One of the most important parts of preparing for a trial is jury selection. These are after all the people who are going to decide the outcome of the trial. In theory the jury is supposed to be impartial, in practice however it rarely works out that way. Everybody comes in with their own beliefs. The goal of jury selection is to make sure people who have beliefs that will work against your case are not included in the jury.
The primary goal of jury selection is to make sure that anybody who is prejudiced against your case will not be on the jury. Everybody has some preconceived notions and people bring them into the jury room with them. No matter how well you are argue your case it is unlikely that you are going to be able to change anybody's mind when it comes to preconceived ideas. Therefore you will have to make sure that you find out who has ideas that are going to work against you at trial and make sure that they are excluded.
In addition you should be using the jury selection process to educate the members of the jury about your case. This will serve a couple of purposes; one is to allow you to eliminate people who are obviously unsuitable for that particular jury. Not everybody is suitable for every jury you are going to want to make sure that you find out who those people are. Educating the jury on the case you plan to present will also help to get them prepared to hear your case; basically you are pre-selling to the members of the jury so that they already have sympathy with your case when you do present it.
Jury selection also allows you to start to build rapport with the members of the jury. It is well established that you will have more success if they jury likes you than if they don't. The jury selection process is the first opportunity available to start making an impression on the members of the jury. You are going to want to pay attention to the way you talk to the prospective members of the jury as well as to your body language. This will help to put the members more at ease with you.
During the jury selection phase you are going to want to have somebody assist you with making your selections. This person can be another lawyer or a paralegal. They should sit in the audience and watch how the jury responds when you are talking. In particular you are going to want them to pay attention to the reaction of the other members of the jury while you are talking to one member. You can't really watch how other people respond while you are talking to one person. Having somebody assist you will make it easier to determine who is having a negative response to what you are saying.