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4-H Public Presentations is a program in which youth learn to create a presentation and develop the skills needed to present it before an audience. They learn about the research process and the steps needed to organize information into an interesting and creative presentation.
The public presentation program is one of the most beneficial and rewarding 4-H experiences. It is the one most often credited by 4-H alumni as having given them an edge above peers in both college and professional careers. It provides a unique opportunity to develop a positive self-concept and poise, gain self-confidence before a group, learn to express ideas clearly, respond spontaneously to questions, and gain subject matter knowledge. Through a progressive series of communication activities youth learn to express themselves and their ideas. New skills and more emphasis on delivery and “showmanship” are introduced each year.
Types of presentations include Cloverbud presentations, demonstrations, illustrated talks, formal speeches, horse communications, and creative communications such as dramatic recitation. Presentation training starts at the club level. Countywide public presentation workshops are conducted by 4-H staff or experienced volunteers. Training materials are available from the 4-H office.
Growth in communication skills requires practice and coaching. Public events called “Public Presentation Days” provide both. Here, 4-H members give their presentations in front of a small audience (usually other 4-H’ers and parents) and are evaluated by an experienced volunteer or 4-H teen. After each presentation the evaluator consults with the presenter offering praise, encouragement and suggestions for “making the best better.” Local Presentation Days are open to all members. Participation in presentation events held on the county, district and state levels is generally by invitation with achievement at the local level being one of the criteria.
Last updated January 21, 2021