Wow! That was a wonderful presentation!

Aleda Krause, JALT Director of Records

Did you see a great presentation at a chapter meeting or mini-conference? Have you read a fantastic article in a SIG or chapter newsletter? Do you wish there were some way to get the word out about the wonderful presenter or writer who impressed you? Great news! There are actually two JALT programs designed to encourage these JALT members: the Chapter-Sponsored Program for First-Time Presenters and the Best of JALT Award.
If the presenter you adored has never presented at a JALT National Conference, you can encourage your chapter to nominate the presentation as a chapter-sponsored presentation at the annual conference. Under this program, the presentation does not have to undergo the rigorous national vetting process, as it has been locally vetted, and so it is automatically accepted into the program. Everyone at the conference can have a chance to see the presentation, and the chapter that sponsored the presenter is thanked in the conference handbook. Each of JALT’s chapters is allowed to select one first-time presenter every JALT year under this program. Chapters may also decide to give the presenter some help paying for conference fees or travel to the conference. Talk to your chapter officers if you think a presenter was especially good and deserves to be given a wider audience at the JALT Conference.
What if the presenter has already presented at a JALT National Conference and isn’t eligible for that program? No problem! We also have a Best of JALT program. Each chapter and SIG can nominate one presentation to receive a Best of JALT award at the conference. The award certificate is suitable for framing, and the names of the people who receive the award are announced at the conference and published in TLT. Other groups looking for presenters can be assured that these presentations are good ones. Chapter program chairs can use the Best of JALT list of presentations in planning their programs.
In fact, I have very fond memories of having received a Best of JALT award for a presentation I did called "Grammar Games" at the Kitakyushu Chapter way back in 1997. The certificate is still in my scrapbook and the award is on my résumé.
Starting next year, plans are to expand Best of JALT awards to include the best article that has appeared in a SIG or chapter newsletter. These writers are unsung heroes who deserve to be recognized, too. If you have read an especially informative and useful article, let your SIG or chapter officers know.
For the second year in a row, there will also be a party at the conference to celebrate the winners of the Best of JALT awards. The first party at JALT2010 surpassed everyone’s wildest expectations and was well attended. This year it is to be the main social event at JALT2011. The folks at English Central were quick to offer support for the first event held last year, and were so impressed with the turnout and the energy that they pledged to support the event again this year. Chapters and SIGs also contribute to putting on the party and deserve our thanks for their financial pledges and moral support.
If you plan to be at JALT2011 at the Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Yoyogi, Tokyo, make sure to come to the party and congratulate the winners. The party will be on Saturday, November 19, 7:00-9:00 in the Reception Hall. I’ll be there. Hope to see you there too! And who knows? We might be celebrating you!

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