4-H members show off their public speaking skills

JAMESTOWN – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s 4-H Youth Development Pro-gram recently hosted the annual Chautauqua County 4-H Presentation Day at Cassadaga Valley Central School. Youth presented on topics from agriculture and animal by-products to President Taft and the human cell.

Participants in this event enhance their public speaking skills, learn the research process, gain the ability to think and speak in front of a large group, develop poise and self confidence and experience “mastery.” These 4-H presentations are 5 to 15 minutes in length depending on each participant’s age and experience. Each presenter was evaluated on a number of criteria. The delivery and subject of the speech was judged based on proper use of equipment and visual aids, efficient organization, proper grammar and vocabulary, understanding of the subject matter and that the presentation had one main theme with logical steps. The presenter was also evaluated on neatness and appropriate dress, eye contact, volume and rate of his or her voice, posture and poise, enthusiasm and response to audience questions.

Each 4-H participant was awarded a blue, red or white ribbon for an “excellent,” “good” or “worthy” presentation. Presenters were evaluated using the Danish System, wherein they were scored based on their own ages and abilities, not compared to other participants.

Each 4-H Presenter was evaluated by a team of two judges. The judging teams were comprised of 4-H adult volunteers who provided encouragement and feedback on how participants can improve their presentation skills in the future. Twelve 4-H adult volunteers served as evaluators for this event.

Youth who received blue ribbons at Saturday’s event include Chloe Burke, Wild Oats; Marissa Burr, Fredonia Fireworks; Brooke Angelo, Levant Live Wires; Elizabeth Comstock, Harmony Haystackers; Alyssa Crandall, Wild Oats; Ethan Cross, Silver Creek Grapestompers; Jared Dorman and Kendra Dorman, Stockton Panthers; Jane Fortna and Julia Fortna, Fredonia Fireworks; Lacey Johnson, Levant Live Wires; Matthew Levan, Canadaway; Kevin Rogers, Forestville; Andrea Smith and Emily Smith, Fredonia Fireworks; Louis Smith, Silver Creek Grape Stompers; T.J. Stokes, Fredonia Fireworks, Andrew Waag, Fredonia Fireworks; Tessa Warner, Stockton Panthers; and Brittany Woodard, Wild Oats.

Cloverbud participants were, Sarah Cross, Silver Creek Grapestompers; Jaidyn Newhouse, Harmony Haystackers; and Alex Southworth, Harmony Haystackers.

Nine participants were selected for “Outstanding Awards,” which include an opportunity to participate in a District Presentation Contest Saturday in Wyo-ming County. The most outstanding presenters at Saturday’s event were:

Emily Brown, Canadaway; Holly Crandall, Wild Oats; Jack Fortna, Fredonia Fireworks; Braden Lesch and Jacob Lesch, Canadaway; Claire Stokes, Fredonia Fireworks; Tiffany Jager, Canadaway; Anna Talbot, Canadaway; and Melinda Waag, Fredonia Fireworks.

The 4-H organizations extends its congratulations to all the participants and wishes the best of luck to those who advanced.

For more information about the 4-H Program or to find out how to become involved in Chautauqua County 4-H, call the 4-H Office at 664-9502, ext. 214.