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. 

 

 

Contest Guidelines

  • More information on the 2023 contest will be posted as it is released!

Resources

Youth looking for resources to help prepare for this contest can reference the following in Shop 4-H:

Exhibit Guidelines

There are 4 divisions in this year's contest. Each division offers options that the presenter may choose to make their presentation unique:

*This category will be broken down into the following classes by age:

  • Beginner: 8-13 years of age
  • Advanced: 14 years of age and up

Public Speaking Chart

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Divisions

FORMAL SPEECH

Self-written | Notecards allowed | No props or costumes | Individual | 2-4 minutes (Beginner) 4-6 minutes (Advanced)

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.

ILLUSTRATED SPEECH

Self-written | Notes & visual aids allowed | Illustrations Required | Individual | 2-4 minutes (Beginner) 4-6  minutes (Advanced)

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 | Props and Costumes Allowed | Notecards allowed Individual or 2-Person Team | Manuscripts sent in Advance | 4-6 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 | 4-6 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. Materials can be read or memorized. 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
  • Finding your Voice: Public Speaking made Easy (Public Speaking)

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 advance to state in up to one individual and one team division. State deadline is April 8. County staff will provide details. To participate in this event you must be of 4-H age.