6 Steps for Speaking to a Local Community Group

brown-36378_960_7201Speaking at a local community group can raise the profile of your issue, bring in new activists, and create useful alliances.

Here are six steps to follow:

  • STEP 1: Pick your audience

Possibilities include senior centers, faith-based groups, social action committees, service clubs and political organizations.

  • STEP 2: Pick your topic

There are numerous facets about your issue that you could talk about. Pick one that would be appealing or similar to the participants in the group.

  • STEP 3: Identify your target and contact

Call the organization you chose and ask to speak to the person who handles outside speakers. Have your topic already decided but be flexible if you can tailor your talk to what they need.

  • STEP 4: Draft and practice your presentation

Introduce yourself and your work, focus on stories rather than numbers. Introduce your audience to the scope of the problem. Educate them about the solutions with specific examples in the field of successes. Call them to action by letting them know they can become more involved and always offer a specific action to take at the end of the meeting.

  • STEP 5: Deliver your presentation

Bring hand-outs, such as background materials or an easy action alert. Bring a sign-up list that includes getting email addresses. Deliver your presentation and answer questions. Stay after your presentation to engage with people who want to talk further.

  • STEP 6: Follow up

Contact people who asked to be contacted and thank the person who scheduled your speaking appointment.

Source: Adapted from RESULTS Educational Fund’s Activist Milestones

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