We review the role of committees, types of committees and subcommittees, the hearing process in Congress, types of committee hearings, role of the committee chairman in hearings, the role committee staff play in deciding hearing subject matter, selecting witnesses, and preparing questions.
Congressional Hearings: A Staff Perspective
A panel of committee staff members describe the work and organization of their committees, how these committees prepare for hearings, what staff and members expect from witnesses, and how witnesses from executive branch agencies and other organizations can build a good working relationship with committee staff before, during, and after hearings. The staffers will also discuss what they, and members of Congress, believe makes effective testimony, and provide suggestions for witnesses preparing for hearings.
Testimony Preparation and Rehearsal
The instructor reviews all aspects of testimony preparation, including research preparation, audience analysis and the process of persuasion, key documents to be prepared before the hearing and how to effectively use each one, and rehearsing and mock hearings.
How to format and organize testimony in a way that improves oral delivery, review tone, body language, and gestures, and when and how to use visual aids during a hearing.
Examples of Effective and Non-effective Testimony and Question-and-Answer Techniques
Witness/member of Congress dynamics, the "art" of responding to questions, the importance of preparing written "Q-and-A modules" for all anticipated questions, and other important tools and techniques will be presented. Participants will view video footage of actual congressional hearings that illustrate key do's and don'ts.
Homework for Advanced Practicum
- Th, October 24, 2013
Other dates: This course can be presented at your location in Washington, DC, or at a location in Washington, DC, that we provide. For a map with a brief list of hotels near the Capitol, click here. When we arrange space, we use these Washington, DC, locations.
All statements and discussion at all of our courses, workshops and seminars, public and custom, are off the record and not for attribution, unless specified otherwise. The resulting confidentiality ensures a frank and free exchange of views.
Fax or Mail: Print out and complete the registration form (in Adobe pdf). The completed form should include your method of payment.
Fax the completed form to us at 703-739-1195.
Mail the completed form to us at TheCapitol.Net, Inc., PO Box 25706, Alexandria, VA 22313-5706
All of our courses and workshops include extensive interaction with our faculty, making our courses and workshops both educational and mini-consulting sessions with substantive experts.
"Would encourage people to do this earlier in their career when they start writing testimony. All sessions very useful! Great course!"
"The course is good for people who do lots of presentations as well as Congressional testimony. Well done!"
"This will be extremely helpful in prepping and calming first-time witnesses and in drafting oral testimony. I especially appreciated the research tips."
-- Policy Analyst, federal agency
"This is one of the best public communication seminars I've ever attended."
"Good, practical advice and insights on how to prepare and deliver testimony to Congress. Practical and worthwhile"
"Although I live on the Hill and know many staffers, this seminar really helped me to understand what they do and how hearings work."
Taught by faculty who have a minimum of 10 years' experience working with and helping agency and corporate staff prepare for testifying before congressional committees.
Select Previous FacultySteven KellerWalter OleszekJames Thurber
Our ClientsCongressional OfficesFederal AgenciesMilitaryNGOs and NonprofitsDiplomatic CorpsFortune 500Law FirmsLobbying FirmsLabor UnionsAssociations Also See Tips for Visual Layout of Oral Statement when Testifying Before Congress