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Tips on Testifying Before a Committee

posted Mar 6, 2015, 10:24 AM by Scott Slocum   [ updated Mar 6, 2015, 10:43 AM ]
Video by MN Senate Media Services (runtime: 5:49).

A citizen testifier usually has a minute or two at most to make a concise statement along the following lines:
  • "Mr./Madam Chair and Members of the Committee:"
  • "My name is... I'm a resident of..."
  • "I'm here to support SF 1325..."
  • "This issue matters to me, personally, because..."
  • "The problem is..." "The solution is..."
  • "The opposition would say..." "But they're wrong because..."
  • "In summary..." "Thank you..."
Most people will do best to have a statement prepared (at least in outline form) and practiced in the mirror at home before going to testify.

At committee meetings at the Minnesota State Capitol, there's usually a table to sit at, with a microphone on it. It's usually best to be within a foot or so of the microphone, so that everyone can hear.

Relax, breath, don't let the idea that everyone is listening to you make you feel that "it's about you"; it's not. It's about what you've felt so passionately, that you've overcome your bashfulness to come to speak it out.

It's every bit as important as they say in the video: you will have an impact!