The second annual J.LIVE Talk 2016 was held on Sunday, November 13, 2016 at the George Washington University. With an emphasis on 21st century communication skills, J.LIVE (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) Talk 2016 invited college level Japanese learners to showcase their presentation skills. The contest encouraged contestants to make use of audio-visual materials, audience interactions, and other innovations to enhance the messages they delivered in Japanese. Q&A sessions with the judges and audience members also allowed the contestants to display their interpersonal skills.
This was the first year that J.LIVE Talk opened its door to colleges and universities beyond the East Coast. The contest received over 40 entries from 18 schools in 12 states, from locales as diverse as California, Minnesota, and Texas. The 9 finalists and an alternate* who came to Washington, DC for the event had been selected a month prior to the event through a preliminary round of video presentations.
At J.LIVE Talk, a panel of five judges evaluated each finalist’s presentation by taking into consideration not only his or her linguistic proficiency, but also the vision and dynamism he or she displayed, and the level of audience engagement that he or she was able to achieve. Each finalist’s presentation, which was accompanied by PowerPoint slides and audio-visual clips, was followed by 2 to 3 questions from the judges and the audience. (Only the judges’ Q&A session had an impact on the contestants’ score; the Q&A with the audience was not scored.) Mr. Tamaki Tsukada, the Minister for Public Affairs of the Embassy of Japan, served as a judge. He said that that selecting awardees from amongst the finalists’ excellent presentations was a “very tough call.” After careful consideration, the following decisions were announced in the Award Ceremony.