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Give Public Testimony

Points to Remember:
Gather relevant logistical information in advance. Do you need to sign up to testify? Is there a time limit? If you want to be one of the first to testify, which is often when media is present, how early do you need to arrive to sign up?


Keep it brief. Prepare your testimony in advance. You often have only two or three minutes to speak. Make your point quickly and move on to others. Rehearse and time your speech beforehand.


Bring expertise or experience. The most credible and persuasive speakers on long term care workforce policy are those who bring their personal stories and expertise. Workers, guardians, and consumers are some of the best presenters.


Stick to two or three points. Organize your testimony ahead of time with other speakers, if applicable, so together you can cover all relevant issues.


Pay attention to other speakers. Avoid repetition of earlier comments, and if possible, rebut earlier comments.


Maintain eye contact with elected officials while testifying.


Use catchy metaphors, phrases, and soundbites. Elected officials remember them and the press quotes them.


Be prepared to answer questions. If you receive a question for which you don’t know an answer, tell them that you will follow-up with their office with the appropriate information.


Things to Avoid:

Do not read your testimony. Summarize your points on notecards.
Provide written copies. Bring enough copies for committee members and the press.