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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New Hanover County 4-H to hold public speaking competition for children

Quinn O'Keefe, preparing to deliver his presentation at 4-H County Activity Day
Quinn O’Keefe, of Wilmington, gives his audience amazing owl facts during his first 4-H presentation. (Courtesy of Leslie Dill)

WILMINGTON — Public speaking is one of the most important tools to have as an adult, which is why local 4-H kids work on it when they’re young.

New Hanover County 4-H’ers will give public presentations on May 6 at the New Hanover County Executive Development Center on just about any subject.

There are over 30 categories for the children to select as their topic, including an open class for subjects that don’t fit into a category.

Kids are normally given a topic for presentations in school, so this gives them a chance to learn more about something they find exciting. We encourage participants to choose a topic they are passionate about and want to share with others.

Some of the presentations from the 2016 competition were flag etiquette, manga artwork, how to set up a fish aquarium, and Star Wars.

Even the youngest members of the 4-H family, 5-8 year old Cloverbuds, are given the opportunity to try their hands at speaking. Their time requirement is much shorter, three to five minutes, as opposed to the five to 12 minutes expected of the 9-18 year old presenters.

Many 4-H’ers will give multiple presentations over their career in the program. It is rewarding to see the kids’ confidence in their public speaking skills increase over the years.

Volunteer judges will evaluate the presentation and offer advice for improvement. The judges use the Danish System, which rates the performance of competitors compared to a standard of achievement, not to one another.

Registration for this event closes on April 21.

Register or request additional information by contacting Leslie Dill, 4-H Agent, at 910-798-7660 or via email at

About 4-H: 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. In the U.S., 4-H programs are implemented by the 109 land grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Overseas, 4-H programs operate throughout more than 50 countries.

Learn more about 4-H at or like us on Facebook at

-Content provided by Leslie Dill, 4-H Youth Development

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