As elected official's opinions can be influenced by what they hear, see, and read at public hearings - we need to make the most of them.
With compelling stories we can demonstrate that we are doing a good job, highlight important accomplishments, show that we are making a positive difference in the lives of real people in Wisconsin, and justify a continued investment in tobacco control.
Recruiting Volunteers to Testify
- Identify people who can attend - they don't need to be experts, just people with authentic stories who are able to speak from the heart.
- Plan ahead. Give plenty of prep and lead time and recruit more than you need.
Elements of Effective Testimony
- Make it brief. Speak for two minutes or less.
- Focus on the one thing you want listeners to remember - using a story is the best way to be memorable and grab attention.
- Story prompts can help you get started and stay on track.
- Key messages from the program can support your story.
- Put it in writing and use as a guide, but look them in the eyes and speak from the heart.
- Putting together effective testimony is like making a sandwich with five key components.
Making the Most of Your TestimonyGive your testimony a shelf life beyond the hearing with these tactics.
- Send a copy of your testimony to your local elected officials with a note about your submission.
- If your elected official is on the committee you testified in front of, send a note thanking them for their attention and enclose a copy of your testimony.
- Turn your testimony into a letter to the editor for your local newspaper and send a copy to your elected official.
2017 Joint Committee on Finance Specific Resources
In combination with the resources above, here are a few documents specific to JFC.
- How To Prepare for JFC gives tips on advance preparations and what to expect at a hearing.
- JFC 2017 Photo Guide helps you recognize committee members at the hearing.
- Joint Finance Written Testimony Tips are great to use in combination with the It’s Like a Sandwich Handout and Worksheet
- LTE Template: JFC Attendance can help you turn your testimony into a letter to the editor
- LTE Template: General Constituent gives tips on writing a LTE about tobacco's impact in your community