State 4-H Public Speaking Contest
Business Pitch Rules

A business pitch quickly generates interest and energetically demonstrates knowledge and persuasion to motivate the listener to reach a decision or act immediately on the information presented. 

Examples may include:

  1.  a “Shark Tank” TV show-style pitch by an entrepreneur about a 4-H-made product or service, or
  2.  a sales presentation made to prospective buyers of a 4-H-raised animal or livestock project

Business pitch speeches follow the same rules and guidelines as prepared and technology assisted speeches.  They allow for the use of presentation software (such as PowerPoint) by the speaker. 


Business Pitch Speaking Category Contest Rules

Speeches are to be 3-5 minutes in length for Juniors (ages 8-10), Intermediates (ages 11-13) and Seniors (ages 14-18).  When speakers have met the minimum time, a judge will hold up a green card.  When 30 seconds remain until time is expired, the judge will hold up a red card.  The speaker should then wrap up to avoid a point deduction (3 points). 

The business pitch speech must be an original work, created and written by the person giving the speech. Topics must be appropriate for the standards of a 4-H event and appropriate for all ages.

Notes on index cards are perfectly acceptable.  The only other prop that may be used (besides a slide presentation) is a sample 4-H project—a product, or prototype of a product, that is the subject of the speech—this is optional).

Speakers are free to use their own laptop computers, or they may use the PC laptop at the event.  In either event, a copy of the presentation must be brought to the contest by the speaker, in order to have a backup if technical difficulties should occur.

First place Intermediate and Senior Division finishers from a previous State 4-H Public Speaking Contest may not enter the same category and age group a second time.

Judges decisions are final.

Have fun!  First and foremost, you are here to gain experience, celebrate your skills, and meet others with an interest in public speaking!


Resources for all project levels