The Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library
You don’t need to be a great speaker, but you do need to be convincing. Whether you are speaking to an elected official or in front of a group, remember that they are people too with families and constituents who look to them for leadership. Also remember that you are on an important mission, not just for the library, but for everyone who depends on it and could potentially benefit from library services.
Advocacy is about persuasion. To be successful, you need to touch hearts as well as minds. The best way to do that is to speak sincerely and with passion. Sharing your enthusiasm will spark theirs. Be prepared to deliver your key message and a call to action, e.g., “I urge you to approve this very important funding,” or, “Please tell your friends and neighbors that the library needs their support.”
Share real-life stories and testimonials that your audience can relate to.
Focus on community needs. Use examples that your audience understands, e.g., seniors need large-print books, students need more computers, community groups need a place to meet.
Paint a positive picture. Talk about the library’s successes, not only its needs. Focus on benefits more than problems.
Open strong and end strong. Look out at your audience and remember to smile.
Be brief—10 minutes max plus questions...and wait for the questions.