Yates County 4-H'ers make their Public Presentations

Yates County Cornell Cooperative Extension

PENN YAN – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County and the Yates County 4-H Program recognize this year’s 4-H Public Presentation participants. This year’s event took place via small, in person and virtual gatherings throughout the months of April and May.

Our 2021 Yates County 4-H Public Presentation participants include; Annika Brown (Worms), Avery Zeigler (Western Expansion), Brenna Hathway (Live, Love, Liberty), Greyson Hathway (Keep Calm, Lego On), Theo Cooper (Pics Art), Lizzie Lilyea (Lilyea Farms), Milton Larkin (The String Bass), Zoe Zeigler (History of the NFL and Super Bowl), Macey Swearingen (Barrel Racing), and Jett Swearingen (Bull Riding).

Zoe Zeigler presented on the history of the NFL and Super Bowl.
Greyson Hathway and his presentation, "Keep Calm, Lego On."
Annika Brown gave her presentation on worms.
Jett Swearingen giving his presentation on Bull Riding.

4-H Public Presentations allow youth to gain leadership skills, develop poise in front of an audience, increase their self-confidence, and learn to express ideas clearly, respond spontaneously to questions, and gain subject matter knowledge. While this event is not a requirement for 4-H member participation, it is often remembered by past 4-H members as one of their most beneficial 4-H experiences.

This annual event, provides youth the opportunity to prepare and deliver a presentation on a topic of their choosing from one of the following categories; demonstration, illustrated talk, speech, Power Point, impromptu, recitation, college or job interview, team presentation, horse communications, or produced in New York.

After selecting a topic, 4-H members research the subject area to gather additional information, create an outline for their presentation, and then develop a plan on how to deliver their knowledge in a way that is educational, persuasive, or entertaining. On Public Presentation Day, members deliver their presentations in front of family members, a small audience, and a volunteer judge. The judge evaluates members in areas of delivery, subject matter, and presenter appearance, voice, enthusiasm, eye contact, posture, poise, and ability to answer questions. Youth 5-7 receive a Cloverbud or participation award, while youth 8 and up receive a rating of excellent, good, or worthy. Each participant receives constructive feedback, with positive comments, as well as areas for improvement. A special thank you to this year’s judges, David Strickland, Teresa Jackson, Elisha Gulvin, and Brittany Griffin.

After several successful presentations at the county level, many 4-H members are invited to take their public speaking to the next level by participating at the Finger Lakes District Public Presentations Event. This event gives members the opportunity to gain valuable feedback from a different evaluator with a different perspective, and present in front of a group of people who they likely do not know. There is also an opportunity to go on to the state and even the national level for 4-H public speaking events.

Public speaking may seem a bit intimidating at first. However, by starting young, gradually increasing confidence, and improving skills from year to year, 4-H members have the opportunity to develop impressive public speaking skills. Those who have had the opportunity to practice public speaking shine in a crowd. Additionally, school teachers remark that they can peg a 4-H’er in a roomful of students based on their confidence speaking in front of their peers. As youth get older, college and job interview experiences provide 4-H teens an edge on building skills to positivity talk about themselves, in a mock setting, where they can receive feedback and make improvement for the future.

Public speaking is just one area youth can learn about in 4-H. To stay up to date on 4-H offerings in Yates County, be sure to like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, @Yates County 4-H. For more information on the Yates County 4-H Program, visit us on-line at http://yates.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth or reach out to us at 315-536-5123 or jja26@cornell.edu. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.