As a summer recreation program organizer it’s difficult to know how to hire a good presenter, who will both entertain and engage their audience. Here are some ideas to help make that decision.

1) Does the presenter have some accreditation of some type? Do they have teacher certification or other type of on-going work with children, such as providing after-school workshops or Arts in Education programs?

2) Have they been fingerprinted by BOCES? This indicates they have no criminal record.

3) How do they plan to engage their audience? Just “entertainment” is not enough. If you want that memorable experience that really “sticks” with the kids, be sure to ask how they involve their audience.

4) Are they formally trained or affiliated with any other professional speaking organizations like Toastmasters International or the National Speakers Association? This means they are professionals and take their presentations seriously, but may not necessarily give a serious presentation. Laughter and lots of fun are important to children’s events. Having professional affiliations also means the presenter will not possess annoying speaking habits like saying ‘um” or “ah” every two seconds.

5) Do they have a website? This is a good way to get an overall picture of the presenter. What else do they do? Without a website, it begs the question, “Are you for real?”

6) Does their program offer a “Life Skill” benefit? Be sure the program has a purpose.

Using these tips will help any summer program organizer come up with a great presenter, rather than a “ho-hum, run-of-the-mill, same-old, corny, hokey-jokey” type of presenter.  And the kids will love you for it!