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. Types of presentations include demonstrations, illustrated talks, formal speeches, interviews and creative communications such as dramatic recitation
Cloverbuds begin preparing a simple “show and tell” to help relieve the “jitters” and get them use to talking on their feet to a small audience. First-time presenters in grade 3 or higher start with a short, but formally organized, demonstration. New skills and more emphasis on delivery and “showmanship” are introduced each year. Presentation training starts at the club level. Area or countywide public presentation workshops may be 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 March 2, 2021