UTIA Family, please refer to utk.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and student information. For UTIA-specific resources, including event information and county office status, please visit utia.tennessee.edu/coronavirus .

Public Speaking: A Love-Hate Relationship

Dr. Richard Clark

If you ask people what they fear most, many will say speaking in public. Most of us, if we really take a careful look, have a fear of failure or  being embarrassed by our lack of public speaking skill. I must confess that this is the case for me. I distinctly remember one of my teachers more than others. The reason, I had to do a series of talks in his 7th grade English class. I remember the knot in my stomach, the nausea that accompanied it and the absolute fear of being laughed at by my classmates. But to this day, I credit Mr. Staggs for helping me to gain the confidence to address an audience and gain a necessary workplace skill.

Today, 4-H is helping 4th and 5th graders get their first experiences in public speaking. Thanks to our nurturing and compassionate agents, youth gain the ability to overcome fear, risk failure, and present their ideas to their peers. Over and over, 4-H provides opportunities to master this critical skill. Many of our older members even say they enjoy giving speeches and many have won college scholarships through our public speaking contests.

So when our agents hear speeches for hours on end, remember, this is not wasted time. It is building our leaders of tomorrow, because 4-H is learning by doing!

Public Speaking: A Love-Hate Relationship - 4-H Boy Speaking