Key Elements of the 4-H Demonstration
In a 4-H demonstration, the youth shows how to do something while telling how it’s done. It is called a “show how” and “tell how” presentation. The work is performed before your eyes and there is a finished product at the end. This is what makes it different from an illustrated talk.
There are specific guidelines on how one gives a demonstration, which is detailed below. In addition, the poster for the demonstration should be a whiteboard, which lists the supplies needed and the source (and not the steps) in bold, black letters. Including the title is optional. There must not be any color on the board. The size is optional, but should not exceed a full-sized poster board. Preparing a title board is optional. The title board, if used, may be colored and may incorporate color and decorations. When choosing a topic, be sure your presentation can be seen from a distance of 15 feet.
When timing a 4-H demonstration, the time begins when the youth introduces themselves and their topic. It stops at the end of the summary. The question section of the demonstration or illustrated talk is not considered part of the presentation for timing purposes.
- Give your name, 4-H age, years in 4-H and 4-H club or group to which you belong:
“Hi, my name is Bessie Smith, I am 10 years old, I have been in 4-H for 3 years and I am part of the Jolly Ranchers Club.”
Introduce Your Topic
- Catch your audience’s interest and then give your topic title:
“Have you ever wondered how to eat chocolate but have it seem healthy? Well today I am going to show you How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries.”
- As an alternative, you can give your catchy introduction, introduce yourself, and then give your topic title.
“Have you ever wondered how to eat chocolate but have it seem healthy? “Hi, my name is Bessie Smith, I am 10 years old, I have been in 4-H for 3 years and I am part of the Jolly Ranchers Club, and today I am going to show you How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries.”
List Your Supplies
- First thing’s first. Go over each item you will need for your demonstration showing each item as you mention it.
“To make chocolate covered strawberries, you will need 4 ounces of chocolate, 12 washed strawberries, a knife, a small saucepan…”
Show How to Do Your Topic
- Go over step by step how you make your finished product, showing how to do each step as you describe it. Be sure at some point to mention where you got your idea, and try to not have lengthy silences. Keep talking as you show the steps by talking through what you are doing or sharing interesting facts about your topic.
“First you wash your strawberries in a colander like this. Next, you put 4 ounces of chocolate in a saucepan and heat gently until melted…”
Show Your Finished Product
- Show your audience your finished product.
“And now you have a delicious and healthy snack to share with your friends, chocolate covered strawberries.”
Summarize What You Have Done
- Quickly go over once again the supplies and steps needed to make your project. You do not need to show anything at this point, just repeat all the supplies needed and the steps to make sure they are clear.
“In summary, to make chocolate covered strawberries, you will need 4 ounces of chocolate, 12 washed strawberries, a knife, a small saucepan, etc.…
First, you wash your strawberries. Next you melt 4 ounces of chocolate in a sauce pan, etc…. and then you have chocolate covered strawberries. Enjoy!”
Ask for Questions
- Now you get to answer any questions your audience may have. This is where you really get to show what you know and be honest about what you don’t know as well.
First, ask for questions:
“Are there any questions?”
Once asked a question, repeat it so that all may hear:
“The question was what temperature should the rinse water for the strawberries be.”
Now answer the question to the best of your ability:
“I have only ever used cold water, but you may be able to use warmer water too.”
When there seems to be no more questions, make sure:
“Are there any more questions?”
And now for the conclusion, and don’t forget to THANK your audience for their attention:
“If there are no more questions, that concludes my demonstration. Thank you!”
And now you know how to do a demonstration the 4-H way!