Speak Out & Make Noys - Chapter 4: Project Tools

Getting Organized - Monthly Calendar

Included in your Speak Out & Make NOYS kit is a Project Organizer. This chapter will help you learn how to use it effectively. Your first step is to get organized. 

Step 1: Schedule your life events on your monthly calendar. 

Use your month-at-a-glance calendar to record all significant events. 

Sample Monthly Calendar

Sample Monthly Calendar

“Organization is the key to success. 
Try to keep all your important information in one place. That way you’ll never miss an important deadline.”

Kelli Walker, NATI


Getting Organized – Daily Planner

Step 2: Create a daily plan.

Sample Daily Planner

Sample Daily Planner

“This daily to do list can really save your life. 
Write everything down in one place and carry it with you all the time. You’ll never wonder about what you should be doing next - you’ll know.”

Amy Willis, Florida NOYS

Effective Meetings – Planning 

Step 1: Plan the Meeting 

Preparation is the most important ingredient for a successful meeting. 

Step 2: Develop the Agenda

Follow the step-by-step guide in the project organizer. This guide is more informal than traditional agendas; it will help you think through the topics you need to include.

Sample Meeting Planning Worksheet

Sample Meeting Planning Worksheet

Effective Meetings - Running

Step 3: Running the Meeting

Decide how the discussions and decisions in the meeting will be recorded. Meeting notes or minutes are a very important part of the meeting process. They are a record of the discussions, decisions, and action items that occurred at the meeting. At a more formal meeting you might request one person to keep the official minutes. The example and notes above show what information is important to record in the meeting notes. 

At a more informal meeting, no official minutes will be taken, however meeting notes should be taken by each member. Many of the same details listed above can be covered. 

Most important is a master “To Do” list that identifies what action steps will be done by specific dates and by whom. This list will help you follow up and make sure these tasks are completed on time. 

Sample Meeting Records Worksheet

Sample Meeting Records Worksheet


Effective Meetings - Tips

Meeting Tips

  1. Be prepared. Make sure you have thought out every part of the meeting. What information or reports will you share with your team?
  2. Invite the right people and use their abilities once you get them there. Team members will not want to miss your meetings when they know that they are an important part of the team and that they have a responsibility at the meeting. 
  3. Start and finish on time. You want to encourage promptness and show respect for your team members time so, if you need more time, ask members if they can stay longer. 
  4. Always begin on a positive note. A great way to start is to congratulate the team on an accomplishment. Everybody loves to be acknowledged and appreciated. 
  5. State your meeting purpose early. Your team members should already know the purpose of the meeting but, if they are unclear, it’s a good place to start. 
  6. Stick to your agenda. If important issues come up that require your attention, schedule a meeting to deal with them. Don’t let unexpected ideas get you off track. Stay focused. 
  7. Always review action items from the last meeting. 
  8. Encourage everyone to take meeting notes. They will then have a personal record of the important items discussed and agreed upon. 
  9. Include everyone in the discussions. Some team members may be shy and not contribute without your encouragement. Others may dominate the discussions. 
  10. Share the wealth. Try to get everyone involved. When team members have an assignment, they have more motivation and ownership. 
  11. When dividing up tasks, first ask for volunteers. “Does anyone have a strong interest in heading up the publicity work group?” Or a more direct request might be, “ Jessie, since you’re such a good artist, would you be in charge of the publicity work group?” 
  12. Get commitments. Never make assumptions; make sure you get a verbal agreement. “Jessie, we will need a graphic design by next Friday at 3:00 for the newspaper, can you get that done?” Write these commitments in the section called Action Items. 
  13. Follow up with each team member’s commitments. “Great. Call me by Tuesday to tell me if you need any help.” Then write it down so that you are keeping your commitments. 
  14. Make decision by getting agreement instead of voting. Voting always has winners and losers. Your goal is to find a way to allow everyone to WIN. 
  15. Keep the meetings short and full of activity. Nothing is worse than boring meetings that drag on and on.
  16. Remind your team of the Rules of Brainstorming before each Brainstorming session. Discussing, evaluating, and prioritizing are important skills, but they don’t belong in the same session as brainstorming. 
  17. Remember to have fun. You can keep team members coming back if your meetings are fun, positive, fast paced, and chuck full of action. 
  18. Know your next step. Before you end the meeting, make sure everyone agrees on the next step (meeting date and purpose, activity, action items, etc.)
“Running good meetings is easy if you are well prepared. If not, they can be a complete disaster.” 

Traci Gurley, FCCLA

Present Like A Pro 

In order to get your message out, you must present your project ideas to others. Some form of presentation will be needed to recruit others to help you, or to request funding. No matter what the bottom line is, you must be able to communicate your needs and desires clearly if you expect to get the results you desire. The following tips can help you put your best foot forward and make a great impression. Read through the following tips and then check out the presentation worksheet on the next page.

