County Events Series: Let’s Talk Speeches

Public speaking, demonstrations, and illustrated talks are all speaking competitions held at County Events. They have a lot in common, but there are some important differences between the three.

What’s the difference?
  • Public speaking uses NO visuals and has slightly different time requirements from demonstrations and illustrated talks
  • A demonstration teaches HOW TO do something – props are brought in to help visualize how something is done; demonstrations can be presented with a partner
  • An illustrated talk is a speech with visual aids such as a Powerpoint presentation or poster boards; these talks do not need to demonstrate a “How To”, they just share information on a topic


How are they the same?youth giving a demonstration
  • All are styles of public speaking
  • All should be related to your 4-H project or experiences
  • All provide a chance to move on to District Events
  • All will be shared at the County Events live competition on March 29


Judging and Rubrics
  • All ages of youth are eligible to participate in any of the 3 competitions; Cloverbuds will receive participation ribbons; all other youth will be judges using the modified Danish system
  • All 3 events are judged on speech content, the 4-H member’s appearance and projection, and the organization of the speech. For details for each event, check out the rubrics below
    • Public speaking has its own rubric – click here!
    • Demonstrations and illustrated talks use the same rubric – click here!


Moving on to District and State
  • Public Speaking
    • The top 2 youth in the junior, intermediate, and senior age divisions at County Events move on to District Events (held May 4th in Yulee)
    • The top 2 seniors for the entire district move on to the state competition (held at 4-H University)
  • Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks
    • Any junior, intermediate, or senior who receives a blue or high level red at County Events and practices with the 4-H agents moves on to District Events (held May 4th in Yulee)
    • Any senior who receives a blue ribbon for a demonstration or illustrated talk at District Events will move on to the state competition (held at 4-H University)


Preparing Your Speech
  • Choose a topic that is interesting to you and that you can relate back to your 4-H project or experiences
  • Review the rubric for your competition – be sure to note the time limits for your age group and practice meeting them
  • Practice, practice, practice – if you want to practice with the 4-H agents, call us and schedule a time
  • For other tips about public speaking, check out this blog
  • For more information on preparing your demonstration or illustrated talk, click here


County Events registration is open now through March 15th. To register, go to:


Posted: February 20, 2019

Category: 4-H & Youth, Clubs & Volunteers

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