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Public Participation – How to Testify Effectively

BE BRIEF – You have up to five minutes to speak. Organize your thoughts; make sure you focus on your most important points. If your testimony is longer than the time given hit the highlights and leave the full written statement with the Commission.

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 the Commissioners themselves tend to backfire.

BRING WRITTEN COPIES – If you have written testimony, please bring copies to share with the Commission and news media. Give the copies to the Clerk of the Board at the end of the dais.

FOCUS ON THE ISSUE AT HAND – Remember, each person only has up to five minutes to speak. The subject may be related to a lot of other issues, but the Commissioners 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 have to say.