4-H Helps Children Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

— Written By Leslie Dill

Public speaking trumps even the fear of death for many of us, but learning to speak effectively in front of groups large and small is still important even in this era of texts and instant messaging. 4-H helps children overcome the sweaty palms and cold feet with its demonstration and presentation competition.  As a product of growing up in 4-H, I know firsthand the many benefits gained from giving presentations on making friendship bracelets and strawberry popsicles.

Future Toastmasters braved the stage on Saturday, March 12 as New Hanover County 4-H hosted a presentation competition.  Seventeen children competed with posters and props on a variety of subjects including the history of the constitution, setting up a fish tank and cooking pasta.

Ryker Eder tells the audience all about his shark tooth collection.

Ryker Eder tells the audience all about his shark tooth collection.

Elizabeth Fillman shares her passion for Manga Artwork.

Elizabeth Fillman shares her passion for Manga Artwork.

Barretta Smith, 4-H parent, believes 4-H presentations have helped all four of her children develop public speaking skills and confidence. Smith shares, “It is so hard to believe how far my kids have come. Bailey’s teacher said she was the only student among 65 to receive a perfect score for her presentation. I know this is because she has been involved with public speaking in 4-H. It is so important and means a lot to our family.”

Bailey Smith tells the judges about the dangerous effects of using marijuana.

Bailey Smith tells the judges about the dangerous effects of using marijuana.

The journey to public speaking success doesn’t stop here.  The top two presenters from each age division/category will advance to districts at the Lenoir Community College on May 14.  Representing New Hanover County will be Elena Berg, Shamrock 4-H Club; Cadence and Ryker Eder, Shamrock 4-H Club; Elizabeth Fillman, Coastal Explorers 4-H Club; Jacob and Ryan Fore, Coastal Explorers 4-H Club; Jillian Green, Shamrock 4-H Club; Ethan Johnston, 4-H Teen Council; Kendall Lewis, Trackers 4-H Club; Isabelle Mazure, Coastal Explorers 4-H Club; Anneleise Meyer, Shamrock 4-H Club; Liz Sharpe, Coastal Explorers 4-H Club, Bailey, Jerod, Jordyn and Madilyn Smith, Coastal Explorers 4-H Club; and Alydia Thomas, Shamrock 4-H Club.

Jillian Green, first year presenter, received Silver for her presentation on Origami.

Jillian Green, first year presenter, received Silver for her presentation on Origami.

Kendall Lewis was awarded Gold for her presentation on horses.

Kendall Lewis was awarded Gold for her presentation on horses.

Jerod Smith participated as a Cloverbud with a presentation on setting up a fish tank.

Jerod Smith participated as a Cloverbud with a presentation on setting up a fish tank.

I am delighted that two decades later, I am still able to be involved in this wonderful organization that helps children “make the best better.”

Leslie Dill proudly serves as New Hanover County’s 4-H Agent. She received a B.A. in animal science from The Ohio State University and an M.A. in agriculture and extension education from N.C. State University. She can be reached at 910-798-7660 or leslie_dill@ncsu.edu.

4-H, the largest youth development organization in the world, is a community of seven million young people across the globe learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.

Written By

Photo of Leslie DillLeslie DillExtension Agent, 4-H Youth Development (910) 798-7669 leslie_dill@ncsu.eduNew Hanover County, North Carolina
Updated on Mar 15, 2016
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