Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks

Demonstrations should be placed in the category that most closely relates to the related project. Otherwise, demonstrations or illustrated talks may not be suitable for competition at the district and state levels. Competitors must also adhere to the regulations for competitive events listed on the previous pages.

  • District: Each county may enter all blue qualifying junior, intermediate, and senior individuals and all blue qualifying junior, intermediate, and senior teams. Counties reserve the option of working with red placing entries, to improve the entry to a blue level and qualify the entry for district competition.
  • State: Each district may enter all blue qualifying senior individuals and all blue qualifying senior teams in state level competition. Participants must meet a blue standard in district competition to qualify for state.
  • Regional/National: Selected project areas give 4-H’ers the opportunity to compete beyond the state level. In such cases, one overall demonstration will be certified for competition although there may be an individual and team winner at the state level.

Regardless of category entered, the following regulations apply:

  • No living vertebrates (i.e. fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, or mammals) may be brought to district or state level events.
  • Demonstrations or illustrated talks must be between 3-12 minutes for juniors and intermediates, and 5-12 minutes for seniors.
  • A team demonstration is one in which two team members participate both in speaking and presentation. No more than two members per team.
  • State entries must have competed at the county/district levels. Participation guidelines for county/district level activities that do not culminate at the state level are at the discretion of planning committees at the county/district.
  • Each presentation (i.e. demonstration, illustrated talk, Share-the-Fun activity, speech, etc.) will be the same from district level to state level. A 4-H’er should definitely improve on his/her activity but it must remain basically the same.
  • If a 4-H’er is participating at the state level with a similar illustrated talk or demonstration to the previous year, the demonstration or illustrated talk must be changed to include more depth and growth.
  • Participants must provide all equipment and supplies for their presentations.
  • Competitors are responsible for all aspects of their preparations and set-up of their competitions. Only competitors are allowed in the set-up/dressing room at State Competitions.
  • In demonstration categories where one entry is needed to be recognized as the official state entry for a regional/national competition, the judges will be asked to select the overall entry from the 1st place individual and 1st place team, provided this meets respective national guidelines.
  • During Florida 4-H University, individual 4-H’ers can participate in one demonstration OR public speaking event AND either Share-the-Fun or one judging/other event (i.e. Fashion Revue), as long as schedule permits. Please contact the State Events Coordinator to confirm the schedule for these events. Youth at county and district levels can be encouraged to participate in both demonstrations and judging or other events. 4-H’ers may compete in contests and be a council delegate.
  • The Demonstration/Illustrated Talk and Public Speaking competitions combine two forms of achievement and recognition for youth. These are:
    • Standards of Excellence established by experts (as defined by the scorecards for Demonstration/Illustrated Talk or Public Speaking Contests). By measuring personal progress against standards of excellence, youth can gain insight into their own efforts and abilities.
    • Peer Competition, a panel of judges subjectively identifies, in a concrete time and place, the best teams or individuals through rankings. It is a strong motivator for some youth, but is inappropriate for youth under the age of eight.

In 4-H University State Competitions, using both “standards of excellence” and “peer competition”, as described above, participants will first be recognized for reaching a standard of excellence. Blue, Red, and White levels are used to determine the standard met. Participants will then be recognized through peer competition for earning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place within their category. Only blue standard participants at district events should progress to state level competitions. Only blue standard participants at state level events may compete at the corresponding National Event. All judges’ decisions are final.


Demonstration Categories

Demonstration and Illustrated Talks Score Sheet