Leaders Are Saying

Jim M. Perdue has put on paper what makes him a courtroom legend. This is the best guide yet on how to persuade judges and juries. Read it, study it, follow its step-by-step approach, and you are guaranteed to become a better trial lawyer.

— Peter T. Hoffman, director of the Blakely Advocacy Institute, University of Houston Law Center