Public speaking is an important skill for school, work and life, but many Americans have anxiety about presenting information to an audience. Through 4-H, youth are encouraged to develop communication and public speaking skills through presentations.
Those members who want to hone those skills further enter the annual Public Presentations and Demonstrations Contest. On Wednesday, July 16, DuPage County 4-H members will be presenting speeches and demonstrations at the University of Illinois Extension office in Naperville.
"The Public Presentations 4-H project helps youth learn how to prepare a speech and how to deliver it comfortably to an audience," said 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator Christine Birns. "During the program year, each 4-H member is encouraged to present a project talk or demonstration at a club meeting. This presentation or demonstration to peers is an important beginning step to public speaking."
In the annual competition, youth give a speech in front of a volunteer judge, 4-H members and families, and other spectators. Speeches may be in one of the following formats: formal, illustrated, demonstration, oral interpretation or original works.
On July 16, check-in will start at 4 p.m. and presentations will follow, and the public is invited to join the audience. If a 4-H'er is chosen to be a State Fair Delegate – and was age 10 by Sept. 1, 2013 – they may earn the privilege to present at the Illinois State Fair in August.
"This is just one of the many 4-H projects youth may enroll in," Birns said. "There are hundreds of 4-H project areas, ranging from science and technology to animals and livestock to arts and humanities, to name a few."
4-H offers positive youth development programs providing the opportunity for youth to feel a sense of belonging, develop independence, practice generosity, and experience mastery. For more information on University of Illinois Extension 4-H programs in DuPage County, contact Birns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-955-1123.
For more information on University of Illinois Extension, visit web.extension.illinois.edu/dkk/. University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs and research-based information to help Illinois residents improve their quality of life, develop skills and solve problems.