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53rd Japanese Language Speech Contest Finals

Handy Hints for Contestants

Below are a few points that the judges of the Speech Contest will be looking for. Please read these points carefully so that you can perform your very best on the day.


  • One slight bow is an appropriate way to begin your speech.
  • The MC at the event will announce your name and the title of your speech. It is not necessary to announce your name, the title of your speech and school or institution’s name.
  • Do not read your speech!  You may refer to your notes; however excessive consultation will result in marks being deducted.
  • Keep in mind that exaggerated body language is not appropriate in a Japanese speech.
  • Also, props (e.g. puppets, objects etc.) may not be used.
  • Please speak clearly. Don’t race and speak calmly.


  • Does the subject have universal appeal? Is it timely?
  • It will be easier if you talk about something you’re passionate about.
  • Is your individual viewpoint and way of thinking adequately expressed? Is the subject logically and effectively presented?
  • Your speech will be more meaningful if it is based on your personal opinions or experiences.
  • Contestants are encouraged to give not only factual information, but to talk about their reactions to and feelings about their individual experiences.
  • Contestants should also consider the message they want to convey to the audience through their speech.
  • Pay attention for your speech ending.


  • Is the language clear, correct and appropriate for the subject?
  • Are the pronunciation, intonation, grammar and vocabulary suitable?
  • Please use language that you can understand. It may be necessary to use new vocabulary in order to express your ideas, however try to use sentence structures you know and can use confidently.
  • Keep in mind that this is a speech contest and that the use of ‘masu’ and ‘desu’ forms are most appropriate.
  • Be careful of the pronunciation of Katakana words. Record your speech and listen back to it carefully. Watch Japanese news, movie or TV programs and try to copy their pronunciation.
  • Practice long/short consonants and long vowels.

We wish all participants the best of luck in the Japanese Language Speech Contest!

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