Step 5: Practice Your Pitch
We have all been in situations where we have said something and immediately regretted the words that came out of our mouths. With our friends, we might feel embarrassed for a little while, but the embarrassment usually fades with time as we go about our daily lives. With members of Congress, however, the stakes are much higher.
A simple slip-up, such as using the wrong tone of voice, can do irreparable harm to your issue. This principle applies to every advocacy activity you perform, but it is especially important for phone calls, in-person meetings, or speaking at a local event. Emails and letters require practice to do well, but at least you have an eraser or delete key if you need it. With in-person meetings and other live events, it is vital to be prepared.
Practice talking to your friends or family about the issue. Some of the best advocacy occurs during casual conversation, so being able to talk about the issue without a script is critical. You can also have other people read your letters or talking points and give you suggestions on how to make a stronger argument.
Finally — just do it. You will be happy you did when the time comes to give it live and you must think on your feet.
Practice your pitch in a mirror, record yourself, and fine-tune your argument and presentation.