4-H Prepared Speech and Radio Public Service Announcement Contests

girl speaking to an audience

Effective communication is a valuable life skill you'll use your entire life.

The 4-H Prepared Speech and Radio Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contests provide 4-H’ers the opportunity to learn to express themselves clearly, organize their ideas and have confidence. The Lancaster County 4-H contests are open to all 4-H’ers ages 5–18 (by January 1 of the current year) — need not be enrolled in a specific project. Youth may choose to participate in either one or both contests. If questions, contact Kate Pulec at kpulec3@unl.edu or 402-441-7180.

The top youth in the intermediate and senior age divisions will qualify for the state contests, which will be part of the new Premier Communication Event on Friday, June 23 at University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus. Note: The state Premier Communication Event will include an Impromptu Speech Contest open to all 4-H’ers ages 10–18, which does not require qualifying at a county contest.

2023 Speech and PSA flyers (print-friendly pdf)

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Prepared Speech Contest

The 2023 Prepared Speech Contest will be held on Sunday, March 5 at the Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County conference rooms, 444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln. Contest begins at 1:30 p.m. Register for the Speech contest by Wednesday, March 1 by calling 402-441-7180 or emailing kpulec3@unl.edu with name, speech title, age division and email address. Tentative scheduled times will be emailed to participants. During the contest, check-in at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time. All speeches are open to the public for viewing.

The use of visual aids and props is not allowed. Please wear a nice outfit for the contest — do not wear costumes or special-effects clothing. Note cards can be used as references, but should not be used to read your speech.

Topic

Youth may write and prepare a speech on any topic related to their 4-H experience. All prepared speeches must be original and include 4-H as the major component of the speech (with the exception of the Clover Kids division). Examples could be:

  • 4-H projects and activities they have experienced/learned from.
  • A 4-H project they would like others to enroll in.
  • A timely topic related to 4-H.
  • How has 4-H helped them?
  • The importance of 4-H in their life.
Age Divisions

(by Jan. 1 of the current year)

  • Clover Kids division (ages 5–7): Anything! They could recite or read a favorite nursery rhyme, short story, the 4-H pledge, etc. (Clover Kids receive participation ribbons only — no premiums given.)
  • Junior division (ages 8–9): 2–3 minutes in length
  • Intermediate division (ages 10–13): 3–5 minutes in length.
  • Senior division (ages 14–18): 5–8 minutes in length.
Scoring

The 4-H members are judged on a 100-point scale.

  • 20% - Subject of the speech: Use of 4-H, content, good use of examples and supporting stories or facts, substantial message
  • 20% - Organization of the speech: Introduction, body and conclusion included and identifiable
  • 40% - Delivery: Bodily action, poise, eye contact, gestures, voice, pitch, rate, articulation and pronunciation of words
  • 20% - General: Personal appearance, reaction of audience, length
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Radio Public Service Announcement Contest

Entry deadline is Wednesday, March 1, 2023. In the Radio Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest, 4-H'ers submit a 60-second promotional audio recording that could be played on the radio to promote the work of Nebraska 4-H. Submit a PSA as a .wav, .mp3 or .m4a file electronically to kpulec3@unl.edu or on a CD to the Extension office.

The 2023 state theme is “Discover Your Spark in Nebraska 4-H!” and should be incorporated in the PSA. All 4-H PSA's must include the following tagline within the last ten seconds of the PSA: "Learn more about Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development Program at 4h.unl.edu." The tagline is included in the 60-second time limit.

State 4-H asks for PSA's to be general enough to be used anywhere in Nebraska at anytime of the year.

Sound effects and public domain music may be used. Copyrighted material may not be used.

There is a Clover Kids division (Clover Kids receive participation ribbons only — no premiums given).

If you do not have the capabilities to record a PSA, contact Vicki Jedlicka at 402-441-7180 to set up a recording time at the Extension office.

The PSA’s will be judged without the 4-H member present. Results and comment sheets will be handed out at the 4-H Prepared Speech Contest which will be held on Sunday, March 5 beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County conference rooms, 444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln.

Age Divisions

(by Jan. 1 of the current year)

  • Clover Kids (ages 5–7) (Clover Kids receive participation ribbons only — no premiums given.)
  • Junior (ages 8–9)
  • Intermediate (ages 10–13)
  • Senior (ages 14–18)
Scoring

The Radio PSA Scorecard is based on a total of 100 points.

  • 20% - Introduction: Did the introduction catch your immediate attention? Was it short and to the point? Did the excitement match the contest?
  • 20% - Body: Are the main points clear? Is the appropriate amount of information given? Are there facts related to the PSA theme?
  • 20% - Closing: Do you give information to the listener in how to become involved or how to obtain additional information? Was the PSA properly wrapped up? How close to 60 seconds is the PSA?
  • 40% - General Delivery: Was the PSA in a conversational style? Did you use proper voice control? Did you give it at a good pace? All words pronounced correctly? Were sound effects effective and attention giving?

Helpful Resources

Watch/Listen to Examples:

Watch Lancaster County 4-H Speech Examples on YouTube:
Listen to 2022 Lancaster County 4-H PSA Examples:
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 1, Mindy Bartels
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 2, Riley Peterson
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (10-12 years old) - Example 1, Dayton Jons
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (10-12 years old) - Example 2, Amorita Payne
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (10-12 years old) - Example 3, Vanessa Peterson
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (10-12 years old) - Example 4, Callia Thompson
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (10-12 years old) - Example 5, Emma Thompson
  • 4-H PSA: Junior Division (8-9 years old) - Example 1, Braxton Thompson
Listen to 2021 Lancaster County 4-H PSA Examples (Lancaster County top 4 in each division which went to state competition)
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 1, Mindy Bartels
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 2, Ella Hendricksen
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 3, Riley Peterson
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 4, Eliese Schwinck
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (11-13 years old) - Example 1, Mia Crawford
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (11-13 years old) - Example 2, Ian Lorenson (Note: PSAs that are less than 1:00 are deducted points.)
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (11-13 years old) - Example 3, Vanessa Peterson
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (11-13 years old) - Example 4, Melanie Wiggins
Listen to 2020 Lancaster County 4-H PSA Examples (Lancaster County top 5 which went to state competition):
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 1, Ella Hendricksen
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 2, Riley Peterson
  • 4-H PSA: Senior Division (14-18 years old) - Example 3, Eliese Schwinck
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (11-13 years old) - Example 1, Clara Johnson
  • 4-H PSA: Intermediate Division (11-13 years old) - Example 2, Melanie Wiggins