Talent Show Criteria

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
Talent show criteria should be clearly defined for both the judges and participants.
Image Credit: aywan88/iStock/GettyImages

When hosting a talent show, it can be a challenge to develop fair criteria for judging talent that is not entirely subjective. It is possible to do, however, by using a simple numbering system that rates factors such as performance, originality, audience response and more. This makes totaling the talent show judge sheet easier and the resulting scores fairer for the participants. It's also possible to add certain criteria that mean a reduction in points as well.


Consider the Overall Performance

Set a range of possible points from 1 to 20 for overall performance. This is defined as the contestant's ability to present original material that draws a positive response from the audience with personality, originality and poise. It should reflect the overall impression of the performance rather than just one single element.


Video of the Day

Pay Attention to Audience Engagement

Set a range of possible points from 1 to 10 for audience response. It is not based solely on the final applause after the performance, which can be popularity based. Rather, it is judged based on the ability of the contestant to draw the audience into the performance, eliciting a positive response. As such, judges must give consideration to the audience members during the performance to gauge how they are responding to the contestant.


Evaluate the Stage Appearance

Set a range of possible points from 1 to 10 for stage appearance. Scores for stage appearance should examine the following characteristics of the performer: displaying a neat appearance, performing cleanly and in character, exuding confidence, projecting personality, and showcasing originality.


Look for Originality

Set a range of possible points from 1 to 10 for originality. This can be defined as creating a piece of work that is distinctive or different from the other performers. It takes creativity, ingenuity, confidence and personality to present an original piece. Keep in mind that more than one performer may have the same "act," but it's how they make it their own that defines originality.


Check for Personality

Set a range of possible points from 1 to 10 for personality. It is not just how much the contestant smiles during the performance. It is defined as how much the contestant puts her own heart and character into the performance.


Deduct for Time Violations

Set a range of possible point deduction from 1 to 5 for time deduction if the performance exceeds the allotted time. There may need to be a buzzer to completely cut off contestants who exceed a set time limit during their performance. This can also be defined as disqualifying them from the competition.


Prepare Judges and Participants

Provide judges with a talent show judge sheet for scoring along with a brief explanation of each scoring criteria. Also provide participants with a sample tally score sheet and a brief explanation of every criteria so they understand what elements the judges will look for in the performance. Ensure there is time for both judges and participants to ask questions about the criteria prior to the start of the competition.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...