4‐H Public Presentations is a nationally recognized element of the Cooperative Extension 4‐H Youth Development Program. This public speaking event is one of 4‐H's most beneficial and rewarding experiences. It is the program most often credited by 4‐H alumni as having given them an edge above their peers in both college and professional careers. Through a progressive series of communication activities, youth develop poise; gain self‐confidence before a group; learn to express ideas clearly; learn how to respond spontaneously to questions; and gain subject matter knowledge. 4‐H Members throughout NYS, as well as the country, have an advantage in public speaking because they are given the opportunity to develop and hone their speaking and communication skills through the 4‐H Public Presentation Program.
Categories include Demonstration/Illustrated Talk, Speech, and Recitation/Dramatic Interpretation. New this year to the Public Presentation Program is an Interview category. Participants in this category should plan their interview for a job as a Summer 4-H Assistant or for a College Application whichever they prefer. All resumes accompanied with a cover letter must be submitted to the Cooperative Extension Office the week prior to Public Presentation so that the judges will have time to look them over before the interview. The Interview category is recommended for Junior and Senior grade levels but could be done by a younger 4-H’er.
There are three levels which some 4-H’ers can compete in. All 4-H’ers start at the County level, depending on their score some 4-H presenters are selected to present at the District level. Top presenters at the District level are then selected to go on to the State level, which is held at Cornell University. At the County level Cloverbuds are encouraged to present but will not be eligible to go beyond the County level. Ages for Cloverbuds are 5-8 years of age, juniors are 9-12 years of age and seniors are 13-18 years of age.
Cloverbuds begin preparing a simple “show and tell” to help relieve the “jitters” and get them use to talking on their feet to a small audience. First-time presenters in grade 3 or higher start with a short, but formally organized, demonstration. New skills and more emphasis on delivery and “showmanship” are introduced each year. Presentation training starts at the club level. Area or countywide public presentation workshops may be conducted by 4-H staff or experienced volunteers. Training materials are available from the 4-H office.
There are three purposes to 4-H Public Presentations:
1. To emphasize the importance of Communication Skills – building poise and self-confidence as well to develop the ability to think and speak with ease in front of people.
2. To provide the opportunity to gain insight by being at higher level of evaluation, which will reassure you about the work you have done as well as help you to improve your speaking abilities.
3. To be exposed to and learn different techniques used by other speakers.
Last updated June 21, 2017