Contest will take place during Montana 4-H Congress event and interview times will take place on Wednesday July 12, 2023. 


To demonstrate the ability to portray confidence and effectiveness in prepared and impromptu speaking.

Member must have received a blue ribbon rating at the county level. Counties may nominate any number of participants.


Contestants will present a prepared speech from 5 to 7 minutes in length. Talks should be of original material prepared by the contestant. This format requires that the speaker write and deliver their own speech. Recited manuscript type speeches are NOT acceptable for this contest. The speaker will inform or educate the audience on a single issue or topic. The topic is only limited by age appropriateness of the topic for the member. The purpose of this category is to encourage participants to give a speech in which they seek out accurate information, organize it into a useful format, and competently present the information. Speeches may be persuasive or informative.

Remember that your credibility plays an important role in persuading audiences, such as dealing with oppositional arguments in a fair and convincing way. Good persuaders do not ignore the opposition, nor do they simply attack the opposition; they engage the opposition’s arguments in an even-handed way.

A speech has a clear and understandable theme or thesis. Citing sources can increase the credibility of the speech if it does not interfere with the delivery of the prepared speech. The speaker is expected to discuss the chosen topic intelligently, with a degree of originality, in an interesting manner, and with some benefit to the audience.

A prepared speech should have a clearly defined introduction, body, and summation. The body contains the development of the main ideas of the prepared speech. The summation should not introduce new material but should be used to reinforce the ideas developed in the body and cement the theme and main ideas in the minds of the audience.


No visual aids, including posters or slides, will be used by the speaker to assist with the delivery of the prepared speech. No props are allowed.


5-7 minutes. Speakers will be timed. Exceeding 7 minutes in length does not result in disqualification, but will be considered when evaluating the presentation.


Prepared speeches may only be given by an individual.


Anyone may ask questions. Evaluators/judges generally ask questions first. Time for questions may be limited.



Notes may be used by the speaker to assist with the delivery of the speech. The notes should be inconspicuous and not detract from the speech


Appropriate attire for the occasion. Costumes may not be used.


An impromptu speech will only be used in the event of a tie.


The top 2 to 4 contestants from each platform will participate in the final run-off. Names of these finalists will be posted following the morning competition. Finalists will follow the same speech format with a new set of judges. All finalists will be judged by the same judges.

There will be an orientation period for contestants so that they understand the basic rules such as timing, evaluations, etc.

There will be more than one platform, depending upon the number of contestants. Each platform will have 8 to 10 speakers and will be judged by 2 to 3 judges. Each judge will evaluate independently and the scores from the 2 to 3 judges will be totaled for a final score.


When selecting a topic, consider the following:

Does it fit my capabilities, knowledge, experience, and intelligence? Can the topic be covered properly within the time allocated? Is it really me? Get all the necessary facts. Select a topic in which you are interested. Draw on your 4-H experience.


The top two winners selected from finals will be eligible for a trip to Denver Round-up in order to compete in the regional contest or National 4-H Congress for leadership opportunity. Partial funding will be available for the trip. Delegates who previously received a trip to

National 4-H Congress or Denver Round Up may participate in the contest, but will not receive a second award trip.

Montana 4-H Congress Participants that are 13 years of age are permitted to compete in the state contest at the discretion of the County. However, they may not be eligible for an award trip due to age requirements set by the national/regional event. They do not lose their eligibility and can compete in future years to again earn eligibility for a national award trip.