Brevity. It’s not just the soul of wit, it’s also the core principle of a good membership ask. You should be able to say what you need to say in about a minute. Focus on what’s most important and cut away the rest. Think about what is important to that person.

Opening. You want a hook to pique the listener’s interest, or a quick tag line to encapsulate what you are about to say.

In year one of the Membership Recruitment Initiative, LWVUS has used the language; “LWV is where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement." You can rephrase and simplify this message to suit the person's interests and illustrate the purpose of your work and what you are doing about the problem.

For example: “Today, Chautauqua County is only as strong, safe and healthy as we are willing to make them. Recently our League has studied the issue of coal ash for paving and how it may impact our environment."

Close with an invitation to this person or group to be part of your solution. What can they do to engage, assist, or support your work?

If you are formally speaking to a group you may need to prepare more carefully.

A Three Step Process

What opportunity (e.g. event with the Chamber of Commerce, city council breakfast meeting, PTA, BPW etc.) is on your League calendar?_____________________________________________________________________

STEP ONE:

What is the overall goal of this opportunity?

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STEP TWO:

Who is the audience at that opportunity?

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Describe that audience and what they value. What do they care most about?

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STEP THREE:

What are you going to say? Which messages will resonate most strongly with that audience?

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So get out there and practice your one minute chance to get a new member!