How To Conduct a Public Forum

You can organize a public forum to increase local awareness and attract interested community members to become actively involved in your NRTW activities. You know who the experts are in your area. If possible, arrange for a few speakers with different backgrounds to speak about NRTW. You may want to include radiologic technologists in various disciplines and specialties, health professionals, educators, health care advocates, local celebrities or even individuals who can share their personal experiences about medical imaging and radiation therapy. Have each person give a short presentation, followed by a question-and-answer period.

Set up a table at the forum for printed materials and a list of resources in your area. You can create your own pamphlets and information sheets or contact ASRT about obtaining printed public education materials.

Libraries, colleges, community centers, churches, senior and youth centers, garden clubs and high schools may be able to provide an auditorium free of charge. Community and professional organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis clubs, chambers of commerce and schools often invite people to their meetings or special occasions to speak on health care issues.

You also can send fliers about the event to community centers, health care organizations, schools and libraries, or anywhere there is a bulletin board.

You might consider obtaining business sponsors for your event. Contact companies that share your vision or may benefit commercially from your message.

If you are asked to give a presentation, here are a few tips you should consider:

Questions to ask when you are invited to speak:

  • How long is the presentation?
  • Where and when is the event?
  • Will media be present?
  • What is the size of the audience?
  • What is the audience mix?
  • How is the event advertised and promoted?
  • Will there be a social event beforehand to get to know some of the audience?
  • What is the dress code?
  • Do you need to supply brief biographical data and a photo for introduction and publicity?
  • Do you need to provide your own audiovisual equipment? If yes, check the setup.
  • Is your spouse invited?
  • Will you need to provide handouts?
  • What is the meeting agenda?
  • Has time been allocated for questions following the speech?

Speech contents:

  • Goals (a maximum of three points).
  • Define the problem.
  • Background information.
  • Solution to the problem and benefits of the solution.
  • Citizen involvement.
  • "Grabber" (an exciting, enthusiastic and positive ending).
  • Remember to rehearse (approximately six times too much rehearsing can cause loss of spontaneity).

Avoid:

  • Pointing at a person.
  • Putting your hands in front or behind you.
  • Putting your hands in your pockets or on the podium.