General comment from a judge
It was wonderful to see how well all candidates demonstrated their topics, Japanese expressions and presentations to such a high standard, representing their tertiary institutions admirably. I even wondered how many Japanese native speakers could do this as well as our contestants did. Personally, the originalities of content about ‘dual citizenship’ and ‘love for their own cultures’ impressed me a lot. I would like to mention three things for your future presentations below.
Originality: Everyone’s speech topics are based on personal experiences, which are certainly ‘original’. But, those who related their personal experiences to social issues perhaps scored more highly in the content category as it arguably brings the audience in a deep way.
Presentations: A good principle for future speeches of this kind is that it is definitely preferable for contestants to have memorised their speeches. If you can perform it without any cue card, it gives a very good impression to the judges. Also, it is very important where you look at during a speech. If you look around and talk to everyone instead of focusing on the front audience, it could definitely improve your delivery to the audience.
Accent and intonation: Several contestants had great topics, accurate grammar and a wonderful presentation, but their pronunciation let them down a bit. I highly recommend that everyone to practice accent and intonation over and over when preparing their presentation, even having a native speaker drill you on this.
I hope that those suggestions might help your future learning of Japanese.