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 4-H Public Presentations: Guidelines & Tips handout — our “go-to” resource for planning presentations, judging scoresheet, helpful tips, and much more.
Types of 4-H Presentations
- A 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
- 4-H Public Presentations: Guidelines & Tips (Jefferson County resource)
- Jefferson County Guide to Evaluating PowerPoint Presentations
- Judging Public Presentations scoresheet (WSU Publication #C0430)
- Getting to the Point: How to Do a 4-H Public Presentation (WSU Publication #EM4787E)
- Public Speaking 4-H Member Manual (WSU Publication #EM4903E)
- Leaders’ Guide to 4-H Public Presentations, Demonstrations, and Illustrated Talks (WSU Publication #EM4788E)
Learning to articulate the reasoning behind sound decision-making
Katrina Walker, 4-H leader, discusses the value of 4-H judging and the reasoning process related to it.
Judging PowerPoint with Katrina Walker