How to talk to … elected officials
You may occasionally need to present material to a city council or other governmental board. Go beyond the usual here. Don’t just find out what political party your audience subscribes to. That isn’t going nearly far enough. Find out if they are up for election, what projects they have voted for (and why), and what they have voted against (and why). Read everything they’ve ever written and published. Check their website to see what they claim their positions are on any issues that affect your client or cause. What have they said publicly?
Find out what the relationships and tensions are between the members, so you are at least aware of any potential traps. Find out which of their constituencies are most vocal and be prepared to address any issues that come up related to your topic if connected to those constituencies.
Government boards see a lot of presentations — most of them bad. They listen to lousy speeches with boring PowerPoint slideshows in them all day, every day. Your job is to be the memorable speaker — the bright spot in an otherwise dreary day.
Make a successful, interesting and memorable presentation to a group like this and they won’t just be grateful — they’ll be eating out of the palm of your hand..