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Public deliberation (Project 2)

Public processes rely not only on written documentation but also on spoken interaction. In public policy work, you must be able to write it, say it, and interact about it. The most important forms of oral communication for a public policy process are not speeches. They are workaday briefings for elected officials and their staffs, committee public hearings, and other genres of face-to-face (still the favored form of) public interaction.

In Project #2, public deliberation, you will practice necessary skills of writing for speaking (crafting written statements for oral delivery). You will play the role of spokesperson for a group, organization, or adminstrative agency in public deliberation. You will ask and answer questions in accord with your policy communication purpose, either to get a problem on the public agenda or to aid policy decision-making.

Communication products:

  • written testimony statement with summary to be delivered orally
  • written questions and answers in a (simulated) public hearing transcript

Assignments, below, guide you in writing for speaking and in preparing for public question-and-answer


Week 11 (3/21)

- watch 2 hours of 'live' committee hearings as assigned

- analyze oral interaction in videotaped hearings as assigned (see Video Resources)

- post in discussion of 'live' interaction, as assigned

- do Task # 2 (identify groups or organizations active on your issue) in How to ask for or propose action on behalf of a group

- draft written testimony from a (chosen) role as a spokesperson for a relevant group, organization, or agency

- get course small group and, if possible, the represented group's feedback on the testimony

- get instructor or small group feedback on specified features of the draft statement

- revise the statement for easy speaking and listening comprehension

- revise the statement to meet standard criteria of clarity, correctness, credibility, and conciseness


Week 12 (3/28)

- identify a committee hearing focused on, or relevant for, your problem (found during your legislative records research, or by a new search)

- read the transcript (available throughJoyner Library)

- recognize question types (friendly, challenging, leading, hostile)

- recognize answer organization (representation of authority, responsiveness to question, approach taken in answer, length of answer)

- post in discussion of transcripted question-and-answer, as assigned


Week 13 (4/4)

- draft and revise questions for, and answers by, your spokesperson witness during a (simulated) hearing on your problem

- finished products due: written statement with oral summary and question-and-answer transcript (deadline 5 pm 4/7)


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