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Delivering an Oral Testimony

  • ​​​​Introduction and eye contact. Look directly at the chairperson/questioner. Make a courteous introduction and thank the chair for the opportunity to speak. "Mr. Chair" or "Madam Chair, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak today"
  • Identify yourself, your credentials, and you being a CAI member. State your name for the record, then "I am a manager/resident/attorney in a/for community association(s) and I am a member of CAI." If no one has described CAI, do so briefly. "CAI is a 33,000-member, international organization dedicated to building better communities through education and advocacy." ​​​
  • Deliver your key points. Use a relaxed conversational style as it is more effective. This is your best opportunity to demonstrate how the issue affects you. State your opinion - do you support or oppose the issue? Do not read or memorize your testimony, but use notes for guidance.
  • Be personal. Do not repeat what others before you said. Describe what you have seen in your community, as a resident or a service provider. Describe an occasion that exemplifies the issue.
  • ​Save time for questions. Wait briefly after you finish for committee members to ask questions. Be polite but assertive. Respond directly to the question posed, and answer concisely, honestly, and quickly. Do not be afraid to say "I don't know." Be sure to get back to the legislator or key staff person with the answer in writing.

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