Speaking before an audience of any size is known to be worrisome for most people. The fear of public speaking often appears on the list of common phobias! For 4-H youth members however, speaking before a crowd is easier thanks to the experience and public speaking practice learned at the club and county level. With a little bit of practice, it is not very long before 4-H’ers begin to show mastery in this important skill that lasts a lifetime.
Many people are surprised to learn that public speaking is a popular project area in 4-H, which is historically known for its traditional agricultural focus. Public speaking is one of more than 130 project areas from which a youth member may participate. Many adult 4-H alumni readily credit their public speaking skills for success in school, college and in their chosen careers. On Saturday evening, Jan. 29, It was a packed house at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown as 17 4-H members, and an audience of family and friends supported the young speakers and learned something new from the wide variety of topics that were presented. The contest is supported locally by the Georgetown-Millsboro Rotary Club
The 4-H youth, ages 5-19, competed in four age divisions, each delivering a short speech on a topic of their choosing, often related to their 4-H experience or current project work. Besides being judged by their age category, contestants were evaluated on subject matter, thoroughness of their research, poise, appearance and natural delivery. Each year as 4-H’ers move up through the divisions, their confidence and ease at speaking before an audience is a proud and noticeable accomplishment.
The following 4-H youth have won their age division and will repeat their speech and compete at the state level during the Delaware State Fair in July, 2011. Winners by Name/Hometown/Speech Title/ Age Division are:
- Collin Cunningham, Milton, Del., Weird Worms, 8-9
- Jill Koski, E. New Market, Md., The Best Trip of all, 10-11
- Mikayla Ockels, Milton, Del., The Buzz About Bees, 12-13
- Bethany Killmon, Bridgeville, Del., A Desire, A Dream, A Vision, 14 and older
4-H is a community of young people in America who are learning leadership, citizenship and important life skills. In Delaware, 4-H is supported by the University of Delaware and the Delaware State University though Cooperative Extension. Delaware Cooperative Extension welcomes and encourages the participation of all individuals. For more information about 4-H youth programming in Sussex County, please visit our website at www.rec.udel.edu or contact Mary Argo at (302) 856-2585 ext 559.