Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tips on Tesifying

When the Council returns later this month, we will take up some important topics including my proposal to ban smoking on county property and two tree bills. We have public hearings on a variety of issues scheduled nearly every week, and we want to know your views. For newcomers as well as seasoned veterans, here are a few tips to make the most of your testimony:

• Keep it simple. Put your request or main point at the beginning of your testimony. Use plain language and put technical points at the end.

• Keep it short. The Council adheres to the three-minute limit, so make sure your points come across in that time frame. You don't have to use the entire allotted time, though. Sometimes good things come in small packages.

• Bring 15 copies of your testimony with your name, contact information and main points clearly identified.

• Let your personality shine through. Levity or a personal anecdote can help you stand out in the crowd.

• Relax. Don't be afraid of the formal setting or the television cameras. Just be yourself.

I understand public speaking isn't for everyone, so you can also call or e-mail. To have your written correspondence included in the public record, send it to or Council President, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

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