Eileen Shafer, a seasoned public speaking competitor, won first place in Sunday’s 4-M / FFA public speaking competition at the University of Missouri extension in Cole County.
“I am very excited,” she said. “It was nice to talk with good, healthy competition.”
She graduated from high school and this is her final year with 4-H. She is taking an online course to certify her as a therapeutic musician.
She said she “will use the public speaking skills I learned from 4-H very well.”
She drew three subjects and chose one: “The most rewarding feeling I have had while participating in the 4-H program is.
She said the most rewarding feeling is “success”.
“No less than success in everything I’ve done in 4-H,” she said in her speech. “Whether it’s the little things, whether it’s a state pageant or even a national pageant, or even just meeting a new friend, make them smile.”
Taylor Riley took second and Gretta Carrender took third. All three participated in impromptu lectures and all qualified for the state competition in September.
The event is part of the Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair.
Local state officials Dave Griffith and Rudy Veit judged the competition.
Veit complemented the three speakers by engaging the audience through their facial expressions and walking around the room. “I think you all did a wonderful job,” he says.
Griffith urged them to use their 15 minutes of preparation wisely to jot down two or three main points on a note card.
“If you ever get into politics, and I recommend you do, when they ask you what your rig is, you want to have three points on your rig because that can give you something when you hit. at the gates to talk to people, “he said.
Public speaking, he said, is an art that takes time to develop. He told young people that he practiced in front of a mirror when competing in public speaking competitions in his youth.
He congratulated the three, saying he was proud of them for taking part in the competition.
Event superintendent Tim Riley said less than seven years ago the competition had around 20 speakers.
He said schools don’t teach 4-H like they once did, and they need to market the program to attract younger 4-H members.
Veit and Griffith agreed on the importance of public speaking.
“You have to be able to stand in front of people, deal with people and make presentations,” Veit said. “Any leadership role requires standing up in front of people. “
Both state officials said they still experience some anxiety about speaking in public, but said preparation is the key to confidence and success.
From right, State Representatives Rudy Veit and Dave Griffith score their scorecards on Sunday, July 18, 2021, during a 4-H public speaking contest in Jefferson City, Missouri. Both served as judges. On the left, Tim Riley, the event superintendent.
Photo by Gerry Tritz / News Tribune.