As your project develops, you will want to let your community know what you are doing and continue to build their engagement and support, as well as create opportunities for youth to have a stronger voice. Here are several strategies and resources to help you succeed.
Convening a Meeting of Stakeholders or the General Public
A meeting, town hall discussion, or other gathering is a highly recommended way to bring youth voices and adult stakeholders together to learn from each other and share perspectives.
Convening a Meeting of Stakeholders or the General Public is a great document to learn more about the roles a student can play in a meeting with the public or stakeholders.
Facilitating Public Discussions
If you are asked to facilitate a meeting, your job is to help the group have a successful discussion. When youth facilitate, adults and other youth often take notice and respect them as leaders.
- A facilitator enables groups to work more effectively; to collaborate and achieve synergy.
- A facilitator does not take sides, but advocates for a fair, open, and inclusive process.
- A facilitator is a learning guide to assist a group in thinking deeply about its beliefs and its processes.
Some ideas for managing group discussions, dealing with silences, and other facilitation challenges are Tips for Facilitators
Tips for Facilitating Effective Discussion, offered by the American Heart Association, focuses on the facilitation of public discussions. It focuses on what makes a successful facilitator and ways to connect with your audience
Engaging Elected Officials
Elected Officials – one-on-one meetings
- Meeting Your Representatives from the National Youth Rights Association talks about what to prepare when going to meet with an elected official and what to do during that meeting
- Start here, it provides basic knowledge in the art of meeting with elected officials
Elected Officials – public meeting
- This short article gives a glimpse into what a typical school board meeting looks like. It’s important to understand what a meeting looks like in order to effectively speak during one.
General Tips (from a school board member) about talking in front of a school board:
- Have a handout/pamphlet that you can distribute to all school board members with the key takeaways from your presentation/calls to action (what you want them to help you with moving forward)
- Have a visual presentation while you are talking
- Leave time after your presentation to answer questions
- Practice presenting in front of people and having them ask you questions beforehand
- If you don’t know the answer, it’s absolutely okay to say “I don’t know the answer, but let me figure it out and get back to you.”
- Make eye contact with the people that you are talking to
- Be confident and have fun!
Though Social Media and Websites
Social media is a great tool to use in this day and age to tell your team’s story. However, a website serves as a more static form of storytelling. Learn how to create and use both for your team’s project.
Check out Machias, Maine 4-H Tech Changemakers Community Feast site
Data Visualization Resources
You’ve gathered information via surveys, interviews, and other action research in your communities. Now it is time to communicate what you have learned to others. Here are some resources to help you communicate clearly and capture your audience’s attention.
Using Graphics to Report Evaluation Results: This resource comes right from Extension and explains how to evaluate your survey results. We recommend that you read pages 1-10. Pay special attention to pages 8-10 as it walks you through how to make simple bar, pie, and line graphs.
Beam Chartmaker: This is our favorite for turning the results of your survey into viewable graphs. They have 4 different graph options (pie, line, bar, column) and different coloring options. The input and creation of the graphs is the simplest we could find and the presentation is professional.
AmCharts Live Editor: For those looking for a bit more advanced data presentation, this resources gives graph templates for you to edit. The options for this resources exceed that of Beam’s, but beware, this is a pretty complex editor that will take time to perfect.
Canva Graphs: NOTE: THIS RESOURCE IS NOT FREE. Why did we choose to include Canva if you have to pay for it? Because their graphs are the industry standard as far as data presentation goes. You can create a free Canva account and have access to millions of graphing templates, which cost $1 each to edit. It’s worth looking into if you want to create a single handout with all of your survey results on it.
Here is an excellent example of using Canva for flyers by the Quincy Washington 4-H Youth Development Team.
Microsoft Excel: This is a resource that you all should have access to. It’s a great, easy visualizing tool to illustrate your data into graphs. This short video tutorial walks you through the basic steps needed to take to make a graph in Excel
Video: A video is a great engaging and visual representation to show viewers interested in your project. Windows offers Windows Movie Maker, and Apple offers iMovie. Both of these softwares are free from their respected producers. The tutorial for how to use iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are very helpful to make your project look more professional.
Here is a great example of a video by the Brown County, Wisconsin 4-H Team