Verbal Presentations and Creative Writing


(Eligible for State Fair)


Visit State Site


The communications project teaches verbal and non-verbal communication and presentation skills.


State Fair Entries:

Demonstration – 3 junior and 3 senior individuals, 3 junior and 3 senior teams per county.

Informative 4-H Presentation – 3 junior individuals, 3 senior individuals

Professional Persuasive Presentation – 3 junior and 3 senior individuals, 3 junior and 3 senior teams per county

Public Speaking – 3 junior and 3 senior individuals per county.

Creative Writing – 3 exhibits per county, one per level.


Contact Us

Lauren Fenneman, Youth Development Educator
Purdue Extension Dubois County
505 W 5th Street 
P.O. Box 588
Jasper, IN 47547

Overall Exhibit Guidelines

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.


A series of 4-H manuals is available with activities designed to develop communication skills at a specific grade level.  Module 1 is for Beginner Level youth in grades 3-5.  Module 2 is for Intermediate Level youth in grades 6-8.  Module 3 is for Advanced Level youth in grades 9-12.  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.


The Dubois County 4-H Council reserves the right to not display any exhibit that may be deemed inappropriate for the fair-going audience.


The following verbal communication events and activities are offered to 4-H members as a way to teach presentation and public speaking skill development.  They are often used in 4-H meetings, and a county 4-H youth development program may choose to offer these as competitive events. The demonstration, informative presentation, professional persuasive presentation and public speaking are competitive events at Indiana State Fair. 


The following apply to all 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 laptop 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. 
  • Live animals are not permitted at state fair.
  • There is no interaction with the audience.
  • Questions may be asked of the contestants by the judges following the presentation.
  • Events that have a team category, it is for two (2) people and will be determined by the highest grade level of any member of that team. If a team is awarded the State Fair Achievement Trip, only those team members in grades 9-12 will be permitted to attend the trip.
  • The State Fair Achievement Trip may be awarded in each event to a maximum of the top three (3) blue merit senior individual members and top (1) blue merit senior team at the discretion of the judges. Trip winners must be of blue merit quality.


Refer to the Indiana State Fair 4-H handbook for the date, time, and location of each event.  Check with your county extension educator for information about entering these events.

  • 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 intramuscularly 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


Exhibits for all years are due at Purdue Extension-Dubois County by last business day of June.

Please enter project into FairEntry by same date.
  • This exhibit allows youth to express creativity while developing writing skills. Examples include a story, autobiography, biography, journal entry, poetry, children’s story, skit or play, fiction in verse, alternative history, song lyrics, movie script, creative nonfiction, 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. While most creative writing exhibits will not require research, 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: All Levels - 4-H member can exhibit 1 or more projects of their own design utilizing different techniques and project was completed in current year. 

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.

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

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