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Area youths participate in Clinton County 4-H Public Presentation Day

BEEKMANTOWN School wasnt in session, but many of the classrooms at Beekmantown Middle School were filled one day during mid-winter break. Approximately 120 youths involved with 4-H participated in the Clinton County 4-H Public Presentation Day Feb. 23, an for which they had been preparing several weeks. Young presenters, ages 5 to 19, took to the front of the classrooms and gave demonstrations, illustrated discussions and impromptu speeches. Judges evaluated the presenters on seven areas introduction, organization, content and accuracy, stage presence, delivery, effect on audience, and summary. Separate rooms were designated for cloverbuds (ages 5-8), general presentations, horse communications, and horse communications for those competing for advancement to a regional competition. General presentations lasted from five to 15 minutes and were educational and entertaining, covering topics from cooking and crafts to numerous aspects of animal husbandry, and technological topics like rocketry. Impromptu presenters were given a choice of two topics and given only 15 minutes to prepare a five- to 15-minute presentation. Although they did not have long hours of practicing their talks and preparing visual aides this year, it was their years of past experience doing so that allowed them to choose this option and provided them with confidence and poise in front of an audience. Horse communicators, especially those vying for advancement to regional competition, aimed to keep their presentation lengths between nine and 12 minutes. The vast majority of presenters spoke on some aspect of horses or horsemanship. A wealth of equestrian knowledge could be gained by anyone spending the day listening to these young presenters. Fourteen of the presenters in the horse communications category competed against each other for the top six scores to advance them to regionals. Because one of the 14 will be presenting at a make-up day, the youth will not know who will be advancing until the make-up event is held. The event concluded in early afternoon, and left the presenters with increased confidence and ability in public speaking, an area many adults dread. It also brought them one step closer to the earned privilege of exhibiting at the Clinton County Fair this July, as participating in the Public Presentation Day is one of the mandatory requirements for 4-Hers hoping to exhibit.

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