  1. Script out for yourself your desired outcome. You need to know exactly what you want before you meet with people. Are you looking for funding? If so, how much and for what expenses? Do you need a respected community leader on your planning team? Are you looking for a business to donate an event site? 
  2. Define what benefit there is for the listener. Remember that everyone participates in a project for his or her own reasons. Ask yourself in advance what their reasons might be and make sure you identify those benefits during your presentation. 
  3. Be prepared. When you approach business and community leaders, it’s important to be well prepared. Not only should you know your presentation by heart, but you should also be ready to answer questions as well.
  4. Define your project goals. What will your project accomplish? How will this project benefit other youth? How will it benefit the community? 
  5. Demonstrate your organization skills & commitment. Give examples of your accomplishments. People want to be a part of projects that are successful. It’s easier to commit their time and resources when they can see that you are well organized and completely committed to your project. 
  6. Use visual aids. Most people are visual learners. It helps to show them what your project will accomplish. Use charts, graphs and pictures. You can really impress them by creating a picture board or a powerpoint presentation. 
  7. Be passionate. If you believe in your project, it will come through in your presentation. You want these business and community leaders to get involved, but they won’t be interested unless they feel your enthusiasm. 
  8. Dress appropriately. You don’t have to wear a business suit but you should look the part of a young person who is serious about your project and your desire to partner with business to reach your goals. Ask yourself, will I be taken seriously dressed like this? 
  9. Keep eye contact, have a good time and Smile, Smile, Smile. 
  10. Always follow up your presentation with a thank-you note or phone call.

Photo of Nikki Finch
Nikki Finch, BACCHUS & GAMMA

Using Visual Aids

Have you hear the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, it’s true. You can add power to your presentation by using good visual aids. Here are some examples of aids that can be used to enhance your presentation. 

Three Sample PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint Presentation 

PowerPoint presentations are great to use when – 

The tools in PowerPoint can help your presentation come alive with motion, pictures, music, and even video to really impress your prospects. PowerPoint is a great tool for creating slides, but it works best when you are able to use a computer attached to a projector.

Two things to remember when you are using PowerPoint presentations. 

Picture Boards

The concept behind a picture board is to tell a story with pictures. These can be as small as a poster or as large as a booth display board. 

Picture Boards are great to use when – 

  • you have a lot of visual material to work with 
  • you are setting up an exhibit display 
  • you are giving a presentation where everyone can sit close enough to see the board 
  • when other presentation technology isn’t available 

Conventions, health fairs, and special events are just a few examples of opportunities where displaying a picture board as part of an exhibit works really well.

Photo of Sample Picture Board - Project Change
Photo of Picture Board - Project Change and Student Who Created It
Anthony DeCicco, Project Change

Things that go well on a picture board include: 

  • Pictures
  • Prints of your PowerPoint presentation
  • Charts & Graphs
  • Project Logo & Title


Using Visual Aids


The best way to promote your project is by personal contact. However, that isn’t always possible. You can only talk to so many people. Distributing flyers can be a great way to help ‘spread the word’ about your project.

Well-designed flyers accomplish several things for your project team. 

Sample Flyer - NOYS New Year's Eve

How do you design the right kind of flyer? You can choose a 3-fold flyer that works great as a mailer, or a single-page flyer that is best for posting and faxing. 

The most important key to creating a successful design for your flyer is to make sure you know exactly what your flyer will be used for before you design it.


Banners are a great way to attract people’s attention and interest. They can be homemade or professionally designed. You can use banners over and over again in many different ways. 

  • Carry them in a parade. 
  • Cover a table at a health fair, convention or some other special event. 
  • Tape them to the wall at a dance. 
  • Hang it in an exhibit space such as a display case. 
  • Use smaller banners as posters. 

If you have a distinctive project name or logo, a banner can be a great addition to your visual aids.


Sample Banner - NOYS

Presentation Worksheet

Presentation Preparation Worksheet

Presentation Preparation Worksheet

checkmark Be Prepared

checkmark Be Enthusiastic

checkmark Keep Eye Contact

checkmark SMILE

“When presenting to adults, be prepared, 
know your stuff and be self-confident.”

Amy Willis, Florida NOYS

Working with the Media - PRs

Contact your local newspapers, radio and TV stations to learn their requirements for press releases, article submission, recording times, and PSAs. Once you know these requirements, make sure you follow them exactly. Put someone on your team in charge of publicity to follow through on dates and data. 

News or Press Releases

A news or press release is the primary communication tool with the media. Press releases are short articles packed with facts about your project/event. Contact your local newspapers and find out who covers community events, education and youth projects. Be sure to contact a wide range of media people: editors, reporters, columnists, public service directors, public relations directors, community service directors. Call them directly to tell them about your project and follow up with an informational press release. 

