UMaine Extension 4-H plans workshop to develop youth public speaking skills

BANGOR — University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H staff in Penobscot County will hold a youth public speaking workshop on Saturday, Jan. 21. The in-person workshop is scheduled from 2–4 p.m. at the Penobscot County Extension office, 307 Maine Avenue in Bangor.

This workshop, which will use the 4-H public speaking program as the basis for instruction, is open to all youth ages 5–18, both 4-H members and non-members. Participants will learn how to choose a subject or theme and hear about the difference between a demonstration and an illustrated talk. Other topics covered will include organizing materials, grabbing the audience’s interest and understanding the public speaking score sheet.

Photo courtesy of UMaine Extension:
DIY SLIME — Kyra B, of Knox-Lincoln County 4-H, presents her demonstration “DIY Slime” at the 2022 4-H Public Speaking state tournament last April at the University of Maine in Orono.

Public speaking is a useful skill to master, even for those who do not pursue formal public speaking opportunities. Many 4-H alumni report how important it was to have public speaking skills when they applied to college, interviewed for jobs or interacted with adult peers. Through the 4-H public speaking program, participants learn to evaluate basic skills, give and receive constructive feedback, and build confidence to express themselves in various life situations. Youth who choose to participate in competitive public speaking tournaments select a topic that they feel is important to share, develop a presentation, practice it with family and other club members and enter the county tournament. If they achieve a minimum score there, they qualify for the state tournament which is open to youth ages nine and older.

To register, find out more information or to request reasonable accommodations, please visit the program website at, email or call 207-942-7396.

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