Planning a talent show for your youth group doesn't have to be a headache. Teens love to feel special and a talent show lets them show off their talents. They are fun and don't take a lot of work. Your youth group is worth the effort.
Things You'll Need
A place to hold the talent show.
A few adults to help with things (depending on the size of your group will determine the number of adults ~ 1 adult per 10 teens)
A love for teens
Ribbons and/or certificates
First thing you should do when planning a talent show for teens is to ask your teens about it. Would they like to showcase their talents? If they grumble and say - I don't have any talents - then tell them this is no ordinary talent show. Make it a talent show where everyone can participate. Not everyone sings like Celine Dion or plays the sax like Kenny G, but everyone does something well. Some may cook or bake. Others might do crafts or sew. You might have an athlete and a film maker among your group. Put them together and have your film maker video tape your athlete during a game, at practice or just playing for fun. During the talent show, play the video and you have two talents at one time being displayed. Be sure both get credit for their part. I have listed other categories under the - tips - for this article.
Once you have the teens on board, find some volunteers. Your volunteers will assist you however you need them. Your teens should help make posters to put up around your church and community. Make sure you have a confirmed date from whomever you are using the space from (Pastor, Rec. Center, Etc.). Have your volunteers help distribute the posters around town.
There are NO try-outs. Everyone who wants to showcase their talent should be allowed. Arrange for practice times. It is best if the practices can be done where the talent show is being held but this is not a must. During practices, your volunteers should be helping you keep the teens quiet when they are not performing. If costumes need to be made, see if you can find a volunteer to make them (or maybe one of the other teens).
Now that you have a confirmed list of teens in your talent show and practices have begun, you or one of your volunteers should begin the ribbons and/or certificates (filling out the names, talent, date etc.). These can be done on most computers and don't have to be fancy. A certificate simply should state the date, group hosting, talent displayed and teens name (you can make it look official by having your pastor and you sign it for fun). The ribbons should say - Participant, - Well Done,- You're a Star, - or something generic like that (NO 1st place, 2nd place, etc.). You are not pitting them against each other. You are showcasing their individual talents. On the back of the ribbons should be room for their name, the date, their talent and hopefully where the talent show took place. When finished, these should be placed in a safe spot where they will be easy to get to the night of the talent show. If you have a teen who likes to do this, let them help (again giving them the credit)
Setting up for a talent show is pretty easy. Make sure you have plenty of seats for the guests and a section marked off for the performers. If you have a teen or volunteer who is good with a camera ask them to video tape the talent show. As a way to make a little money for your youth group, you can make copies of the video and sell them.
It's time to get the evenings schedule together. You've hopefully seen all of the performing talent. You can have the performers chose a number and that is where they perform or you can try to schedule the acts yourself but this can be time consuming and some might feel you are playing favorites. Once you've figure this out, it is time to put together the talent show program (bulletin, agenda or whatever you call it). If you have a teen who loves to create thing on a computer, let them help with this and be sure to give them credit.
The night of the talent show, you should have some volunteers with the teens keeping them quiet when not performing and keeping the flow onto and off of the stage going. Where the refreshments are being served, set up the artwork, photos, sculptures, sewing, etc. around the room. Make sure people can easily view the items while others are getting food. Also make sure the tables and/or chairs are away from the items so nothing gets damaged.
As the night begins, you may have a teen who likes to talk and socialize. Let them hand out the programs and greet people. Have the teens set up their own viewable submissions with the help from you volunteers. Make sure everyone gets recognition for their submissions (viewable and performance).
When the last act is over, you can do one of two things. If you had a smaller group hand out the ribbons and certificates then invite everyone back to enjoy the refreshment and see the viewable submissions (make sure someone gets pictures of the food submissions before anyone digs into the food). If you have a larger group, take an intermission and serve the refreshments. This gives everyone a chance to see the viewable submissions before the certificates and ribbons are handed out.
Finally, Relax and enjoy. You and your teens have put on an amazing evening. Fun, fellowship and good food was had by all who attended.
Talent categories: 1. Singing (solo or group) 2. Musical instrument (solo or band) 3. Art (Painting, sketching, chalk, animation, sculptures, etc.) 4. Writing (Poetry, short story ~ set a word limit, song lyrics ~ original work only) 5. Comedian (Should be appropriate material for all ages) 6. Sports (Include them all but make sure they understand this has to be a film submission due to space and time ~ limit it to about 2 or 3 minutes) 7. Film Making (Make sure the film is 2 or 3 minutes long and is an appropriate film for all ages) 8. Acting (skits or a scene from a movie ~ make sure the scene/skit is 2 or 3 minutes long and is an appropriate film for all ages) 9. Cooking/Baking (those choosing this category will be in charge of refreshments that evening). Remember to take a picture of each item submitted for talent to give to the teen submitting. 10. Hospitality ~ If your teen loves to mingle or talk, they can be the greeter for the evening. If they are good with "paperwork" have them help make the programs (be sure to give them credit). 11. Computer ~ make a certificate and/or ribbon for any of the teens who help with computer and/or paperwork. 13. Magician ~ again put a time limit on this. 14. Photography ~ have them display their photographs and then have them take photos of the talent show. 15. Crafts ~ anything handmade by the teen. 16. Sound effects ~ if you have someone interested in sound boards, let them run the sound board. You may need someone to show them how to run the sound board. 17. Health and Beauty ~ If a teen is interested in fixing hair, applying make-up, or doing a four minute talk on health. 18. Debate ~ Maybe two or more of your teens enjoy arguing. Give them a topic (or let them choose one together) and give them each 2 minutes to debate it (again no one should be declared the "winner"). You can add any talent that your teens have that doesn't fall in the above categories.