4-H Communications Project

Effective communications drives all aspects of day-to-day life. Youth are to learn about the process of communication, to learn about different modes of communication and to strengthen their own communication skills. As you explore the world of communication and the manuals, you will enjoy learning more about yourself and others. Youth completing this project are expected to participate in a variety of experiences allowing them to develop communication skills rather than create an exhibit to be displayed at the county or state fair.

Suggested activities to develop communication skills include:

  • Complete an activity from the grade appropriate manual
  • Give a demonstration or presentation at a club meeting
  • Participate in a verbal communication event. See verbal communication section below
  • Submit a news release to local news media about a 4-H event or topic
  • Participate in a radio interview
  • Present information about 4-H to a civic organization or similar group
  • Participate in the Indiana 4-H Spread the News workshop (Grades 9-12)
  • Participate as an actor in a community theater
  • Other activities that demonstrate communication skill development

Judges evaluating exhibits should recognize individual differences and creativity, therefore using information in this document as a guide rather than a requirement.

To exhibit: complete 3 activities from manual and record sheet

Exhibit Class Guidelines

The following apply to all county and state fair communication events:

  • Members may use a PowerPoint, Prezi, or other digital presentation, signs, and other props that
    will enhance their presentation when giving their how-to demonstration to the audience from a
    stage or stage-like setting.
  • If digital media will be used to enhance the presentation, contestants are encouraged to provide
    their own laptop computer. If the laptop is not equipped with a standard HDMI external video
    connection, the contestant will need to supply an appropriate adapter. While a standard PC lap
    top will be available, the quality and compatibility of the digital media cannot be guaranteed as
    PowerPoint will be the only digital media available at state fair.
  • There is no interaction with the audience.
  • Questions may be asked of the contestants by the judges following the presentation.

Demonstration:

All 4-H members are encouraged to present a demonstration at their club or county level. This contest allows the 4-H member to show the audience step-by-step procedures how-to-do something related to any 4-H project. Examples of a demonstration include how to take a prize winning photograph, how to give an intramuscular antibiotic injection or shot, how to design a mini-barn blueprint, how to construct a garment, how to develop a wildlife rehabilitation plan, how to treat a cat for fleas, etc. Junior members (grades 3-8) have 5-7 minutes to present their demonstration, while senior members (grades 9-12) will present their demonstration in 5-10 minutes. Categories will be Junior Individual, Senior Individual, Junior Team, and Senior Team. 

Informative 4-H Presentation:

This contest allows the 4-H member to present a topic of their choice related to a 4-H event, project, or
activity to the audience. Examples of an informative 4-H presentation include the benefits of attending 4-H Round-Up, State 4-H Junior Leader Conference, 4-H Academy, or Citizenship Washington Focus; the impact of a community service project on the 4-H members involved and their community; why a family should enroll their children in 4-H; how 4-H prepares a young person for the workforce or college, etc. Junior members (grades 3-8) have 5-7 minutes to present their informative presentation, while senior
members (grades 9-12) will present their informative presentation in 5-10 minutes. Categories will be Junior Individual and Senior Individual.

Professional Persuasive Presentation:

Contestants will be required to research a public issue in their community, collect data showing how
this issue is or could affect their community, formulate a plan to address this issue, and present it in a
professional manner using electronic digital media such as PowerPoint, Prezi, etc. Contestants are to submit two (2) sets of accompanying handouts at registration. These handouts will be provided to the judges. It is suggested that youth practice by presenting their professional presentation to service clubs, 4-H council or fair board, government officials, or other boards. Examples of public issues could be the lack of accessibility to trails or public parks, congested traffic locations, public health issues, impoverished neighborhoods, school dropout rates, the size of farm machinery outgrowing the size of roads, etc. Junior members (grades 3-8) will present in 5-7 minutes and senior members (grades 9-12) will present their professional presentation in 5-10 minutes. Categories will be Junior Individual, Senior Individual, Junior Team and Senior Team.

Public Speaking:

This contest allows the 4-H member to give their prepared speech to an audience from a stage or stage like setting. Props, signs, and PowerPoint presentations are not permitted. The topic can be of the 4-H member’s choice. Junior members (grades 3-8) have 3-5 minutes to give their speech while senior members (grades 9-12) will give their speech in 5-7 minutes. 

Creative Writing:

This exhibit allows youth to express creativity while developing writing skills. Examples include a story, autobiography, biography, essay, journal entry, poetry, children’s story, and more. Writing must be authored by the 4-H member and can be fiction or non-fiction. Exhibits are to be displayed in a notebook or binder appropriately labeled on the front with the title, 4-H member’s name, grade in school, club and county. The notebook or binder is to include a title page and authored work. A bibliography giving credit to sources is to be included with any research article. Work can be handwritten or typewritten. Illustrations or photos may be included to enhance the writing. Writing should not include excessive blood, gore, violence or sexual themes and must be appropriate for all ages to read.

Creative Writing Exhibit Class Guidelines

Beginner (grades 3-5):

Create and exhibit one age/grade appropriate item. While length or word count is not required, one-page or 250 words is appropriate for most beginners.

Intermediate (grades 6-8):

Create and exhibit one age/grade appropriate item. While length or word count is not required, two-page or 500 words is appropriate for most intermediate members.

Advanced (grades 9-12):

Create and exhibit one age/grade appropriate item. While length or word count is not required, more than three pages or more than 750 words is appropriate for most advanced members.