Guide to Testifying at a Public Hearing

Guide to Testifying at a Public Hearing

When you are called, sit at the speaker’s desk. You may begin with “Madam Chair, Mr. Chairman” (as appropriate) “and members of the committee.” Introduce yourself very distinctly so the transcriber can understand, and mention your town and the number and title of the bill you’ll be speaking on. In addition, most hearings and meetings are covered by Connecticut Network (CT-N) for broadcast over local cable access stations.

Indicate right away whether you support the bill, oppose it, or are offering suggestions to improve it. Then explain your reasoning. Follow this procedure for each bill you discuss.

Keep your remarks short; 3-5 minutes is usually enough, but be sure not to exceed any announced time limits. If other speakers have already made your point, you can say that you agree with, or want to associate yourself with the remarks of one or more previous speakers. Your views and your name will then be clearly on record.

When you finish, remain at the microphone for a moment, in case committee members want to ask questions. Then return to your seat or leave the hearing, as you wish.

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