- Public testimony is limited to items on the current meeting agenda. Review the agenda prior to the meeting. Be prepared to speak to specific agenda item(s).
- Public testimony is not a dialogue. Make your presentation but don’t expect a discussion session or follow up questions.
- Know what you are talking about. Keep it simple. Present key information. Give clear examples. Providing data is good. Remember 3-minute time limit.
- Speak of service categories, not specific providers. The Council allocates funds to service categories. It is the grantee’s role to issue contracts to providers. The Council is “provider blind.”
- Think about what your want to say before the meeting. Think about the issues you would like to raise. Write down your thoughts, using words that are “natural” for you. Practice speaking in front of a mirror.
- Visualize yourself speaking to the group. Imagine yourself speaking; your voice is loud, clear, and confident. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.
- Realize that people want to hear what you have to say. You bring a unique perspective to the discussion. People want to hear about your experiences.
- Focus on your message – not your nervousness. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties. Instead focus on your message and the people you are talking to.
- Use notes. If you have important points you want to be sure to cover, jot them down on an index card or notepad. They will help you stay focused on your message.
- Don’t apologize. It is okay if you are a little nervous, but you don’t need to share that with the group.
- Relax. Take a deep breath to ease your tension. Remember, you have important information and insights to share. Be as natural as you can.
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