Meet the Contributors: Leslie Slape

Book Chapter: How to be a Storyteller in the Courtroom

Leslie Slape Storytelling for AttorneysHer Reflections: A judge once said to me, “I think attorneys should be required to learn storytelling as part of their training, don’t you agree?” I have wanted to make the suggestions in this book chapter ever since he made his comment many years ago. He has said it to me several times. Although he’s retired now after a long career in the law, his insight carries a lot of weight with me.

I believe storytelling can be used anywhere. In the courtroom, it’s not only a good tool for the closing statement, as I suggest in my chapter, but it makes for the most evocative witness testimony.

Feel free to adapt these suggestions in my chapter to your personal style. Use what works for you and toss what doesn’t. Naturally I can’t guarantee you’ll win. But as we tellers like to say: Never underestimate the power of story.

Leslie Slape fell in love with storytelling and folklore as a little girl. In one way or another she has been telling stories all her life. In addition to telling professionally, she is also a playwright and theatrical stage manager/director. By by day she works as a newspaper journalist. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Max, on the farm where they raised their two now-grown children.

Learn more about her work at

About Storyteller

Sean Buvala has been engaged with storytelling and communication since 1986. From kids in classrooms to bosses in boardrooms, from presenting workshops for global salt miners to consulting with Ph.D.’s in pharmaceuticals, Sean has told and taught stories in nearly every industry and setting. He’s been the boss (and janitor) of a non-profit organization and is currently the entrepreneur-in-charge for his work as the “No-Nonsense Storytelling Coach™.”

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