Presentations can be a challenge for everyone, particularly when they have to be given in a foreign language: keeping the audience’s attention, making your points clear, using the correct language or choosing the appropriate length can be difficult for those whose mother tongue is other than English. Today we are sharing with you 6 tips that surely will help you cope with these challenges, giving you the necessary confidence and showing that talking in public in English language is easier than it seems.
1. Planification is key.
This is just common sense, but important to keep in mind. Before any presentation, you need to plan: What are you going to talk about? What kind of audience are you talking to? What are the key points you want to make? What are the main conclusions? Once you have the answer, you can start to outline your presentation.
2. Good structure.
You need to organise your presentation in a simple and logical way in order to send a clear message to your audience. In this respect, it is recommended to keep it short (no more than 15-20 minutes long) and not overwhelm your audience with slides (no more than 20). Any presentation should have three main parts: opening (introduction), main body (development and details) and summary (conclusions). Keep your language direct and simple and try to make visual contact with your audience, showing that you master to topic in question.
3. Visual aids are important, therefore the use of slides is highly recommended.
However, avoid reading as much as you can and do not fill the slides with large blocks of texts. Instead, include short messages, images or graphs that will help the audience follow your talk and understand the key points.
4. Be prepared for questions.
It is very likely that your audience will have questions for you therefore you must think about the most likely questions in advance in order to give better answers. If there is no answer for any potential questions, explain why and think about possible alternatives. In any case, never choose “I don’t know” for an answer.
5. Be passionate.
Being well-prepared and using a clear language are not enough if you do not show some passion as well. If you are enthusiastic about the topic you talk about, the audience will be likely to pay more attention. In this respect, it is a good idea to use adjectives that will help you connect with the audience such as “awesome”, “remarkable” or “outstanding”.
6. Practice beforehand.
If you want to make sure that your presentation is the best possible, practice before you give it and record yourself. This will help you check that it is within the time limits described above and you will see by yourself that it has all the ingredients that will make it successful: clarity, structure, key points and passion.
Finally, we would like to share some relevant language concerning the different parts of the presentation:
- “The topic of today’s presentation is…”
- “This presentation consists of…”
- ”I’d like to give you an outline of my presentation…”
- Main body: in this part it is essential to use transition words and phrases when you go from one point to another, for example:
- “Let’s now move on to…”
- ”Now I’d like to look at”
- ”This leads us to the next point, which is…”
- ”For instance”
- “To conclude”
- ”In conclusion”
- ”I’d like to sum up the main points”
- ”Finally, let’s summarise what we have looked at…”
For more English tips, take a look to the posts below 😉