Clover Conversations – Public Presentations

Welcome to Clay county 4-H! This blog is the second in a series that is intended to help YOU, our awesome 4-H members and families, become familiar with all the ins, outs, and expectations of Clay county 4-H. We offer a wide variety of programs and we want you to get the most out of your time in 4-H without any headaches or heartbreaks.

As you learn about 4-H, you’ll come to find that a big part of what we do is teach life skills. These are learned abilities that allow people to function well in the environments in which they live. Life skills are not something we inherently have and must be learned over time. All 4-H programs and activities are framed around teaching life skills (to learn more about Life Skills in 4-H, Click Here). One such activity we ask all our 4-H members to do each year is to deliver a public presentation at the club or county level.

Public presentations help 4-H members develop the life skills of communication, stress management, marketable skills, critical thinking, and self esteem. Developing a public presentation may sound straightforward. Pick a topic and go from there…right? Well…there is a little bit more to it than that. The first step in preparing a public presentation with 4-H is to choose your format. 4-H members in Clay county can choose to deliver a public presentation in one of four formats. Once you have picked your format you’ll start the creating your public presentation to deliver at your 4-H club or the annual Clay County 4-H Showcase held each spring.

A child presenting information on tick removal.
Here a 4-H member is delivering a demonstration on how to remove ticks from a cat or dog at County Showcase. Note the items & stand-ins for animals used to demonstrate the task.

A demonstration is doing and showing how. As you show how, you tell the audience what you are doing step by step. There is always a finished product, or a task that has been completed. Actual products, materials, garments, machines, plants, etc. are used. In a successful demonstration the audience leaves knowing how to do what you demonstrated and often will want to do it themselves. An example of a demonstration is to show the audience step, by step how to build a bridge out of craft sticks.

Demonstrations may be an individual or team effort.
Click here to learn more about Florida 4-H Demonstration rules.
Click here to see the Florida 4-H Demonstration scorecard.


Illustrated Talk
a child delivering a presentation about trees.
Here a 4-H member is delivering an Illustrated Talk. Note the poster board with images as references to teach about the parts of a tree.

An illustrated talk is telling how by using visuals. You may use computer generated charts, flip charts, posters, pictures, models, cut outs, slides, flannel board, chalkboards, and real objects. There is not a finished product. Remember that an illustrated talk is the same as a demonstration except that:

  • You are not actually making something.
  • You have no real finished product.
  • Your visuals show what you are explaining.

An example of an illustrated talk is to create a presentation that shows the different types of bridges found in Florida and their advantages or disadvantages.


Illustrated talks are an individual effort.
Click here to learn more about Florida 4-H Illustrated Talk rules.
Click here to see the Florida 4-H Illustrated Talk scorecard.


Public Speaking

Public speaking is talking, and telling about your experiences or what you have learned. In public speaking, it is what you say and how you say it that informs the audience and communicates your ideas to them. Public speaking is good when you want to tell facts, ideas, or give information and is more formal than a demonstration or illustrated talk. The most effective speech is the one that presents most clearly and impressively what the speaker has in mind. Public speaking may not use visual materials. Remember that Public speaking is basically the same as a demonstration or an illustrated talk, except that: It is just telling and requires careful planning and effective delivery with facial expressions and gestures, voice variation in your pitch, volume, and speed.

Examples of a public speaking presentation: government official speech, a sermon, a lecture.

Public speaking is an individual effort.
Click here to learn more about Florida 4-H Public Speaking rules.
Click here to see the Florida 4-H Public Speaking scorecard.


4-H Teach Me in 3

Teach me in 3 is 4-H’s newest public presentation format. This format asks 4-H members to create a 3-minute video that teaches the audience a new concept or skill. These videos are then shared on Clay County 4-H’s YouTube page where we ask our audience to engage with the videos by selecting a fan favorite. Videos are also reviewed by a panel of judges for organization, presentation, subject matter, and film making techniques. A Google site to teach about filming techniques and scorecard are under development as of 10/28/2020. Teach me in 3 will be offered as a contest to Clay County 4-H members for the 2020 Holiday Bake-off and as a county-wide contest in the spring of 2021.

4-H Teach Me in 3 will have one presenter in the video. However, other youth and family members can help with the filming of the video.
To see examples of the 2020 4-H Teach me in 3 videos, click here.

What’s Next?

Once you have chosen your topic and format, it’s time to start planning your presentation and gathering supplies. Each year Clay county 4-H hosts a public presentation workshop which will help teach you the skills you need to have a successful presentation. We’ll also dedicate a future Clover Conversations to dive deeper into planning and preparing your 4-H Public Presentation.


Avatar photo
Posted: October 30, 2020

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: 4-H, Clay County, Youth

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories