4-H teaches public speaking skills

4-H teaches public speaking skills Young people who participate in 4-H public speaking programs not only learn to speak in front of people, they learn valuable research and organizational skills.

"Good speakers are developed," said South Dakota State University Extension Youth Development/4-H Specialist Carolyn Clague. "They learn to speak convincingly as they learn skills and self-confidence from practicing to themselves, to their families, to their volunteer 4-H leaders, to their friends, to their 4-H clubs, or to mentors."

Clague added that adult volunteers who work with the 4-H public speaking program are really investing in the future of South Dakota.

"Young people become engaged in public speaking by practicing their leadership skills and roles, taking part in community affairs, and demonstrating citizenship responsibility," she said. "These young people become our next generation of public leaders."

South Dakota 4-H offers rural and urban 4-H members the chance to get involved in four types of oral presentations.

* A demonstration shows how something is done step-by-step, ending with a finished product or completed task.

* An illustrated talk tells about something by using flip charts, posters, pictures and other visual aids.

* A "project why" tells why something is or is not true, with visual aids and a display as necessary, while explaining the facts.

* Public speaking is often more formal than other oral presentations and may or may not use visual materials to present facts, ideas and information.

Those interesting in working with South Dakota 4-H to help young people develop public speaking skills can contact any local county Extension office. Or call SDSU Extension Youth Development/4-H Specialist Carolyn Clague at (605) 688-4167. Reach her by e-mail at clague.carolyn@ces.sdstat-e.edu.

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