Helpful Suggestions

Give out awards and prizes. Present “winners” with a trophy or certificate acknowledging their accomplishment. You may want to come up with something special to present to each show participant as well. Take a walk through your local dollar store and find a fun memento that everyone will get a kick out of receiving. After all, you will want to give them some incentive to take part again in next year’s family talent show.

Plan a big finale. It can be a lot of fun to bring all the performers together to create a “big finish” for your show. You may want to have the group sing a song the audience can join in on. Staging a finale also gives your judges some time to tally up scores and determine the “winners.”

Come up with various award categories. Of course, you can name the traditional third, second, and first place winners. But, if you want to spread the recognition around a little more, think up some unusual competition categories, such as Most Original, Biggest Challenge, Best Audience Involvement, Fan Favorite, Most Fearless, etc. 

Set up a judges’ table. Your judges will need a place to sit and watch the show. Make sure it is in a location with a perfect view of the “stage.” Provide your judges with a fair system for scoring each act. For example, the acts may be ranked on a scale from 1 to 10 in areas like stage presence, originality, audience participation, etc. 

Decide on refreshments. You may want to have refreshments available throughout the show so people can enjoy them between each performance. If you are planning on having an intermission so people can get out of their seats and move around a little, you may want to serve refreshments then.

Create a theatrical environment. If possible, build a stage and put up a curtain. Make a colorful “Welcome” sign, and decorate, decorate, decorate. Your decorations don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. They can be homemade. You just want to create a setting that is festive and fun. This is a project that can involve everyone in your cast and crew.

Develop an official program. Have something to hand out to people as they arrive for the show that lists the acts and the order in which they will perform. The same creative person who helps with the invitation may be happy to design your program as well.

Send out invitations. Treat your talent show like a professional stage production by sending out invitations announcing the event. Of course, your invitations can be sent by email or postal mail. They can even be hand delivered. Just make sure to give people enough advance notice. There may be some people in your family who enjoy designing materials on the computer and would love to put their talents to work on this job.

Identify your audience. One of the most important decisions you will have to make is who to invite as your audience. If you have a large extended family, you probably have a ready-made audience. If your family is small, you may want each performer to invite friends and/or neighbors.

Schedule the show. Try to find a date and time that works well for show participants and your audience. Provide some lead time so your talent can get plenty of practice in before they hit the stage.

Find a location. A family member's home or yard with plenty of room is a great choice for your show. You will need a staging area, somewhere for your audience to sit, and enough chairs for everyone. 

Involve the whole family. Not only will you need plenty of talent to showcase, you also will need people to get involved in other ways. ​You will want someone to act as host or emcee. You will need someone to be in charge of managing the background music for each act. You may want someone creative to develop your promotional materials. You could probably use some people to provide refreshments. If the show is a contest, you will need judges. And, of course, you will need an audience.

Assemble some performers. Family members of all ages can play a role in the big event. Make sure to let everyone know all types of talents are welcome. ​Of course, it would be great to have a few dancers, singers, gymnasts, and baton twirlers in the group, but there are many other ways to be entertaining. Perhaps someone will offer to tell a few jokes or read a poem. 


There are lots of reasons to get your extended family together. There are plenty of activities you can share. But, by far, one of the most fun and memorable things to do as a family is to throw a good old fashioned talent show.Young children singing. Teens dancing. Mom showing off her old baton twirling skills. Grampa telling a few jokes. Aunts, uncles and distant cousins, etc… everyone is welcome and anything goes.

If you don't have a large extended family, you can always include friends and neighbors. The following suggestions are geared toward planning a family talent show, but they can be helpful for arranging a talent show of any kind.

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