A majority of us have had concerns at one point about the turn of events in the country. Getting the opportunity to speak to one or two politicians at the helm of affairs is many people’s dream.
Have you had such dreams? Do you see yourself engaging a politician in an intellectual discussion about the state of the nation over an espresso? While this dream is valid and one you should pursue, are you aware that when you eventually get a shot, it can turn out the opposite of how you’ve imagined it if you’re not well prepared.
Can you point out, without stuttering, 5 reasons to have coffee with a politician? Do you know how to properly engage the politician in this discussion to yield a tangible result? These and others are things you need to put into consideration before meeting your favorite politicians.
Politicians are always busy. You are not the only one demanding their attention. Many other people and national matters also want their attention. Therefore, you have to manage your time with them appropriately.
To ensure your meeting with your favorite politician goes on smoothly, here are a few tips to consider;
1. Do your research
If you have an opinion about the state’s matter, the proper way to handle it, and you want to table it before your favorite politician, it is not enough to meet them and talk about it.
You have to do your research about the subject matter and know what they think about the issue. Find out what they have said, written about it, how they have voted in the past, etc. From there, you can develop strategies on how to weigh in on the issue.
2. Introduce yourself properly
When you eventually get to meet them, introduce yourself without bugging them with too much information. Be brief about it; one sentence is enough, a maximum of two. Tell your name, the role you play in society. They’ll ask you further questions in the area that interest them from your introduction, and you can carry on the conversation from there.
3. Focus on one key issue
If you want your conversation with a politician to be fruitful, you must avoid beating around the bush. It’s advisable to go with only one issue of concern. Even if you have many things to say, postpone others to consequent meetings. Let the focus of your conversation be on the most crucial issue to you at the moment.
4. Quote the Law and Bills if you Need to
If a bill or law supports your stance on the issue, quote it, and let the politician know your perspective afterward. Be natural while you do this and not make it seem as if you’re threatening the politician. You do not want to get on the wrong side of the person you’ve been longing to meet. Therefore, don’t pick a fight.
5. Acknowledge their work so far
Finally, acknowledge their previous work. Mention the specific work you have seen them do and love. This way, they’ll know you’re not there only to criticize them but to see them do better. Tell them the things you believe they should do immediately and in the long term. Also, have it in mind that change takes time.