Speech, Impromptu & PSA - March 9, 2024

Dakota~Thurston County 4-H Speech Contest

2024 Speech Contest (In conjunction with Presentation, Music, and Favorite Foods Contests)
March 9, 2024
St. Lukes Lutheran Church
 211 W 2nd St.
Emerson, NE

Register your entry at: http://go.unl.edu/registerdtcontestday 


A Guide to Making Great Speeches (This is really helpful!)

How to Prepare a 4-H Radio Public Service Announcement

Through the 4-H Public Speaking Contest, youth have an opportunity to write a speech or a public service announcement (PSA) that incorporates the topic of 4-H and deliver it to an audience.  The 4-H Public Speaking Contest helps youth develop skills for communicating about current issues to real audiences, learn how to organize and prepare a speech, develop speech delivery skills, learn how to present themselves to others, and develop self-confidence.

Age Divisions: (As of January 1st)
Cloverkid (Ages 5-7)
Junior (Ages 8-10)  
Intermediate (Ages 11-13)
Senior (Ages 14-18)

Length of speeches
Cloverkid:   1-2 Minutes
Junior:   1-3 Minutes
Intermediate :  3-5 Minutes
Senior :  5-8 Minutes

  • All PSA's are 60 seconds in length.
  • The state theme for the 2024 Public Service Announcement (PSA) is "4-H is a Feeling."
  • All radio PSA's must promote 4-H and be general enough to be used anywhere in Nebraska at anytime of the year.
  • All 4-H PSA's must include the following tag line within the last 10 seconds of the PSA: "Learn more about the Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development Program at 4h.unl.edu." The tag line is included in the 60 second time limit. 
  • Sound effects and public domain music may be used. Copyrighted material may not be used. 
  • All PSA's must be the original work of the presenter. Contestants may not use PSA's written and provided by the state or national staff.
  • No team PSA's are allowed.
  • Radio PSA's will be submitted electronically IN A  .wav or .mp3 audio format along with the registration form.
  • All speeches must be original and include 4-H as the major component of the speech.
  • 4-H public speaker may not use the old speech written by a sibling, another 4-H member, or anyone else.
  • Acknowledge the source of information used in the speech. For example, an article from a magazine may be used for reference, but should not be quoted directly unless you tell the audience your source.
  • The use of visual aids and props is not allowed.
  • Dress appropriately. Do not wear costumes or special effect clothing.
  • No team speeches are allowed.
Impromptu Speech

The Impromptu Speech competition gives youth the opportunity to write and present a speech around a 4-H-related topic that they select during the competition, where they are given 15 minutes to develop and prepare for their presentation. Judges evaluate the subject, organization, and delivery of the speech.


  • Length
    • Junior Division (ages 8-10): 1 1/2 minutes
    • Intermediate Division (ages 11-13): 3 minutes
    • Senior Division (ages 14-18): 5 minutes
  • Only individuals may compete in this class; no team entries are allowed.
  • On the day of the contest, participants will have a topic randomly selected for them. Youth will have no more than 15 minutes to develop a speech on the selected topic. Participants will then deliver the speech to judges and audience members. 
  • Example topic: My Day in 4-H