I. WHY YOU SHOULD DO A 4-H PRESENTATION
Haven't you found that it is easier to learn something if someone shows you how, instead of just telling you how? A 4-H presentation is a way to put words into action. 4-H presentations can help you in many ways. You can learn:
Of course, you will learn a lot about your subject, but even more than that, you will have the experience of showing others how to do something. This experience will help you in many ways throughout your life, as you increase in self-confidence and the ability to speak in front of a group.
II. WHAT A 4-H PRESENTATION IS
A 4-H presentation is a way to show others how to do something. While you are showing how, you are telling the why's and how's of what you are doing. A first-time 4-H presentation will be easier for you if you actually do something with your hands. You will have a finished product to show and be proud of.
III. HOW TO CHOOSE A 4-H PRESENTATION
The most important point is to choose a subject that interests you, if you are interested in the subject, a good place to get ideas is the 4-H projects in which you are working or have worked. Try to keep the subject broad enough so you will have enough material for your presentation, but try to limit the subject to one theme or idea, such as "How to Sew a Winter Parka" or "How to Make a First-rate Quiche."
IV. PLANNING A 4-H PRESENTATION
4-H presentations require planning in advance. The planning for a 4-H presentation can be as much fun as it is a learning experience. As you are planning your 4-H presentation, ask yourself these questions and plan to answer them in your presentation:
There are other questions you need to know the answers to before you do your presentation. The answers to these questions will make your presentation go more successfully and enjoyably for your audience:
As you work on your 4-H presentation, you will find it a great help to learn as much about your subject as you can, even if you think it is more information than you can use in your presentation. This will give you the security that you are a lot more of an "expert" on your subject than is your audience. You can get information about your subject from your 4-H project book, your 4-H leader, an encyclopedia, the library, or by a phone call or visit to someone who is knowledgeable about your topic.
V. ORGANIZING YOUR 4-H PRESENTATION
Even though you know your subject and can actually do the steps necessary to show someone how to do it, you will need to think of a 4-H presentation in three parts:
The Introduction -- which is the interest-getter. Make your audience feel that your subject is worth your time to present and worth their time to listen and watch. You may tell why you feel this skill or subject is important. Keep your introduction brief, and allow it to lead into the next part.
The Body -- This is the "action" part of your presentation. In the body, you will take the audience through the skill you are demonstrating one step at a time. As you do each step, tell what you are doing and why you are doing it. (If you finish a step and have already finished talking about what you are doing and why, give extra information about the materials or equipment.)
Practice will help you fill the time with the right amount of material. Use your own words, and don't worry about trying to shout over a loud engine or drill. It is alright to have a few seconds of silence, but do try to spread your information almost continuously throughout your presentation.
Concentrate on keeping your action-part simple and neat. This will be the longest of the three parts of your 4-H presentation.
Some presentations could present possible problems, such as cooking presentations without cooking facilities or electrical presentations without electrical outlets. For this reason it is important to know what your location has and does not have. You may need to adjust your 4-H presentation to suit the situation. An example of a problem you can adjust to is making bread which requires a lot more time than you would probably have allotted to you. You could show the bread at different stages, which you would have prepared ahead of time, and use your presentation time for showing proper kneading technique. You may even have a finished product waiting to bring out at the end to delight your audience.
The Summary -- which is your last chance to sell your ideas and repeat your key points. This summary should be very brief. You would show your finished product and encourage your audience to use the information or method. You would then make a closing statement so that the audience knows you are finished. At this point, thank your audience for their attention and ask for any questions.
To help you in organizing your 4-H presentation, use the presentation outline planning aid that follows:
Introduce Your Topic (why worthwhile):
|What I'll Do||Equipment and Supplies I'll Need||What I'll Say|
Thank audience and ask for questions.
SUGGESTION: On the outline, list extra talking material, in case you have any "dead air" while you are doing your steps. This material could include facts, data, suggestions, alternative solutions to problems.
VI. LENGTH OF TIME
The length of time for a 4-H presentation should be long enough to make all of your steps clear and easy to follow, but not so long as to bore the audience. In most cases the time range will be:
2-5 minutes for Juniors (9-11 years) 5-10 minutes for Intermediate (12-13 years) 10-15 minutes for Seniors (14-19 years)
Adequate practice will guarantee your timing will be perfect.
VII. USING VISUAL AIDS
Well prepared and properly used visual aids, such as posters, models, charts, and miniatures will add a great deal to your 4-H presentation. They will help your audience learn faster, understand better, and remember your information longer. You may use visuals to introduce your subject, to give a recipe, or to sum up your main points.
Important points to remember about posters and poster use are:
VIII. POINTS FOR A GOOD 4-H PRESENTATION
IX. SCORING THE 4-H PRESENTATION
The 4-H member will be scored on many different factors concerning the 4-H presentation.
Basically, the factors are:
X. IN CONCLUSION
Congratulations! You are about to have an opportunity to grow by participating in 4-H presentations. You will find out more information about a 4-H project, and you will teach others about what you have learned. Remember to record in your project record that you have participated in this most important 4-H event. The confidence that you will gain as a result of choosing a topic, researching the subject, following the steps that lead to a logical conclusion, practicing your presentation and finally, teaching the information through a 4-H presentation, will be valuable to you throughout your life. Helping others "to make the best better" actually helps you improve yourself.