We had a public hearing this past Monday as part of the environmental review process for our comprehensive plan currently in the works. We've got a team of consultants that have played a key role since Day 1 and they were given the role of explaining the scope of potential environmental impacts from the new plan to our Board of Trustees. For this meeting, the consultants' project manager brought a new planner with her to help explain the scope of impacts, and she was given a portion of their speaking time.
There was a bit of a mishap when their laptop failed to work, dooming their PowerPoint presentation (I'm sick to death of PowerPoint so I welcomed this). This may have thrown them off balance a bit. I thought they did okay and were able to compensate adequately, though the lack of a visual element in their presentation was unfortunate.
Afterward, two of the Trustees took our Planning Director aside and told her to never have this new planner come again, that she came across "like a Girl Scout" and a "Ditz" and that they were unhappy with her performance. I got a little lecture from our Director the day after and she made it clear that we all must meet a very high standard when presenting before the municipal boards and the public and to always be on guard.
Now, in retrospect, those comments made to our Director about a fellow planning professional seem pretty inappropriate, though after 9 months in the planning trenches, nothing surprises me anymore. The consultants' planner looked around my age and the Trustees are all Boomers and older. I have personally found that it can be tough to maintain bearing when explaining complex topics to a room full of people my parents' and grandparents' age (we all know Gen Ys never come to public hearings). I'm wondering how all this factored in to their comments and what, if anything, those of us who aren't that far out of school can do when it comes to our mannerisms, bearing, and sense of gravitas to ensure that we're taken seriously by the elected officials.