Contact Us

Jodi Baumgartner
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
421 W Pines Rd, Ste 10
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: 815-732-2191
FAX: 815-732-4007
jbmgrtnr@illinois.edu

Johnna B. Jennings
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
1350 West Prairie Drive
Sycamore, IL 60178-3166
Phone: 815-758-8194
FAX: 815-758-8199
jbjennin@illinois.edu

Ogle County 4-H

Ogle County 4-H

Member Talks and Demonstrations

Each year all 4-H members are expected to give a talk or demonstration about at least one of their projects. Some guidelines for organizing talks and demonstrations follow.

When organizing a presentation, remember these three important parts: 1.) Beginning; 2.) Middle; 3.) End.

The Beginning...
You can begin your speech or demonstration any way you want to. You may think you have to start by saying your name, age, project, or presentation title. Those are all important things to share during your speech, but why not say something funny, exciting, unusual, scary or amazing about your subject first? Then, give your name, etc. The beginning of your speech should accomplish two major things -- get people listening and give them a clue about what your topic is.

The Middle...
The middle of your presentation includes all the gooey stuff you know about your topic. It is all of the different, neat things you want to tell (and/or show) people about your topic. People can only remember 3-5 main points, so narrow your presentation down to that.

The End...
When ending your presentation, do not say:

  • "That's it."
  • "Goodbye."
  • "I don't have anything else to say."

End as neatly as you began by saying something interesting, scary, or funny about your topic. Tell a short, personal story that goes along with everything you've said, review the main points you covered during the middle, or recite a quote from a famous person.

In General...
When you give a talk or demonstration, remember these tips:

  • Take a couple of deep breaths before you start.
  • Stand tall and straight, but not stiff. You don't want to look like a stick person. Relax your back and arms.
  • Try to look at the people listening to you-the audience. Unless they are lying on the floor, you should not be looking at your feet. Try to look members of the audience in the eyes, or focus on a spot on the wall just a bit above their heads (they'll still think you're staring right at them).
  • If you write your speech out on note cards, be sure you don't read the whole speech off the cards without looking up at the audience. ...And definitely don't read your entire speech off a sheet of paper. Speeches that are read usually turn out to be very boring to the audience.