4-H Public Speaking Recap & How to Give a Good Presentation

By Sara Conant, 4-H Community Education Assistant & Administrative Specialist

Do you, like 74% of people, suffer from Glossophobia: the fear of public speaking? Glossophobia is the number one fear, edging out Claustrophobia (fear of small spaces), Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), and Acrophobia (fear of heights) for the top fear. Each year 4-H in Cumberland County offers a way for youth to conquer those fears in a safe, welcoming environment. On February 4th, 2017 Cumberland County 4-H Public Speaking and Demonstration Day was held at the Inn at Village Square, an assisted living facility in Gorham, Maine. This year three 4-H members participated in the event. 4-Her’s taught demonstrations about food preservation, how to make pancakes, and one 4-Her recited a poem.

4-Her gives a Public Speaking demonstration in 2017: how to make pancakesCumberland County’s Public Speaking & Demonstration Day is non-competitive and open to any enrolled Cumberland County 4-H member ages 5-18. The purpose of the event is to give 4-Her’s a welcoming and encouraging environment to test out their public speaking skills. Any 4-H member who has participated in this event and would like to take their Public Speaking or Demonstration skills to the next level is eligible to compete at the State 4-H Public Speaking Contest in April in Orono.

In order to help our 4-Her’s with their presentation the Giving a 4-H Presentation page was created. It has great resources for any type of public speaking or demonstration not just 4-H. As with any endeavor planning and preparation is key. Any good speech or demonstration includes an introduction, body/content, and a closing. When performing a speech always remember the acronym P.A.V.E:

P:  Pace — The easiest mistake to make as a speaker is to talk too fast! Practice your presentation in front of someone and ask them to tell you if you talk too fast. It is a good idea to talk especially slow while you share very important points in your presentation.

A: Audience — Remember your audience by making eye contact and smiling.

V: Volume — Make sure your audience can hear you. Don’t be afraid of a microphone — it is there to help you!

E: Energy — Be excited about your topic! Tell the audience what you like about your topic and what it means to you. And smile! If it seems like you don’t care about the topic then the audience won’t care either.

For more information, see 4-H in Cumberland County.