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How to Testify Effectively

BE BRIEF. Three minutes is all you have. Organize your thoughts; make sure you focus on your most important points. If your testimony is longer than three minutes, hit the highlights and leave the full written statement with Councilmembers.

BE UNIQUE.Tell how this issue affects you, your family, your business or your neighborhood. The more personal, the better.

BE RESPECTFUL.Remember that people of good will can disagree with your perspective. Disagree without being disagreeable. Personal attacks on other speakers or on Councilmembers themselves tend to backfire.

BRING WRITTEN COPIES. If you have written testimony, please bring 15 copies to share with Councilmembers and enough extra copies for any news media who are there. Give the 15 copies to the Hearing Clerk at the end of the dais before the hearing starts.

FOCUS ON THE ISSUE AT HAND. Remember, three minutes is all you have. The subject of the hearing may be related to alot of other issues, but Councilmembers want to hear about the issue before them right now.

RELAX. Not everyone is used to speaking in public. Be natural. Don't be nervous. We want to hear what you want to say.


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