Q: We are struggling to identify a testimonial speaker for our Ask Event.
Our organization provides housing and support to people who are homeless, and many have wonderful stories, but we have not been able to find someone who we think will be comfortable with public speaking.
Thomas in Washington
A: You'll never know until you ask!
The best place to look would be your current and former clients or a family member of someone you serve(d). If they are willing to share their story but nervous because of the audience, start by having someone who knows them well do an interview with them.
They can lead with questions like, “What was your life like before you came to our organization?” The client can respond with their answers in dialogue.
You could tape record this (with their permission) and offer to write up an outline of a script based on their answers and then edit it with their feedback. This might help develop a script that, with practice, could be a great live testimonial speech at your Ask Event.
You could even have them deliver it as an interview at the Ask Event, and that staff member could be up on stage with them if that would make the speaker more comfortable.