Speak to a local community group
This article is part of Advocacy Basics: Working with the Community.
A key tool for creating political will is by offering to present at a local event in your area about RESULTS and/or one of our issues. This helps to expose others in your community to our organization and our work. Here are the steps you can take to successfully complete this milestone.
1. Identify an Audience That Shares an Interest in Our Issues or How We Work
- Church and other faith community groups
- Social action committees
- Service organizations (Kiwanis, Rotary, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, etc.)
- Political organizations (League of Women Voters, etc.)
- Head Start centers
- Public health groups
- Student groups and college/university groups
See Build a Coalition of Community Allies for additional ideas and resources on who to reach out to.
2. Pick your topic
You may want to discuss RESULTS and our citizen empowerment work or you may choose to do a presentation on one of our issues, using one of our campaign PowerPoint presentations, and lead your audience in taking an action together. We will have sample agenda for advocacy trainings available linked from this page in the coming weeks.
3. Identify Your Target and Contact
- Call the organization you choose and ask to speak to the person who handles outside speakers.
- Be ready to suggest a topic, but be flexible if you need to tailor your talk to what they need. You may want to meet in person to talk about the options if the group needs to know more about you and RESULTS.
- Identify a date that works for all of you.
4. Draft and Practice Your Presentation
Your presentation should include:
- An introduction of yourself and the work of RESULTS. Be sure to use stories in addition to statistics to interest the group. Consider showing a DVD or video to make your point, if possible.
- An overview of the issue or problem to be discussed.
- An explanation of solutions to the problem, with specific examples in the field and legislative successes.
- A call to action telling attendees how they can become more involved, and always offer them an action to take at the end of the meeting.If you have time, ask them to write letters during the presentation that you can collect and fax to Congress. Make copies of our latest monthly action sheets to take to the presentation. If there is not time, hand out the action sheets and urge attendees to take action on their own.
- Time at the end to distribute a RESULTS Sign Up Sheet. This will allow people to receive e-mail updates and alerts from RESULTS, as well as let you know if they are interested in learning more about your local group.
- Notice of when your next local RESULTS group meeting is.
Practice your presentation to see that you are keeping it within your allotted time. Ask your group to listen to your presentation and offer feedback.
5. Deliver Your Presentation
- Show up at least 15 minutes early to set up the room the way you want it.
- Bring hand-outs such as background materials, action sheets, and a sign-up sheet. You can hand these out manually or have a visible table in the room.
- Deliver your presentation and answer questions.
- Stay after your presentation to engage with people who want to talk further.
6. Follow Up
- Contact people who asked to be contacted in a timely manner.
- Thank the person who scheduled your speaking appointment.