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4-H members learn public speaking skills

A frequent fear in adults is giving a speech in front of a group of people. One way that North Carolina Cooperative Extension helps youth practice this skill is participation in 4-H public speaking and presentation competitions held at the county, district and state levels. To help prepare youth for these competitions, twenty youth recently completed a six week 4-H Speak Up program.
The 4-H Speak Up program provides communication, presentation and self confidence skills for young people. During the first four weeks, led by Cheryl Kane from Barton & Kane Consolidated, participants learn the parts of a speech, communication styles, how to organize a speech and types of speeches. Each week, youth prepared and delivered a speech.
The final two weeks, led by the 4-H Extension Agent, focused on the 4-H presentation competition. There are two main types of 4-H presentations: demonstration – where the 4-H member shows the audience how to do or make something and an illustrated talk, where the 4-H member uses visuals to tell a story. There are three competitive age divisions, 9-10 year olds, 11-13 year olds and 14-18 year olds. Youth ages 5-8 are allowed to participate on the county and district levels on a non-competitive basis.
There are 35 presentation categories for youth to compete. County level competition was held on Tuesday, May 3. Participating in the Cloverbud category were Ashley Drye and Laura Nettles. In the 9-10 year old open class category, Lacie Rummage received a blue ribbon. In the 9-10 year old science and technology category, Logan Williams received a blue ribbon. In the 11-13 year old expressive arts and communication category, Micah Furr received a blue ribbon and McKenzie Upright received a red ribbon. Lindsey Cox won a blue ribbon in the 11-13 year old open class category.
In addition to presentations, the 4-H Entertains Talent Showcase was also held. The 4-H Entertains program is a showcase of talent. 4-H’ers perform in front of judges who critique their performance. Micah Furr entertained the crowd with a flute solo and received a blue ribbon.
County winners in each age division and category will advance to district competition. District competition will be held in Davie County on June 22.
For more information concerning the 4-H Presentation or Public Speaking competitions or the North Carolina 4-H program, please contact Sara Drake, 4-H Extension Agent, at 704-216-8970 or sara_drake@ ncsu.edu. For more information about NC Cooperative Extension, call the Rowan Extension Office at 704-216-8970 or visit http://rowanextension.com.

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