Observing committee hearings on Capitol Hill always brings to mind some of the basics that any organization should heed before climbing those golden stairs to testify:
- Decide who will testify on your behalf. The best choice may or may not be your president or CEO.
- Research the lawmakers’ or regulators’ records to be sure you know where they stand on your issues.
- Begin with an attention-getting opening; don’t waste time on perfunctory introductions and dry language exhumed from your written testimony.
- Keep things on a professional plane; refuse to be lured into an emotional confrontation.
- Engage in a brutally honest post-testimony assessment; ask yourself if your message worked and if your presentation skills were up to par.
To be sure, this is an abbreviated list. Still, it should prove a good starting point when your organization needs to plead its case before Congress or regulatory panels.