Public speaking is a cornerstone of the 4-H Youth Development Program. The California 4-H Presentation Manual is a complete guidebook containing rules, procedures, and helpful hints to create a successful public speaking presentation.
Why are public speaking skills important?
Public speaking skills are ranked number one among the skill sets of professionals. Other guiding factors for developing public speaking skills include:
• Discovering an important component of leadership development
• Increasing self-esteem, self confidence, and ability to accept feedback
• Expanding skills for planning, preparation and performance
• Learning to express themselves in creative and effective ways
• Developing poise and an ability to project their thoughts
• Researching a subject and developing the ability to organize their ideas into teachable processes
Traditionally, story-telling is used to entertain and pass knowledge on from group to group. Young children begin by telling stories to friends and family, and then at school, and later as part of formal presentations. As youth collect new knowledge through participation in projects, they share this information with others. Teaching project skills in a presentation deepens the understanding of what was learned in the project. Giving presentations develops many life skills, including the ability to speak in front of a group, organize ideas, and create and use graphics to support the spoken word.
What is a 4-H presentation?
A presentation is a method used to communicate an idea by showing and/or telling. It can be a demonstration or a talk that uses posters and other visual aids. Every member is encouraged to give a presentation each year.
How do I start?
Speakers prepare for presentations by giving talks to project groups and at community club meetings, practicing skills learned in a project, and observing other people giving presentations. Youth can get ideas for presentations from many different sources. The first place to start is with the project leaders and the community club leader. Local librarians can help develop a subject through research. Sources for presentation ideas are project manuals, books, magazines, and brochures from various organizations.
Where and how can I give a presentation?
4-H members can present at project meetings, general club meetings, and local events. Youth can also present at official presentation days. There are many different types of presentations:
|Illustrated Talk||Interpretive Reading|
|Educational Display||Share-the-Fun Skit|
|Prepared Speech||Cultural Arts|
Each county holds a presentation day. Lassen County Presentation Day is usually held in the springtime at Lassen Community College.
Gold seal winners advance to a sectional competition. After sectional competitions, winners compete at the State Presentation Day. At these county, sectional, and state events, categories are open to all age groups: junior, intermediate, and senior.