Equine Public Speaking Contest

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2021 Virtual Public Speaking Contest

February 20, 2021



The public speaking contest is designed to help you to practice your presentation skills using equine as the subject matter while expanding your equine knowledge and increasing your research and study techniques.

This year’s public speaking contest will be held virtually using the Zoom virtual meeting platform. Please see the Technology page for technology requirements.

Contestants will present live to 3 evaluators. There will be two categories: Demonstration and Public Speaking. Subject matter must pertain to the horse industry.

Qualifier for National Competition

This contest is a qualifier for national competition. The top four Senior individuals in Public Speaking will have the opportunity to represent California 4-H at available national competitions in 2021. Please note that national competitions are currently being held virtually or may be canceled due to the pandemic.



For registration, payment, or contest questions, please contact Haille Margarite, hamargarite@ucanr.edu, or 209-525-6826. 

Questions on Zoom, technical support: Please contact Scott Mautte at idevelopsupport@ucanr.edu, 530-750-1335.


Registration Deadline is 5 pm February 14, 2021

Button - Register


  • Public Speaking: $25.00 per individual, $50.00 per team
  • Registration closes on February 14, 2021
  • There will be no late entries accepted for the Public Speaking Contest.


  • There is no pre-qualifying event requirement.
  • You must be a current California 4-H member in good standing.
  • You must be age 9 to 18 by December 31, 2020. Divisions are:
    • Junior - Ages 9-13 years
    • Senior - Ages 14-18 years
  • For those who have competed at the national level: you are not eligible to compete in the same event and division you competed in for a national competition.

Registration Process

  • Sign up for a time block when you register. Choices will be allocated on a first-come basis.
  • After registration closes, you will receive a confirmation for your time block with a Zoom meeting link.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

The submission of your registration is a contractual commitment to California 4-H (CA 4-H) of your intent to participate in this event. CA 4-H secures venues, judges, awards, and provides administration based on numbers of registered participants and will incur financial penalties when those numbers change.  Written requests to withdraw from this commitment received by February 16, 2021 will receive a 50% refund.  No refunds will be issued after this date.  Submit your withdrawal request to hamargarite@ucanr.edu. 

Contest Procedures

  • During your scheduled time block, log on to Zoom with a computer/tablet or smart phone and present in front of a camera/webcam.
  • Upon logging in to Zoom, you will be placed in a waiting room until the evaluators are ready for your presentation.
  • You may use poster boards and props (if the category permits these) or digital slides using the “Share Screen” feature.
  • Evaluators will enter their scores and comments digitally, which will be sent to the “tally room.”

The presentations will be recorded for accountability purposes, but will not be shared publicly.


  • Awards will be announced the week of March 1, 2021 on this website and on the California 4-H state social media platforms.
  • Evaluation forms will be emailed and awards will be mailed to UCCE 4-H county offices once all awards have been secured from vendors.


Rules for Equine Public Speaking Competitions

Presentations should meet the guidelines in the California 4-H State Presentation Manual. Please see the individual contest rules below for guidelines specific to Equine Public Speaking competitions.

  1. Speeches should be 7-10 minutes in length. After the individual has been introduced, the time will start once the contestant begins to speak.
  2. Three points will be deducted from the total score on each evaluator's score sheet for every minute (or fraction of a minute) under 7 minutes or over 10 minutes.
  3. During the competition, you may introduce yourself with your name, club, county and presentation topic.
  4. You should cite your reference materials at the end of the presentation. This time will not be counted in the allotted time.
  5. Only the evaluator(s) may ask questions of the contestant. Question time will not be counted in the allotted time. Contestant should repeat the question, and then answer it.
  6. The rubric used for national competitions will be used for the Equine Public Speaking Contest. Please note that this rubric may be slightly different than in the State Presentation Manual. See Equine Public Speaking Contest rubric.

Rules - Demonstration

  1. Subject matter must pertain to the horse industry. Demonstrations or presentations not appropriately related to the horse industry can be disqualified at the discretion of the evaluator(s).
  2. Presentations may be either of demonstration or illustrated talk format. No live animals may be used. A demonstration may be individual or a team of two members.
  3. You are responsible for your own supplies and equipment and ensuring that your technology is functioning PRIOR to the start of the event.
  4. Creative audio-visual aids may be used, but you must be involved in making or designing them.

Rules - Public Speaking

  1. Subject matter must pertain to the horse industry. Presentations not appropriately related to the horse industry can be disqualified at the discretion of the evaluator(s).
  2. No visual aids may be used, including the use of handouts such as bibliographies and pamphlets. You may be disqualified for using visual aids, including handouts, prior to, during and after the presentation.
  3. You may use notes. However, excessive use of notes may be counted against you. This will be at the discretion of the evaluators.
  4. You are responsible for your own equipment and ensuring that your technology is functioning PRIOR to the start of the event.


In all equine events, plagiarism will not be tolerated in any instance.  The following are the guidelines around plagiarism:

  1. An individual may come back and present their old presentation with a team (or vice versa), as the presentation is still originally theirs, although content must be noticeably changed.
  2. From individual to individual, or from individual to team (vice versa) subject matter may be shared but presentation content must be original.
  3. All presentations and speeches must be the current work of the presenter or presenters.
  4. Demonstrations and speeches that are plagiarized will be disqualified at the event.

Complaint Process

Any complaint of plagiarism must be emailed to hamargarite@ucanr.edu within 2 hours of the alleged violation.

  1. The complaint will be discussed, and a final decision by the CA 4-H Equine Advisory Board will be made within 24 hours of submission to the show office.
  2. Complaints will be considered only if there has been a violation of stated rules.
  3. If it is determined that plagiarism has occurred, the show manager will then contact the participant’s coach regarding the disqualification of the 4-H member.
  4. Any complaints filed after the submission deadline will not be considered.
  5. There is no appeals process. No refunds will be given to members who are disqualified.