Each week at YL clubs around the world, many leaders attempt to give "announcements" that are often quickly forgotten. Here are a few ideas to help make your club announcements more memorable.
End of Club
Choosing when you do your announcements is key. We have found the most effective time to be at the very end of club, after the talk. This is difficult at first, as kids are ready to leave, but if you develop this rhythm, they will soon learn to remain seated and focused up front. We don't do all the announcements here, but typically the few that we want to hammer home. If we're showing a camp video or doing an extended announcement then we place it in the middle of club.
Another option that has worked well is putting them before the final set of slower content songs. Announcements typically help transition from a crazy game to a slower pace in club.
Less Is More
There are often many things that need to be communicated, but kids will not remember many things. Choose which is most important to communicate from up front. Communicate the rest through facebook, twitter, texting, flyers, etc...
Don't just announce your stuff, announce their stuff. Kids will feel special if you give shoutouts for birthdays that week. This weekend our football team had a huge come from behind victory and made the front page of the newspaper. I took a picture of it and put it in the slide show for tonight's announcements. Announce when the school play is, the JV volleyball game, any school events coming up.
How To Connect
Make sure kids know how to connect with you and how to get the info they need about YL. Each week we ask them to join our group on facebook, our text message group, and to follow on Twitter.
When giving announcements, make sure to think of how they sound to a first time visitor to club. As a newbie, they probably don't have any idea what 'campaigners' is, so make sure to explain it, as well as invite kids personally. Don't let up front announcements substitute for personal invitations. Use "outsider" friendly language as to help newcomers feel like they belong.
One of our student leaders made a 2 minute video we show every 3 weeks that has lots of the same info we repeat each week (facebook group, campaigners, camp, etc...). It is fast-paced and views like a commercial. Its great to play as a transition between a game and a set of songs.
Man On The Street Videos
Take your iPhone and video 4 different kids individually at the football game on Friday night, each giving one announcement. Show those 4 quick clips at club on Monday.
Don't call them 'announcements.' That just sounds boring. We call ours "The E.L" (The Even Lowah than the DL, the down low.) Think of a fun name for this segment of club.
Announcements are more memorable when they are funny. Have a character(s) that comes out each week and does them. A news-anchor, a David Letterman Top 10 list, two high school girls doing each announcement as a cheer in uniforms, etc... Be creative!
While more time consuming, it is helpful for parents to have all the announcements in written format. Every few clubs we'll make quarter-sheet handouts with the important things kids/parents need to know. Senior Leaders will pass them out to kids on their way out the door and us leaders will hand them to parents picking up their kids in the parking lot.
What other ways have you found to make announcements more memorable? Please comment below.
From Dave Wilson:
"We use a fun chant like "Announcements, Announcements, Annooooouncements!" or "Ooh ah, its time for annoucements, ooh ah, its time for announcements." Then we have given a fake grandiose announcement like next week club is at Kanye West's house to which the kids yell out "Shut yo mouth" then we give the correct announcement and kids yell "That's cool, that's cool"