Public speaking continues to be a cornerstone of the University of California (UC) 4-H Youth Development Program. Over the 120 years of UC 4-H, the presentation program has expanded to include various public speaking formats and opportunities for members to receive feedback from evaluators. UC 4-H alumni will often mention that they learned how to speak more effectively through their participation in the UC 4-H presentation program.
4-H members practice by giving talks to project groups and at community club meetings, sharing information about the skills they learned in a project, and observing other people giving presentations.
To prepare for a 4-H presentation, youth learn how to:
Research a subject
Organize ideas in a logical order
Share knowledge with others
Create and use graphics to support their presentation
When youth teach project skills in a presentation format, it demonstrates advanced skills and a deeper understanding of what was learned.
4-H Presentation Events
Members may present at a presentation event (day) to receive feedback and an award. At county, regional, and state UC 4-H presentation events, one, two, or three evaluators will use an evaluation form and assess your presentation on a standard set of criteria. The evaluators’ job is to provide feedback to help you improve your public speaking abilities.
- Each county organizes a county 4-H presentation event.
- If you receive a blue or gold award at county 4-H presentation day, you may participate in a regional 4-H presentation event.
- If you receive a blue or gold award at regional 4-H presentation event, you may present at the state 4-H presentation event.
2021 Impromptu Speech Categories
Categories for impromptu presentations are available so the presenter is expected to have completed basic research. Presenters are allowed one 5" x 7" note card (single sided) to reference during the delivery of the impromptu speech.
Impromptu Presentation - Senior (14-19 years old)
- Democratic Process (Civic Engagement)
- Public Health (Healthy Living)
- Inspiring Others (Leadership)
- Earth and Space Science (STEM)
Impromptu Presentation - Intermediate (11-13 years old)
- My Community
- My Heritage
See the full descriptions of the 2021 Impromptu Categories (PDF)
Types of Presentations
Presentations are not just demonstrations. You have many options ranging from traditional demonstrations for beginning members to persuasive speeches for more experienced members. All of the various presentation styles require similar skills and are designed to meet the interests and age-appropriate levels of the member. No style of presentation is better than any other. Choose the style that best fits you for your presentation and then try other styles as you advance in UC 4-H.
Science or Engineering Presentation
Educational Display Talk
Share the 4-H Fun Skits
Persuasive Prepared Speech
Informative Prepared Speech
These are examples of different types of presentations.
4-H Presentation Manual
The UC 4-H Presentation Manual is the consistent and standard guide for all UC 4-H presentations used by all county, regional, and state UC 4-H presentation events. The evaluation forms must be used at ALL UC 4-H presentation events.
- Evaluation Forms 2020 [Revised 1-28-2021]
- ZIP File: All Individual Evaluation Forms (revised 1-28-2021)
- Primary Evaluation Form 2020
Event Coordinators: Please use the Presentation Manual as a guide for planning your events, and ensure that all evaluators review the manual before your event.
State 4-H Public Speaking and Communications Advisory Committee
Please direct questions to the State 4-H Public Speaking and Communications Advisory Committee. Chair: Vera M Bullard at firstname.lastname@example.org or Co-Chair: Steven Worker at email@example.com.
For Event Coordinators
Thank you for your continued efforts to help 4-H members strengthen their public speaking skills. While county, regional, and state 4-H presentation events will (mostly) be held virtually in 2021, learning to present virtually is becoming an important skill in the workplace and useful in their careers! However, youth will need to adapt their presentations to take advantage of the technology, including designing slides, keeping the audience’s attention, and handling technology problems. The revised UC 4-H Presentation Manual (2020) offers tips for youth presenters on presenting virtually (page 11).
Submit your County 4-H Presentation Event as a Regional Qualifier by February 22
In order for your county 4-H presentation event/day to be considered as a regional qualifier, information must be submitted by February 22 at https://ucanr.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eKBtSZ61qkfqnNr. For questions, please contact Vera M. Bullard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Invitation to participate in the public speaking youth outcome survey
We are inviting counties to administer a youth public speaking survey at your county 4-H presentation event! The survey is available on paper or online Qualtrics. We developed a 2-page youth survey we are asking you to administer before or during your county 4-H presentation event 2021. The surveys are meant to be delivered during a county 4-H presentation event BEFORE youth learn their award. We are also asking that you submit the averaged evaluator scores – in addition to the gold, blue, red placings – for youth participating at your county 4-H presentation event when you submit results for eligibility checks for regional events. Please contact us if you are interested: Steven Worker, Yu Meng, Nicole Marshall-Wheeler, Roshan Kumar Nayak, Vera M Bullard.