Getting 4-H Members Ready for 4-H Public Presentations

Fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears and is assumed to affect almost 75% of the population. The earlier one starts to become comfortable with speaking in public, the easier it is for them to be a successful presenter. Being an effective presenter can equate to success in school and careers. It’s almost that time of the year when most counties hold their 4-H Public Presentation events, and it’s never too early to get your 4-H members prepared. 

Listed below are some tips to help you and your members be ready and excited to take on the challenge of public speaking.

  1. Become familiar with 4-H Public Presentation information using the resources below.  Ask your 4-H staff for additional resources and tip sheets you can use with your club members.
  2. Engage experienced 4-H youth teen leaders from your club or another 4-H club to help work with younger members and first-time presenters.  Sometimes learning from another 4-H member is the best way for 4-H youth to become interested and motivated to get involved in public speaking.
  3. Make public speaking FUN.  Ask 4-H’ers to choose a topic that interests and excites them.  Talking about pets, hobbies, favorite foods or family trips is a great way to start.  Have 4-H members first talk informally about their topic so they are comfortable in front of a group.  Have club-based presentations be a standard activity in your club.  This allows members to start in a familiar environment and to practice and get feedback from their 4-H leaders.
  4. Introduce 4-H Presentation Basics to your club:  1. Types of Presentations; 2. Parts of a Presentation; 3. Time limits; 4. How Presentations are judged  (see resources below)

  5. Review tips for successful presentations with 4-H members including attire, visuals, eye contact and voice projection. 
  6. Get parents involved!  Make sure they support their children, help them gather resources and information, and provide many opportunities for them to practice/get feedback. Encourage parents to allow their children to do most of this own their own (in an age appropriate manner) and don’t do everything for them. For younger children especially, make sure you focus on the educational aspect of public speaking, rather than any competitive aspect.

The deadline to register for county level public presentations is 2/1

You have two options for registering:

  1. Using 4HOnline: Login to your family account, at the bottom of the Member List page select your name from the grey drop down menu and select the date you want to present.
    Click the appropriate button under Registration Types and follow the directions.
  2. Fill out the hard copy of the 2020 Ssx 4-H Public Presentations Registration Form  
    You may email, fax, or mail it to the 4-H office.
    130 Morris Turnpike Newton NJ 07860
About the author

Dave is the 4-H Senior Program Coordinator for the Sussex County 4-H program.