Presenting the fabulous Jim Wells County kids:
4-H here in South Texas has provided some pretty great opportunities for the girls. While public speaking is not really at the top of most teen’s lists of fun things to do (usually not on the list at all I should say), it’s such an important skill to develop and practice while they are young. It can sure help them to have prior practice and get comfortable talking in front of others when it comes to scholarship interviews, job interviews, vet school interviews, and definitely can help when they are invaded by screaming fans and paparazzi someday. 🙂
Not only that, but it’s important to be comfortable speaking to people while ministering to others in whatever form or fashion God directs them to. I really do believe the better you are at speaking and being comfortable at it, the better you are able to spread His word to the rest of the world who desperately need to hear it!
Anyway, my girls weren’t thrilled when I kinda told them they needed to prepare and give an educational talk or demonstration a couple of years ago for the first time for 4-H Roundup. But I was able to pretty easily persuade them by explaining that it’s their opportunity to share something they are passionate about, and get some great practice teaching their knowledge to others besides gaining more points for their 4-H year. I helped them both choose something they were interested in, do the research, organize it, tweak it, make poster boards (being an old pro at display boards from my science fair days!), collect props, practice, practice, practice speaking and remembering speeches, and then give the finished product. They both did a great job, but didn’t really want to participate again. When I was in 4-H we gave talks and demonstrations at all of our meetings, which meant I usually prepared a couple or three per year, but times change and we don’t do that in our club. So talks and demos only really comes around once a year for what they call Roundup- talks, talent, prose, music, etc.
This year I pretty much required that they prepare an educational talk because it’s a great opportunity to get some hands-on speech accomplished. For Morgan I made it a part of her Equine class she will be getting high school credit for. After they got started they did an amazing job of creating their presentations. Besides putting together some killer powerpoints all on their own, they both took some pretty amazing pictures to use with their talks.
One of the things that is really cool is that I hadn’t even seen or heard Taylor’s talk before she gave it at county roundup. She gave her talk on “How to Judge a Halter Class of Mares” using our two mares at the house. I was, again, just blown away by the amount of information, the organization, the photos, and the facts she spewed forth. She was confident and didn’t even look nervous!
I had seen Morgan working on her presentation. I had viewed the pictures as she was creating her powerpoint, and timed her to see how long it was, so I was pre-amazed. 🙂
But when she gave it at county I just can’t imagine she had put it all together all herself- it looked so professional. Her talk’s title is “Judging an Equine Performance Class” and she had created three maneuvers for Taylor to ride two of our horses over to put together a “Trail” class to photograph and judge. I was really, again, just blown away by the creativity, the fact that they created a bridge, gate and log obstacles and got some amazing pictures. She included an AQHA judging card and showed how to fill it out using arrows and some cool computer tricks, then showed how to judge the “class.”
I couldn’t have come up with a better project for her to do, and she essentially did it all on her own with really no guidelines except how long it needed to be. She gave the talk flawlessly just like she was teaching her team mates how to score. She had learned this skill at horse judging camp and had actually taught it to several already, so it was a practical and very educational talk straight from her heart.
I was really excited to see what they could do at District competition this year. They tweaked their talks using the comments they received from county, and off we went to Laredo yesterday.
They both did very well presenting their material. Taylor hadn’t practiced since county, and had replaced a couple of pictures which tripped her up a bit, but she still had a fabulous presentation and was confident in answering several questions the judges asked. She won second place in the Horse category in Intermediates!
Morgan really blew me away with her talk. Since this is my blog, I’m just gonna take the liberty to brag a bit here. 🙂 Put a kid who loves to talk together with a subject she loves to talk about, and there you have it. I really kinda just sat there between a laugh of amazement and a tear of joy.
Morgan setting up her for presentation:
She won first in the senior horse division, and then went on to take third overall senior, which qualifies her to compete at State in Lubbock in June. She is already going to State for the Horse Judging Competition, but now she will also be doing her talk.
I’m so proud of them! I’m so proud that they did this completely on their own. They put together the talk, the pictures, the props, the powerpoints, and they got up in front of their peers and adults and taught them how to judge horses. This tops off the year with an A++ and leaves absolutely no doubt in my mind that they are being educated to the fullest. Their minds, their hearts, and their character. I just love that. For all those nights I layed staring at the ceiling thinking of how much I’m NOT getting done, this is one of those times I call obvious. (God and I have this game we call That was Obvious.) This is one of those times to tuck in my memory that shows we are in the right place doing just what God has led us to.
Now on a sadder note, again, everytime I really need photos of some big event, something important, something grand- well, my camera gets a migraine. It somehow reverts itself to blurry. So the pics I got aren’t too good, but they are something at least. Actually I finally gave up at the end and grabbed Morgan’s iTouch to take the last group ones. Levi then grabbed the camera and shot some pretty decent ones- LOL, leave it to the kids.