Did you know that staying eight seconds on a rodeo bull causes numerous requests for a young man’s autograph? And “No Plate Like Home,” isn’t about Oz, it’s about what it feels like sliding into home plate at a softball game. From family pets, honoring historical figures, and relating stories of leadership and bravery – including taking a polar plunge – 23 4-H youth participated at the 2013 Sussex County 4-H Public Speaking Contest, held on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.
A large crowd of supporters and family members braved the falling snow to support to support the young speakers, who competed in four age divisions; beginner (8-9), intermediate (10-11) junior (12-13) and senior (14 and older) Extemporaneous speaking debuted this year as a county-level category and challenged three candidates to sharpen their skills and think on their feet in front of an audience. Extemporaneous topics were assigned only 20 minutes before going on stage.
The fear of public speaking is often cited as one of the most 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.
Aside from the new category, 4-H members select a topic of their choosing, focus their research and practice their oratory before presenting to an audience and a panel of judges. The speeches of the older age divisions are longer in length. 4-H contestants are 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.
“A lot of people do not realize the preparation time that goes into this event,” says Mary Argo, Sussex County 4-H Agent. “They select a topic and spend hours writing, organizing and practicing their speech. Knowing how to speak and speak well is a skill that will last them a lifetime,” Argo says.
The following 4-H youth have won their age division and four will repeat their speech and compete at the state level during the Delaware State Fair in July, 2013.
- Mikayla Ockels, Milton, Senior Division, “Your True Nature” Harbor Lights
- Jill Koski, E. New Market, Md. Junior Division, “There’s No Plate Like Home” Seaford Blue Jays
- Meredith Carey, Bridgeville, Intermediate Division, “A Leader and Role Model”! Bridgeville Mustangs
- Aydan Vanderwende, Bridgeville, Beginner Division, ”Must Love Dogs” Dublin Hill
- Stephen Magee, Lincoln, Extemporaneous Division, “A Favorite Family Memory” Harbor Lights
Other participants were: Jenna Anger, Rebecca Arpie, Kyle Morris, Autumn Lenhart, Micah Magee, Alanna Vanderwende, Kaylabeth Lubiniecki, Adrianna Cannon, Thomas McCabe, Joe Anderson, Meredith Carey, Luke Stachow, Kaitlyn Willin, Alexandria Nechay, Cline Broussard, Erin Carey, Matthew Rieley, James Rieley, Olivia Goehringer.
2013 Sussex County 4-H Public Speaking winners will vie for state honors in July at the Delaware State Fair alongside the 4-H Public Speaking winners from Kent and New Castle County. View the entire photo gallery here.
Photos by Jackie Arpie, 4-H Youth Photographer
Article by Michele Walfred