Speak Easy

What is Speak Easy?

Event Date: Mid-January (odd numbered years)
Event Duration: 2.5 - 3 hours
Begin Planning: December
Recommended Committee Size: 3-5

The Speak Easy is a chance for 4-H teen leaders to teach younger members about public speaking skills through hands on activities. Speak Easy occurs in alternate years with Ticket to Leadership, which teaches younger members about the roles of 4-H officers and the importance of leadership and goal setting.

Since this is a county wide event it requires careful planning: creating a committee, planning the activities, collecting supplies, securing a location, finding volunteers for registration, finding volunteers to teach workshops and planning an evaluation.

Creating a Committee

Your SE committee is usually made from people who will be assisting in the delivery of the event. From the beginning the following roles are crucial:
Promotion/Registration: responsible for letting everyone know about the event (designing and delivering promotional materials) and signing people up. Also usually responsible for checking in participants upon arrival. Skills: organization Resources: e-mail, list-serv, Facebook
Activity Organizer: responsible for selecting a balanced and varied schedule of workshops for the event, identifying skilled instructors (you could put out a "request for workshop instructors" in Decemeber), collecting a list of activity supplies from instructors, creating the master schedule of the event Skills: communication Resources: past workshops, contacts for teen leaders
Event Coordinator: responsible for reserving the site (in coordination with Extension Office if needed), responsible for set up and break down of the physical space before and after the event, responsible for purchase of activity supplies (check budget with 4-H Council)

Responsibilities can and should be shared, but designating individuals to be in charge of these responsibilities is highly recommended.

Planning the Event - One Month + Away

Speak Easy traditionally has 40 -60 youth in attendance. In the past a very successful model has been to offer 4 or 5 workshops, each about 15-20 minutes in length, and have groups of about 10-12 youth rotate from workshop to workshop.

Promotion/Registration: Prepare a database to keep track of preregistering youth. Design promotional materials, send out via list serve, Facebook, social media, recruit volunteers to spread the word.
Activity Organizer: Get the event on the calendar as soon as possible. Identify the goals of the event, ask your Extension office for help in creating an evaluation tool that will measure if goals are being met, select activities and activity leaders that will best meet the goals, work closely with activity leaders (volunteers) to understand what they will need for their workshop, and what they need the committee to provide. It's not a bad idea to identify one or two additional back up activity leaders in case the event gets busy. These "back up activity leaders " can work the registration table and be available "if needed." Make sure you have cell phone contact info for each of your activity leaders. Designate the Emcee of the event and provide a basic script: (welcome, expectations, safety considerations, breaks, evals, etc.)
Event Coordinator Make a reservation on a space that will hold the number of attendees.
* Worship Hall, Laurel Community Church holds 40 -60 youth comfortably; Dani 398-1761
(Traditionally we use this space at the same time the Horse Leaders schedule their tack sale and it increases enrollments)
Visit the space you choose in advance with the Activity Organizer to make sure you are clear about the space and how you plan on using it. Ask the providers of the space where cleaning supplies are kept so you can return the facility to it's unused condition after the event.

Planning the Event - One Week Away

Promotion/Registration: Share preregistration information with committee members. Make sure you add any specific registration items you need in advance onto the Event Coordinator's list of items. Do one last promotional "push" to get attendance up. Prepare sign up sheets for people who show up the day of the event. Consider making name-tags for preregistered participants. Discuss how youth will be divided into groups when they arrive. (Colored dots on name tags works pretty good.) Prepare signage for the building. Coordinate with Activity Organizer to place volunteers at registration table.
Activity Organizer: Consider number of enrolled attendees to number of workshops. (see note on "back up activity leaders") Give a list of everything requested by Activity Leaders to the event to the Event Coordinator at least a week in advance of the event. Contact leaders one or two days before the event to make sure they are still planning on being there.
Event Coordinator Check with Extension Office for supplies before purchasing items. (676-6736 x 42) Purchase any necessary items working to stay within the limits of the budget provided by Council. To the best of your ability work with the committee to discourage people from requesting perishable food items.

Day of the Event

Arrive one hour early.
Promotion/Registration: Set up signs directing people to the locations of the event, set up preregistration tables for preregistered and walk in participants.
Activity Organizer: Confirm back up activities and willing instructors at registration tables. Call any instructors and the Emcee if they do not arrive 30 minutes prior to the event.
Event Coordinator Designate workshop meeting areas and set out supplies.

Following the Event

Please collect evaluations from participants. It is important to return the space to exactly the way it was upon arrival.


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