How To: Attend a Town Hall
Taking part in a public or town meeting is a way to share your expertise and communicate the intent of people with arthritis to policy-makers. Such events generally take place in your community or district and provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to hear from constituents on a wide range of concerns.
Benefits and Outcomes
- Informs and educates policy makers and members of your community about arthritis.
- Attracts attending to your position.
- Gains press coverage about arthritis.
- Positions yourself and the Arthritis Foundation as experts and advocates on the issue.
- Encourages citizen input in the policy making process.
- Provides an opportunity to bring large numbers of people out to express their opinion.
Tips for Preparing to Speak
- Determine the purpose and tone of the event. Find out what the overall agenda of the meeting will focus on, who else is expected to participate or make a presentation, and the anticipated “tone” of the meeting. This will help you to prepare your remarks and delivery style.
- Use your network. Share information about the meeting with other advocates, partners, and coalitions.
- Encourage as many arthritis advocates to attend the town meeting as appropriate. This will lend support to your efforts and demonstrate to your policy-maker the extent of the community support for people with arthritis.
- Be prepares with accurate, timely, and relevant information.
Tips for Presenting
- Work to present your position or statement as early in the meeting as your are able, as press is more likely to attend and cover the first part of the event.
- Keep your presentation brief. Limit your statement to three clear and concise points. Provide persuasive facts to assist participants to understand and remember your points.
- Practice your statement to ensure you are comfortable and convincing when sharing your points with a larger audience.
- Provide written copies of your statement to policy-makers, his/her staff, and the press.
- Inform your fellow advocates and AF staff on the outcome of the meeting.