State 4-H Public Speaking Contest
Interpretation Rules

Interpretations are memorized performances that take place without music or other external sound effects.  You can choose from either Dramatic or Humorous.
Interpretation Category Contest Rules

  • Interpretations are to be memorized and take place without music or other external audio or visual effects.  Visual aids, such as posters, are not permitted, but special makeup and clothing may be worn as the contestant deems appropriate to the content of the interpretation.   
  • The topic and content of the interpretation must be appropriate to the standards of a 4-H event, and appropriate for all ages.*   

    *PLEASE NOTE: There are painful moments of history that are important to remember (lest the past be repeated) and would normally provide excellent material for a dramatic interpretation.  However, with an audience that includes very small children (who don’t yet have a context for this information), depictions of things like beatings, torture, child deaths and genocide are not appropriate for the State 4-H Public Speaking Contest.
  • Time limits:  Due to contest time constraints, all interpretations are limited to 5 minutes each (with a minimum time of 3 minutes), for Juniors, Intermediates and Seniors. 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).
  • Contestants are to bring two copies of the script, referencing the source(s). Non-English language must be translated.  If speaking in a language other than English, the participant must inform the state 4-H office no later than September 1 of the program year, so that a judge with the appropriate language skills may be secured.
  • 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.

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