4-H Public Speaking

For many of our 4-Hers, the first months of each new year are dedicated to preparing their 4-H public speaking presentations. March and April will see them getting up and sharing their interests and know-how at Club, School, County, and State 4-H Public Speaking Tournaments. For them, it’s time to get up in front of family, friends, their club, and community and give their 4-H demonstration or illustrated talk!

The 4-H Public Speaking website includes many resources, both video, and print, to help you understand how demonstrations and illustrated talks differ from one another, how to create a presentation of your own, and how to help evaluate the presentations of other 4-H youth. Take some time to explore the links on this site! You will find valuable suggestions for helping you, your 4-H youth, or your school group decide on a topic, prepare a presentation, and have the courage to get up there and do it!

For some of us, that can sound a little scary, even if we have been getting up in front of people and talking or presenting for quite a long time. Did you know that the average person spends up to 50% of their waking time either speaking or listening? 70% of American adults say they fear public speaking. These adults also report fearing public speaking (41%) more than death (18%).

4-H alumni who participated in 4-H Public Speaking when they were younger, come back to tell us that this was their most important 4-H life skill that they learned. Don’t worry; YOU can learn public speaking skills very easily. Just like any other skill, the more you work at it, the better you will become!

For more information on 4-H Public Speaking, including guidelines and evaluation sheets, upcoming event information, resources to assist you in planning your demonstration or illustrated talk, contact Sheila Norman at 207.942.7396 or sheila.norman@maine.edu. You may also contact your local UMaine Extension county office for information about 4-H Public Speaking in your county.

girl on a stage giving a presentation

4-H Public Speaking and NASA