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Washington State University Extension

4-H Presentations

Program Contact: Melanie Greer, 4-H and Youth Empowerment Coordinator
(360) 912-2062 •

Why Presentations?

Practicing and offering 4-H public presentations give youth an ideal opportunity to stretch and grow in the “mastery” (one the the 4, Essential Elements of 4-H) of their 4-H projects.   Settings that promote mastery – like 4-H Club meetings, County Fair, State Fair – encourage youth to take risks, seek out challenges, and focus on self-improvement rather than comparing themselves to their peers.

As youth prepare to give presentations, please check out our publication Getting to the Point: How to Do a 4-H Public Presentation

Types of 4-H Presentations

  • DEMONSTRATION puts words into action. An effective demonstration teaches others how to do something by showing while telling.  At the end of a demonstration, you should have a finished product to show your audience.
    Sample titles include: how to cook an egg, how to groom a dog, how to needle-felt
  • An ILLUSTRATED TALK makes us of posters, pictures, PowerPoint (for Junior, Intermediate, and Senior 4-Hers), or other visuals to show how to do something or illustrate a process. No finished product is required.
    Sample titles include: how to plan a garden, how to distinguish horse markings, how to lead a fun and effective carwash
  • PUBLIC SPEAKING is a prepared speech on a specific subject for an audience. Usually, no props or visual aids are used.  4-Hers use this type of presentation to teach, entertain, and/or inform their audiences.
    Sample titles include: why I like the 4-H cat project, 4-H around the world, what compassion looks like in my community

Recommended Time Limits for 4-H Presentations

For demonstrations and illustrated talks the minimum time is 3 minutes and the maximum is 20 minutes, depending on 4-H “age” (your age on Oct. 1 of the current 4-H year).  For public speeches the minimum time is 5 minutes and a maximum time is 10 minutes (at State Fair, a penalty of 5 points per minute under or over is deducted).

4-H Age Division Age Time limits
Cloverbuds 5-7 years old Less than 5 minutes
Juniors 8-10 years old 3-8 minutes
Intermediates 11-13 years old 5-15 minutes
Seniors 14-<19 years old 10-20 minutes


4-H Presentation Resources

Watch this video on how to prepare a presentation.

Educational Requirements for Fair and Year End Completion (Clallam County)

Demonstration Procedure (Clallam County)

How To Make a Public Presentation (WSU)

Public Speaking (WSU)

Public Presentation Scoresheet (WSU)