Get Involved » Legislative » Testifying at Hearings: The Be's
- Be Courteous
Notify the Senator or Representatives from your district that you will be testifying.
At the hearing, follow the prescribed format for testifying by signing in, and so
forth. If possible, stay for all testimony concerning the bill.
- Be Prepared
Know your facts and background. Be ready to give specific sources for detailed information.
Review the bill carefully and listen to the testimony of those preceding you. Submit
a summary of your testimony if appropriate.
- Be Believable
Avoid Exaggeration or dramatics. Base your testimony on fact; if you state an opinion
make this clear. Remember that your reputation and your group depends on you. You
may need to testify again, and want to be credible.
- Be Brief
State directly how a bill would affect you or your interests. Avoid unnecessarily
repeating introductory or background remarks that have already been given. Coordinate
with others in testifying, if possible.
- Be Cool
Try to present a confident demeanor, without appearing arrogant. If there is a hostile
tone to questions or remarks, remain calm. Don't rush to respond, it's all right
to pause for a moment before answering. Use facts!
- Be Consistent
Don't contradict yourself or your associates' testimony . Likewise, don't get maneuvered
into agreeing with statements or alternatives that will undermine your position.
Say you'd need more time or information to consider.
- Be in Touch
Follow up after a hearing by addressing any questions that were not fully answered
during the hearing. You can also introduce yourself to committee members from your
district immediately after the hearing.