With hearings before the Select Committee now underway in Auckland, here are a few pointers that you might find useful if you’re still to have your five minutes!
First and foremost, make sure you know when and where you need to be. The Committee’s Administrative Support Officer will have sent you all the relevant information, and asked you to be there twenty minutes before hand – take that advice as you may not be heard if you arrive late.
Dress to impress! It’s not the Oscars, but you want to present yourself in a fashion that will impress upon the Committee that you are serious about this issue – that’s why you asked to address the Committee in the first place. Even though it’s summer, rocking up in a tank, shorts and jandals isn’t a good look.
Keep to your message. Since you have arrived well in advance, you may find yourself listening to others making their oral submissions. Don’t let what they are saying influence your own submission. Remember, the Committee members have read your written submission and want to hear from you. Also, if you try and make last minute changes to what you want to say, you might find yourself missing your original points completely.
Stand proud. Be confident before the Committee – to reiterate, they asked to hear from you. They have read your written submission; they know your basis for being there, so expand on that with confidence.
Be prepared. Expect to be asked questions by the Committee. If you’re quoting statistics or someone else, be prepared to back these up with sources. If you find the question asked to be offensive or inappropriate, maintain your decorum, and remember that you can always refuse to answer it.
Good luck with your oral submission, and congratulations to you for being a part of history!
Photo credits: ASM