SD 4-H Character Public Speaking Contest Seeks Participants Back »

August 5, 2015 @ Sioux Empire Fair | Sioux Falls, SD

4-H members from eastern South Dakota are invited to participate in the annual SD 4-H Character Public Speaking Contest on Wednesday, August 5 at the Sioux Empire Fair. The Contest provides 4-H members the opportunity to use their critical thinking, writing and speaking skills to tell an audience how CHARACTER COUNTS!™ fits into a 4-H project area, current event or a personal experience.

Participants will meet at 8:00 A.M. by the 4-H Snack Stand at the W.H Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, SD. All contestants will present their speeches in morning rounds. There are two divisions, Juniors (ages 8-13) and Seniors (ages 14-19). Within these two divisions, the top two senior speakers and the top junior speaker at each judging station will advance to the championship round. First time contestants in the 4-H CC! Public Speaking Contest can enter as a novice.

The contest is hosted by SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, Sioux Empire CHARACTER COUNTS!, Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce with generous sponsorship from First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard.


  • Registration deadline for the event is Friday, July 17th.
  • 4-Hers from eastern South Dakota may register for the contest on the 4-H Online website.
  • For help registering, view the Registration Help Sheet.

For more information, contact Karelyn Farrand, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Character Education Field Specialist (605.626.2870).

Topic Guidelines

Competing speakers will deliver a 3-6 minute speech on one of the following topics:

  • Speak about a 4-H project area and tell how CHARACTER COUNTS!™ fits into it
  • Speak about a current event and tell how CHARACTER COUNTS! fits into it
  • Speak about a personal experience and tell how CHARACTER COUNTS! fits into it

Participation Guidelines

  • Limited to one entry per person.
  • Returning competitors must choose a different topic from previous years.
  • Prior contest winners are also encouraged to compete.

Awards & Prizes

All competitors will receive:

In addition, courtesy of First PREMIER Bank, outstanding competitors in each division will receive the following: 

Junior Division (ages 8-13)

  • 1st: $500 Certificate of Deposit
  • 2nd: $250 Certificate of Deposit
  • 3rd: Recognition and Plaque

Senior Division (ages 14-19)

  • 1st: $1,000 Certificate of Deposit
  • 2nd: $500 Certificate of Deposit
  • 3rd & 4th: Recognition and Plaque

Novice Division

A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to the top novice entry in both the Junior and Senior Divisions. Speakers entered as novice contestants will not have the option of advancing to finals. Novice contestants may enter the regular divisions if they choose.

CHARACTER COUNTS! and the Six Pillars of Character are trademarks of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.

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