Once you have made contact and secured a meeting date, prepare the materials as described in Step 4. Even if you have already given these materials to the person or group with whom you will be meeting, be sure to bring copies for everyone, and include extra copies. Bringing older adult advocates with you will make your audience listen more closely to your message, especially if they talk about what is going well and not just what is needed. In addition, not all solutions are costly, and this should be stressed, too. (For example, the need for signage to allow opposite sex individuals to assist the disabled in bathrooms.)
Because the schedules of public officials, agency directors, and the media often change unexpectedly, be prepared for a short meeting (5 minutes or less), even if you have been promised a longer time. Bring up the most important agenda items first, including how you would like your audience to participate (for example, by creating a fall prevention task force) and how you will help in the effort. If you are speaking at a public meeting, submit written documents to the staff member in charge before the meeting so that it is recorded in the public record. Whether the meeting is a public meeting or a one-on-one meeting, your presentation may get postponed. Be persistent and ask to be put on the agenda for the next meeting.
At the end of the meeting, make sure that each person or group understands what they are expected to do. Set a follow-up date when you and the group will meet again or talk by phone to ascertain progress and ensure that action items have been completed.
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