NAPERVILLE, Ill. – In April and May, local youth took on the challenge of participating in the first virtual Public Presentations Contest through DuPage, Kane and Kendall County 4-H.
In place of the traditional in-person contest, participating 4-H members created video speech submissions within the categories of formal, illustrated, oral interpretation, or original works. Each presentation needed to meet specific category and time criteria.
“The Public Presentations 4-H project helps youth learn how to prepare and deliver a speech or performance,” said Andrea Farrier, 4-H Program Coordinator of DuPage County, which hosted the online event this year. “It encourages youth to develop public speaking skills and be comfortable in front of an audience, both of which will serve them well through school and into the future.”
Depending on the speech, the youth may learn to research, organize ideas, and clearly present information, or they may hone skills of characterization, projection and emoting.
Each participant was vying for their own county’s awards, which vary slightly by program, as well as the chance to advance to the state contest this summer. The 2020 award winners include:
- DuPage County: Grand Champion (illustrated speech) – Veronica Rauch; Reserve Grand Champion (illustrated speech) – Mary Frances Rauch; Grand Champion (oral interpretation individual) – Justin Hartsell; Reserve Grand Champion (oral interpretation individual) – Veronica Rauch; Grand Champion (oral interpretation team) – Justin and Xander Hartsell; Grand Champion (formal speech) – Ryan Gustis; State Delegates – Justin Hartsell, Justin and Xander Hartsell, and Veronica Rauch
- Kane County: Grand Champion (ages 8-12) – Eva Ochs (oral interpretation individual); Grand Champion (ages 13-18) – Maria and Cecilia Ochs (oral interpretation team); Reserve Grand Champions (13-18) – Neale Guvenoz (illustrated speech) and Maria Ochs (oral interpretation individual); State Delegates – Maria and Cecilia Ochs, Neale Guvenoz, and Eva Ochs
- Kendall County: Grand Champion (original works and oral interpretation) – Brayden Caraynoff-Huber; Grand Champion (formal speech) – Jenna Green; State Delegates – Brayden Caraynoff-Huber and Jenna Green
Entries were judged online by qualified volunteers, who also provided positive and constructive feedback to help each 4-H’er continue to grow in the project. The 2020 virtual contest judges were: Dayna Anderson, Emily Beatty, and Sarah Landers.
“Thank you to our judges for sharing their time and expertise with our 4-H members,” said Farrier. “The process teaches youth about preparation and poise, and it helps builds their confidence and skill set.”
For more information on 4-H programs in your county, visit go.illinois.edu/info4Hdkk.