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Public speaking skills are ranked number one among the desired skill sets of professionals. Every 4-H member is encouraged to give a presentation each year. A 4-H presentation can be a demonstration, include audio-visual aids, and involve problem solving. Through their presentations, youth learn to research a subject, organize their ideas into a logical order and practice public speaking skills. Contest day is a day that all 4-Hers have a chance to practice their skills and show their many talents.
4-H members (5 - 19) are eligible to participate. All contest participants will receive a blue, red, or white ribbon. The age divisions are Junior (ages 9-11), Intermediate (ages 12-14), and Senior (ages 15-19). Age is determined by the age the 4-Her will be on September 30th of the year of the Contest. Cloverbuds (ages 5-8) may participate however, since Cloverbuds is a non-competitive program, they will receive a Cloverbud participation ribbon.
Judges observe youth presentations and provide written feedback to help youth improve their public speaking abilities. Judges take the perspective that they are an educator and are reviewing presentations to offer insights on what youth are doing well and where they need improvements.
A 4-H Presentation can be a demonstration, which shows how to do something, or an illustrated talk, which provides information through speech and visual aids. Presentations are categorized by subject matter. Contestants should refer to the State 4-H Areas of Competition document (publication 4H-415NP).
Public Speaking challenges the contestants to develop and deliver a message that informs, influences or entertains an intended audience. They will plan and deliver a speech with an effective beginning, middle and conclusion. The audience, appropriate topic, purpose, research of supporting materials, and appropriate methods of delivery will be considered.
Extemporaneous Speaking challenges contestants to think quickly and prepare a speech on an assigned topic with little preparation. Participants will draw three possible topics, choose one, prepare for 15-30 minutes, and then deliver a 2-5 minute speech response.
Fashion Revue is a contest that aims to increase youths’ knowledge of consumerism, textiles, and garment construction while providing opportunities to express fashion trends and present themselves in an appropriate manner. Categories exist for purchased and constructed garments.
Share-the-Fun programs help encourage 4-H youth to display their talents in expressive arts and develop presentation skills and confidence performing in front of an audience. Judges evaluate 4-H performers based on talent, audience response, creativity, showmanship, and use of costumes/props. The goal is to help 4-H Share-the-Fun participants develop their talents in a creative and constructive manner.
Combination: Any combination of vocal, instrumental, and/or dance
Dance: Includes tap, modern, acrobatic, ballet, jazz, folk, and interpretive forms of dance
Drama: Includes mime, monologue, or acting out a short skit or scene(s) from a play Instrumental: May also sing or dance but judged solely on instrumental performance
Instrumental: May also sing or dance but judged solely on instrumental performance
Variety: Includes clowning, gymnastics/tumbling, magic acts, or puppetry
Vocal: Singing which may include dance or instrument, but judged solely on vocal performance
Through participation in this contest, youth will learn valuable life skills in the areas of meal preparation – either formal or informal – meal etiquette, menu preparation, use of Virginia Agricultural products within a menu and how to coordinate attire with menu and meal themes. Youth can use their imagination and creativity to create a welcoming and fun meal environment.