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4-H excels in preparing youth to speak confidently. The Illinois State 4-H Public Presentation Contest allows youth to highlight their exceptional presentation abilities in a supportive environment. Youth will learn from professionals as well as their fellow 4-H members. Presentations may be videoed to allow for viewing and instructional purposes after the contest. The public is invited. We encourage club members to come and support their favorite presenters and learn best practices. The 2019 Contest is supported by COMPEER FINANCIAL, in association with the Illinois 4-H Foundation.

Contest Guidelines

  • Participation in this contest does not affect a member’s opportunity to also participate in another project area at the Illinois State Fair.
  • DOWNLOAD Scoresheets 
  • Counties may advance three contestants to the state contest. The entries may come from any division.
  • Enrollment in the Public Speaking Project is required.

Divisions

FORMAL SPEECH

Self-written | Notes Allowed | No props | Individual | 4-8 minutes

Formal Speeches share the presenter’s own unique view and are intended to motivate, persuade, or inform an audience and may include a call to action. Youth deliver a speech on any topic they wish (Original Oratory), or choose one of these four topics on which to speak (Topical Response):

  • Welcome to the Digital Age
  • What is My Connection to the Global Community?
  • Power: Who Has It, Who Doesn’t, and Does It Matter?
  • If I Could See tomorrow…

ILLUSTRATED SPEECH

Self-written | Notes allowed | Illustrations Required | Individual | 4-8  minutes

Illustrated Speeches may be used to inform, persuade, or motivate the audience while using a visual aid. Visual aids may be two dimensional, three-dimensional, or digital. Youth may include audience participation. Digital visual aids must be stored on a USB flash drive. Illustrated speeches may be:

  • How-to demonstrations which show the audience how to do something.
  • Object lessons which use objects as metaphors to share a message.
  • Educational models where drawings or diagrams help explain a topic.

ORIGINAL WORKS

Self-written | Notecards allowed | Props and Costumes Allowed | Individual or 2-Person Team | Manuscripts sent in Advance | 4-8 minutes

Original works must be written entirely by the presenter. It may be presented as an individual or a two-person team entry. Manuscripts must be sent in advance to the contest. Presentations may be designed for TV, radio, or online media and must be presented live. The types of entries could include:

  • Prose and Short Stories
  • Poetry
  • Broadcast Media Program
  • Theatrical
  • Combined Program: Combine any number of the above elements along with other creative presentation forms

ORAL INTERPRETATION 

Published work | Props and Costumes Allowed | Individual or 2-Person Team | Manuscripts sent in Advance | 4-8 minutes

Presentations in Oral Interpretation must be published works, and manuscripts or transcripts must be submitted prior to the event. They may be presented as an individual or a two-person team entry. The types of entries could include:

  • Prose and Short Stories
  • Poetry
  • Theatrical Interpretation
  • Published Speech Recitation: Excerpt from a spoken presentation delivered by a public figure, such as Winston Churchill, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or Maya Angelou
  • Combined Program: Combine any number of the above elements along with other creative presentation forms

Eligibility

Youth must be selected in a local county 4-H contest to advance to the state contest. Each county is allowed three entries in the state contest. The entries may come from any of the four divisions: Formal Speech, Illustrated Speech, Oral Interpretation, or Original Works. Each youth may only compete in one division in the state contest. State deadline is May 1. County staff will provide details.

Required Document

Contact for More Information:

4-H Youth Development Specialist
Alvarez Dixon
Public Speaking Contest

Event Information

Jun 08, 2019
Richland Community College
1 College Park
Decatur
Illinois

Registration Deadline:

May 01, 2019

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