Tips for Developing a Great Press Release

Sample Press Release

Date: March 6, 2000 

CONTACT: Suzzanne Sellman  (301) 650-8143 

25 National and Medical Organizations 
Launch Nationwide Effort to Teach Emergency Lifesaving Skills to Children and Adolescent in the School Setting 

  • Who: Stephanie Bryn, MPH Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau 
  • What: The Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program announces a nationwide program – developed by more than 25 national organizations and medical institutions – to encourage schools to incorporate basic emergency lifesaving skills training into their current health education curricula. 
  • When: Monday, March 27, 2000, 3:00 pm 
  • Where: The D’Alesandro Room, Omni Inner Harbor Hotel 101 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 
  • Why: Each year, more than 31 million individuals ages 1-17 years visit the emergency department due to an illness or injury. Many of the incidents are likely to occur in the home while a parent is at work, in a school where a nurse in not available, or on the playground when an adult is not present. It is also likely that other children or adolescents will be the first person available to render assistance prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. The introduction, acquisition, and reinforcement of basic emergency lifesaving skills – such as CPR and first aid during the school years, K-12, instills in students a sense of social responsibility, allows them to gain confidence in responding to sudden and perhaps frightening events, and teaches them to recognize the need for and how to call for emergency assistance.

Working with the Media - PSAs

Public Service Announcements are the easiest form of publicity. Radio stations must offer this free service for community focused projects like Speak Out and Make NOYS. PSAs can be written for a radio announcer to read or they can be recorded using your own voice. When using written PSAs be sure to include several different time formats so stations have more options in using your material.

Rose A. McMurray 
(202) 366-2696 

Public Service Announcement 

:15 Version 

You say the seat belt makes your clothes wrinkled? That it feels tight? That it’s a pain to wear? So how do you feel about windshild glass cutting your face? Now THAT is a pain. Buckle up. 

This message brought to you by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the US Department of Transportation.

Tips for Developing a PSA

Rose A. McMurray 
(202) 366-2696 

Public Service Announcement 

:30 Version (Prom Season) 

You and your friends are finally on your way to the prom. You’ve found the perfect outfit, and you want to show up looking great. So, you decide not to buckle up. But, what about not showing up at all? Riding unbuckled could mess up more than just your clothes. It could mess up your future. Get you and your friends there safely. Enjoy the prom. Buckle up. 

This message brought to you by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the US Department of Transportation.

Working with the Media - Tips

Press Kit

A press kit simply includes more information than a one-page press release. Include the following materials in a packet or folder. 

Endorsements & Proclamations

Endorsements from government officials, community leaders, business people, school administrators, law enforcement officers, and local celebrities are a powerful way to encourage greater media coverage. Your city, county, or state can declare a proclamation. These also add power to your media campaign. 

Proclamation Tips

A Mayoral Proclamation

Working with the Media - Cover Letters

The Cover Letter

The Press Kit and Proclamation need a cover letter. This is a simple letter that is addressed directly to the media personnel, government official, community leader, or business owner you are approaching. The letter describes who you are and describes your project/event. In addition, the letter includes a personal appeal to participate in your project in some way. You may be asking for funding or requesting TV or radio coverage for your event. Any contact by mail should include a cover letter. 

Tips for Developing the Cover Letter

Sample Cover Letter for PSAs
March 1, 2000 

Mr. Wright, Public Service Director 
1 Main St. 
Anytown, Anystate 44444 

Dear Mr. Wright: 

My name is John Doe. I am part of Project Buckle-Up - a campaign by teens in Any High School to improve driving safety. The goal of our project is to increase safety belt use in our teen community by 75%. 

Your radio station can help us reach our goal by broadcasting the enclosed PSA. Motor vehicle crashes kill and cripple more 15- to 20-year-olds than any other cause. What’s worse, people our age, especially guys, wear their safety belts less than any other group – yet safety belts are the best way to reduce deaths and injuries from car crashes. 

The enclosed Youth Safety Belt PSAs have been tested with young drivers in cities and small towns across the country by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These PSAs have received overwhelming approval from teens and young people. 

If you have further questions about our project and what activities we are doing, please call me at 1-555-555-4444. I will be contacting your office next week to answer any questions you may have. 

Thank you for your time and support. 


John Doe 
Public Relations Team, Project Buckle-Up 
Any High School

Working with the Media - Sample Media Worksheet

Media Worksheet

Finding Funding – Options

Most projects/events will have expenses. Some will require substantial financial help while others may only require small donations or fund-raising efforts. You have already calculated exactly what your project will cost; now it’s time to make some decisions about how you will raise the money. You will want to consider the following: 

  1. Cost estimates for products or services required for the event. 
  2. Businesses willing to donate products and/or services. 
  3. A well-designed plan to raise the necessary funds for products and services that are not being donated. 

Option #1:
Approach your community for assistance.

“It’s great to do something worthwhile at the same time you’re having fun and raising money.” 

Jereme McBride, Arizona SADD

Option #2.
Approach youth agencies, national safety organizations and foundations.

These organizations often have grants and other types of funding available. For a list of national agencies and organizations, see the resource section of this manual. 

Option #3.
Hold a fund-raising event.

Remember that fundraisers themselves often require lots of time, energy, and money to organize. Be careful to choose an event that complements your project and doesn’t use up the majority of your resources. 

Fund-raising ideas:

Food Sales

Sports Activities

Eating Events



Misc. Events