Florida 4-H Public Speaking In-School Program Teaches Youth Speech Skills

Americans fear public speaking more than death. The comedian Jerry Seinfeld joked that “People would rather die than give the eulogy.” Have no fear! Sixth grade youth in Seminole County have the opportunity to learn skills and gain confidence through the Florida 4-H Public Speaking Program.

Communication is a life skill. In 4-H, we strive to help young people develop life skills, such as communication, to become competent, contributing and caring members of our society. People with good communication and public speaking skills are better at expressing their ideas, knowledge, and opinions. These skills are crucial for personal and professional success.


What do youth learn through the Florida 4-H Public Speaking program?

The program teaches youth how to write and give a speech. Youth select a speech topics, write their speech, and present it in front of others. In doing so youth:

  • Recognize the necessity of research, obtaining information on a given topic.
  • Learn to carefully organize the material.
  • Develop a pleasing personal style before an audience.
  • Acquire the ability to speak convincingly in public.
  • Express ideas effectively.
  • Develop confidence and poise.


What are components of the program?

Youth participating in the program, spend time within the classroom setting and at home:

  • Selecting their topic and writing their introductions.
  • Creating and writing their speech.
  • Practicing their speeches.
  • Presenting their speeches.
  • Participating in competitions and receiving feedback.


How do I get my sixth grader involved?

The Florida 4-H Public Speaking Program is offered to all sixth grade students in Seminole County. More information may be obtain through the University of Florida IFAS Extension Seminole County 4-H.


Hunt, S., Wright, A., Simonds, C. (2014). Securing the future of communication education: Advancing an advocacy and research agenda for the 21st century. Communication Education. 63 (4), pp. 449-461.

Morreale, S.C. and Pearson, J.C. (2008). Why communication education is important: The centrality of discipline in 21st century.  Communication Education, 57 (2), pp. 224-240.



Posted: January 12, 2021

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: Karen Henry, Learning, Public Speaking, Schools, Speech Competition

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories