Our Lady of the Lake University WK6 Legislative Issue Testimony Discussion

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Part D – Testimony

After submitting your brief, prepare a short written and oral (video) testimony. The written testimony should align with and reflect that the oral testimony is to be about three (3) minutes long. Play the role of a social worker providing testimony in front of legislative committee members who will vote on a bill.

Written Testimony:
In a succinct document, include the following:

  • Your name and where you are located (city/state)
  • A title
  • State whether you support or oppose the proposed legislation and why
  • Use the bill number and title of the bill (Example: HB 1234 An Act Concerning Firearms)
  • Summarize your recommendation, then explain your rationale
  • Use facts and data to support your testimony
  • Restate your position on the bill
  • Thank the legislators for their time and consideration of your position.
  • Provide contact information and offer to answer any questions.
  • There should not be any spelling or grammar issues, and the testimony should flow.

Oral Testimony:
Determine why you are testifying: to persuade, dissuade, provide “expert” information, or delay action. Include the same information as your written testimony, but follow this format:

  • Greet the members of the committee
  • Introduce yourself
  • Include all the information from your written testimony
  • Dress appropriately for testimony. Business dress or business casual is preferred. In real life, your testimony may be televised.
  • Mute or turn of your phone.
  • Avoid technical jargon. Many legislators are not familiar with terms and acronyms.
  • DO NOT threaten or antagonize or argue with the legislators.
  • Present your testimony effectively. Use a friendly, relaxed tone of voice. Avoid a monologue or a formal speech. Be conversational. Do not read to the committee.
  • Practice several times before the hearing (recording), so you are familiar with your tone, the flow, and your material.
  • Be very professional and stayed within the allotted time (about 3 minutes).
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