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4-H Communication is…


4-H Communication Activities

Speaking in front of a group is the number one fear of Canadian adults, but not for those who have been in the 4-H program. 4-H Alumni often list communication skills as one of the biggest assets they have gained from the 4-H program. Practicing communication activities in a club setting not only builds member’s confidence, but also helps them to effectively convey their thoughts and opinions to others.

Taking Part in a Communication Activity is a 4-H Member Expectation

Communication is important, and in order to complete and get credit for their year, 4-H members must take part in a communications activity. For a communications activity to qualify, it must be:

  1. Prepared by the member.
  2. Presented in front of a 4-H group.
  3. At least three minutes long.

Types of Communication Activities

Many people think that a communication activity is participating in public speaking or presentations competitions. Well, it might, but these are only a couple options. There are lots of others to choose from, including:

  1. Emceeing a 4-H function or activity.
  2. Giving formal introductions and thank yous to guest speakers.
  3. Presenting a report on club activities.
  4. Facilitating a project workshop.

These would also be a big help to the club leader!

Using activities other than speakoffs can be a way to “kill two birds with one stone”. It’s often difficult to include all of the required activities in your program plan on dates that work out for all your members. By encouraging flexibility in your plan, you can get more accomplished in less time. For example, some experienced members could give a project workshop that would not only fulfil their communication requirement, but also teach other members new project skills.

Communications is a Year Round Activity

Include communication training throughout the year. Having members make motions, stand to answer a creative roll call, or participate in group discussions will give members more confidence to speak in front of a group. These small steps will all add up to a more successful final activity, whatever each member chooses to do. Be creative when planning ways to include communication activities in your club, this will keep your members interested and challenged, while making better use of your time!


There are materials available to help you with your club’s communication program. Make sure your club has copies of “Speaking Your Way to Success: A Step-by-step guide to creating effective speeches and presentations”

The following Communications supplies are used to help coach and improve members’ public speaking and presentations skills. There are also resources used to guide the organizing and judging of any 4-H communications competition or event, as well as any associated rules or responsibilities.

From Paper to Podium – Looking for a way to teach your members the ins and outs of public speaking and presentations in a fun and interactive way? Selecting a topic, talking speed, and using props are just the curve of the cloverleaf when it comes to this interactive CD-ROM; complete with video, worksheets, site hosts and learning modules.

How to Emcee An Event – A one-page overview of the responsibilities and etiquette associated with being an emcee.

Speaking Your Way to Success Manual – A guide to preparing and presenting effective presentations and speeches.

Communication Banners

As you prepare for your upcoming Club Communication Competition, we are pleased to let you know that AltaLink will continue their generous support of 4-H Alberta’s Communications program and will remain the sole Communications sponsor across all Club, District, Region, and the Provincial competitions in 2020.

To honour this generous commitment, we ask you to please recognize AltaLink during your Communications event in the following ways:

  • Recognition in your program guide/booklet/handout
  • Thank you by event MC
  • Banner is displayed during the event
  • Group photo with the banner is taken
  • If you know of any AltaLink employees in your community, please invite them to your event.  (Please do not email Scott Schreiner to invite him to the event.  The email is only to send Thank you letters/ pictures)
  • Please email or mail a Thank You to AltaLink including the event photo (address below).
    Scott Schreiner
    Vice President, Communications
    2611 3 Ave SE

Are you hosting a Club, District or Regional Communications Competition? Listed below are banners you can download and print to display at your event

Club Communications Banner (PDF for printing)

Club Communications Banner (JPEG)

District Communications Banner

Regional Communications Banner

Public Speaking Competitions

(September 2019 – August 2021)

Public Speaking Organizer’s Guide contains:

  • How to organize a public speaking competition
  • Roles and responsibilities of members, Leaders and competition officials
  • Information on how to judge a competition
  • Public speaking rules and guidelines
  • Sample Programming
  • Organizers Checklist

Public Speaking Judge’s Orientation Package (one per public speaking judge) contains:

  • Letter to judges
  • Judge’s roles and responsibilities
  • Public speaking philosophy
  • Special procedures 4-H members are taught
  • How to judge and score speeches
  • Public speaking rules and guidelines

Public Speaking Judge’s Comment Sheet   – (each judge completes one sheet/speaker impromptu/prepared) sample of how to complete the comment sheet

Public Speaking Judge’s Score Sheet – (one per judge, 6 competitors per sheet)

Public Speaking Judge’s Placing Sheet   – Used by judges to record overall placing. This sheet is then given to the teller. (one per three judges)

Public Speaking Timer Sheet   – Used to record speakers time faults. (10 speakers per sheet)

Public Speaking Teller Sheet – 3 or 6 Judges

3 Judges

Used to tally the judge’s scores when same 3 judges are used for both impromptus and prepared speech (12 speakers per sheet).

6 Judges

Used to tally the judges scores after the completion of prepared speech and impromptu. Used for larger clubs where different judges are used for impromptus and speeches. (10 speakers per sheet)

Public Speaking Rules and Guidelines (one per family)

Quote Reference Source Sheet

Impromptu Topics

Here are some hints to help you organize your impromptu list as well as some sample topics.

Presentation Competitions

(September 2019 – August 2021)

Presentations Organizer’s Guide (one per club) contains:

  • How to organize a presentation competition
  • Roles and responsibilities of members, leaders and competition officials
  • Information on how to judge a competition
  • Presentation rules and guidelines
  • Organizers Checklist

Presentations Judge’s Orientation Package (one per presentation judge) contains:

  • Letter to judges.
  • Types of presentations.
  • Criteria for judging and scoring.
  • Presentation competition rules and guidelines.

Presentations Judge’s Comment Sheet (each judge completes a sheet for each presentation)

Presentations Judge’s Score Sheet  (one per judge, 7 presentations per sheet) | word | excelexcel – legal size

Legal Size

Presentations Judge’s Placing Sheet  – Used by judges to record the overall placings. This sheet is then given to the teller. (one per three judges)

Presentations Timer Sheet  – Used to record times for presentations. (14 presentations per sheet)

Presentations Teller Sheet   – Used to tally the judges scores. (7 presentations per sheet)

Quote Reference Source Sheet