4-H Presentations and Public Speaking

— Written By

Child speaking4-H has a rich history with 4-H Presentations. Most 4-H Alumni credit public speaking as their most valued skill they learned in 4-H. Each year, 4-H hosts a series of opportunities for youth (ages 5-18) to practice and compete with their speeches.

It focuses on members teaching others what they know about a particular project/subject matter. They are sometimes called demonstrations or illustrated talk or a formal speech, and range in length from 6-12 minutes. Youth are encouraged to select a topic which they are comfortable and somewhat knowledgeable.

Youth can select their topic from a list of 33 categories.

Youth can do a demonstration of how to do or make something. Many youth enjoy cooking or food demonstrations. Some youth prefer to do more of an informative or persuasive speech.

Youth ages 5-18 are invited to present live via Zoom at the county level. Youth must be active in 4-H Online. Enroll online.

To enter the County Presentations via Zoom, please enter using this Google Form. The deadline to register with your topic is May 8.

Presentations will be presented live via Zoom on the following dates:

Friday, May 15, 2020, 10 a.m.–noon; 2–4 p.m.

Monday, May 18, 2020, 10 a.m.–noon; 2–4 p.m.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 10 a.m.–noon; 6–8 p.m.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 10 a.m.–noon; 2–4 p.m.

For District Competition, Youth must email their video as a .mp4 or .mov attachment or shared via Google Drive to cynthia_robbins@ncsu.edu by 8 p.m., June 8. Videos must be less than 10 MB. The deadline to submit videos for district competition is June 8 by 8 p.m.

Youth that earned Gold or Silver in their age division and category may revise/improve presentations and submit a new video for state competition to us by July 15.

Presentations will be judged on the district level later in June and will rank those youth. State Presentation Finals will be later in July. Talent Show and all Outdoor Cookery competitions are postponed until the end of the summer/fall.

Video Tips:

  • Hold your phone or table horizontal (long ways and NOT up and down).
  • Make certain that you are in good light.
  • Try to use a tripod, table or something to keep your device steady.
  • Stand in front of a simple background ( a plain white or black sheet on the wall may work).
  • Don’t have the camera right up on you. Have it a few feet away.
  • Don’t Zoom in. If you need to, move your camera closer instead of zooming.
  • Test your audio. Can you wear a set of earbuds with a microphone to improve your audio?
  • Watch for background noises.
  • 4-H Presentation Guidelines & Regulations & Categories Rules: Videos of youth presenting their presentations must be single cut – do not do several recordings and splice them together. SINGLE CUT ONLY – just as if youth are presenting live. Must see youth doing their presentations.
  • Must Dress as they were giving the face-to-face presentation. Teams – use Zoom or something similar to record you both on the screen at the same time. (Use co-host to share the roles) (Siblings may co-star in one video, but remember you compete in the age group of the oldest youth.)
  • Videos can not be bigger than 10GB – smaller is better. Videos must be .mp4 file format or .mov as these are universal and we should be able to open them easily. We do not want links to a youtube channel or anything else.
  • Be creative in how you manage this new way of doing things this year. An example of this is that you probably don’t have an “easel” at home for posters, so use a chair, use a person, whatever works to make a smooth transition from face to face to recorded videos.

We are here to help you! We know that this is a new thing and it may be scary for you. Don’t let fear hold you back. Together, we can do this!

Please reach out to the county 4-H staff, your club leaders and other volunteers if we need help or have questions.

For questions or more information, please contact Cynthia Robbins, 4-H Agent, at cynthia_robbins@ncsu.edu or 828-2897-6190.