First, understand that the judge is busy and has heard dozens of stories like yours. To keep the judge's attention, get to the point fast by describing the event that gave rise to your claim. Immediately follow up by stating how much money you are requesting. After you have clearly stated the key event, double back and tell the judge the exact events that led up to your loss. For more information, see Nolo's article Presenting Your Testimony and Evidence in Small Claims Court.