Rural leaders of Troops, Tribes and Neighborhood Patrols will do well to train their Scouts in the art of public demonstration. Among the important factors are:

1. ADEQUATE SPACE. This should be large enough for two or more Scouts to be at work, should have some wall space and attractive background for charts or explanatory material, should have some space for finished products which can be seen from the front of the booth. If on ground or floor levels, the space should be roped, railed or fenced so as to protect demonstrators against crowding by the audience.

2. MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT. These include tables, benches, tools (perhaps power tools where electricity, and of the proper type to fit the tools, is available), and such raw materials as may be needed for each demonstration, such as wood, leather, tin, horns, rope, cement, vegetables and soils.

3. ARRANGEMENT OF PLATFORM, TABLES, TOOLS AND MATERIALS. All must be attractively arranged, convenient for use. Arrange tools and materials so that they can be seen and taken up and used in order for the demonstration. Where Scouts are making things, they should be back of the work table and facing those who are to see the demonstration. Materials and explanatory charts should be placed . high enough to be seen, without being "eclipsed" by the demonstrators getting in front of the product, materials and objects.

North Carolina Farm Merit Badge Exhibit


4. THE DEMONSTRATOR SHOULD NOT BE A NOVICE. He should know his subject matter, materials and processes, and he must be an accurate and skillful workman.

5. IF HE CAN EXPLAIN AND SHOW STEPS, processes and methods about materials, tools, processes, cost, time necessary to produce the article being made-such items are of general interest. A technique used in commercial demonstrations, particularly a window demonstration, is to put the running story of what is being shown on a number of placards or cards, which can be exposed one after another to the audience outside the window.

With a project which involves a considerable time factor, it may be desirable to have samples of several stages, as is done in industrial exhibits, showing steps from raw material to finished products.

6. ENCOURAGE QUESTIONS from those watching the demonstration.

7. THE VOICE OF THE DEMONSTRATOR is important to a good demonstration. The Scouts picked to do this job should have a pleasing voice, not loud, rasping or "peculiar." He should speak distinctly but should not shout or mumble his words. In Merit Badge Expositions, for example, there probably is some one demonstrating another subject a few feet away.

8. THE DEMONSTRATOR SHOULD BE MODEST and humble, not "loud" and conceited. When asked questions, his reply should be a careful one, such as "Our experience and studies indicate that oak is much better than pine for this sort of thing." The spectator should not be cut off from a two-way discussion-he may be more expert in the skill than the demonstrator, and in any event is entitled to the full courtesy which a good business always extends to its customers. Demonstrators should admit frankly when he does not know and cannot give a correct answer.