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IMPROVE YOUR PRESENTATIONS Starting a Presentation

In modern English, Presentations tend to be much less formal than they were even twenty years ago. Most audience these days prefer a relatively informal approach. However, there is a certain structure to the opening of a Presentation that you should observe. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Get people's attention Welcome them Introduce yourself State the purpose of your presentation State how you want to deal with questions

Get people's attention


If I could have everybody's attention. If we can start. Perhaps we should begin? Let's get started.

Welcome them

Welcome to Microsoft. Thank you for coming today. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of Intel, I'd like to welcome you.

Introduce yourself

My name's Jane Shaw. I'm responsible for travel arrangements. For those of you who don't know me, my name's Tom Stotter. As you know, I'm in charge of public relations. I'm the new Marketing Manager.

State the purpose of your presentation


This morning I'd like to present our new processor. Today I'd like to discuss our failures in the Japanese market and suggest a new approach.

This afternoon, I'd like to report on my study into the German market. What I want to do this morning is to talk to you about our new mobile telephone system. What I want to do is to tell you about our successes and failures in introducing new working patterns. What I want to do is to show you how we've made our first successful steps in the potentially huge Chinese market.

State how you want to deal with questions.


If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them as we go along. Feel free to ask any questions. Perhaps we can leave any questions you have until the end? There will be plenty of time for questions at the end.

Signposting
When we are giving a presentation, there are certain key words we use to signpost different stages in our presentation. These words are not difficult to learn but it is absolutely essential that you memorize them and can use them when you are under pressure giving a presentation. When you want to make your next point, you move on.

Moving on to the next point. Id like to move on to the next point if there are no further questions

When you want to change to a completely different topic, you turn to.

Id like to turn to something completely different. Lets turn now to our plans for next year.

When you want to give more details about a topic you expand or elaborate.

Id like to expand more on this problem we have had in Chicago. Would you like me to expand a little more on that or have you understood enough? I dont want to elaborate any more on that as Im short of time.

When you want to talk about something which is off the topic of your presentation, you digress.

Id like to digress here for a moment and just say a word of thanks to Bob for organizing this meeting. Digressing for a moment, Id like to say a few words about our problems in Chicago.

When you want to refer back to an earlier point, you go back.


Going back to something I said earlier, the situation in Chicago is serious. Id like to go back to something Jenny said in her presentation.

To just give the outline of a point, you summarize.


If I could just summarize a few points from Johns report. I dont have a lot of time left so Im going to summarize the next few points.

To repeat the main points of what you have said, you recap.

Id like to quickly recap the main points of my presentation. Recapping quickly on what was said before lunch

For your final remarks, you conclude.


Id like to conclude by leaving you with this thought If I may conclude by quoting Karl Marx .

Survival Language
In modern English, Presentations tend to be much less formal than they were even twenty years ago. Most audience these days prefer a relatively informal approach. However, there is a certain structure to the opening of a Presentation that you should observe. I got the language for today's lesson from an excellent book by Mark Powell called "Presenting in English ".

If you get your facts wrong.


I am terribly sorry. What I meant to say was this. Sorry. What I meant is this.

If you have been going too fast and your audience is having trouble keeping up with you.

Let me just recap on that. I want to recap briefly on what I have been saying.

If you have forgotten to make a point.


Sorry, I should just mention one other thing. If I can just go back to the previous point, there is something else that I forgot to mention.

If you have been too complicated and want to simplify what you said.

So, basically, what I am saying is this. So, basically, the point I am trying to get across is this.

If you realize that what you are saying makes no sense.


Sorry, perhaps I did not make that quite clear. Let me rephrase that to make it quite clear.

If you cannot remember the term in English.


Sorry, what is the word I am looking for? Sorry, my mind has gone blank. How do you say 'escargot' in English?

If you are short of time.


So just to give you the main points. As we are short of time, this is just a quick summary of the main points.

A Friendly Face
When you stand up in front of that audience, youre going to be really nervous. Poor speakers pay little or no attention to their audience as people. Big mistake. If you can see your audience as a group of individuals, youll be much more likely to connect with those individuals. Start looking around your audience. See that big guy with his arms folded and an impress me look on his face? Best not to look at him too much. How about that lady with the big smile, looking encouragingly towards you? OK, thats your mother, she doesnt count. But that other lady with a similar smile is someone you dont know. But from now on shes your friend. Every time

4 that you need any encouragement, look in her direction. Make good eye contact. Establish a form of communication between you. And now youve found one friend, youll begin to see others in the audience. Pick out friends all-round the room. If you see an impress me person and get discouraged, switch your view back to one of your friends. Once you are aware that there are people in your audience who want you to succeed, youll be much more likely to succeed.

Dealing with Nerves


Almost everybody is nervous when they stand up to speak. Theres no shame in being nervous. However, if you are too nervous, your anxiety will spread to your audience, making them nervous in turn. So, how can you stop yourself from feeling too nervous? Here are a few tips. 1. Dont get hung up about being nervous. Its a normal human reaction. Dont make yourself more nervous because youre nervous. 2. Walk off your excessive nervousness. If possible, walk outside and get some fresh air at the same time. But a walk down the corridor is better than no walk. 3. Dont let your legs go to sleep. Keep the blood supply moving. Keep both feet on the floor and lean forward. Wiggle your toes. If you can stand up without disturbing anybody, do so. 4. Work your wrists, arms and shoulders to get the tension out of them. Gentle movements, not a major workout, will remove that tension. 5. Work your jaw. Gentle side-to-side or circular motion will help to loosen it. 6. Repeat positive affirmations quietly to yourself. I am a good presenter. It may seem corny but it works. 7. Above all, breathe deeply. Make sure your stomach is going out when you breathe in. Dont be self-conscious about these warm-up activities. Most good speakers do them. Most people wont even notice that you are doing them. Theyre here to hear you speak, theyre not interested in what you do when you are not in the limelight.

Stand Up When You Speak


I dont think youre going to like todays point. I dont like it very much myself but its got to be done. For most purposes, when you give a presentation you should stand. Not clutching the back of your chair for support, not leaning against the podium but two feet on the floor facing your audience. There are times when sitting is right. When its an informal discussion, for example, where everybody is to contribute. But most of the time you need to stand.

You can move around the room. This has the simple effect that people will look at you, not shut their eyes and drift off You can make eye contact with everybody You can reach all your props and teaching material easily Youre involving your whole body in the presentation. Many people think this makes it more memorable. Youre sending out the signal to the participants that this will be short. Only a few self-obsessed people stand up in front of audiences for longer than they need to. And youre not one of those, are you?

The worst part of standing up is the actual standing up. Most people dont feel at ease as they get out of their chair and walk forward to their speaking position. Here are a couple of tips.

As youre waiting, keep your feet flat on the floor. Dont have them crossed. Trust me, getting up and walking will be so much easier. Decide in advance where you are going to stand. Focus on that spot Walk forward briskly and confidently.

And thats how you become a stand up sort of person.

Stating your purpose


It is important to state your purpose clearly at the beginning of your talk. Here are some ways to do this: Talk about = to speak about a subject

Today I'd like to talk about our plans for the new site.

I'm going to be talking to you about the results of our survey.

Report on = to tell you about what has been done.


I'm going to be reporting on our results last quarter. Today I will be reporting on the progress we have made since our last meeting.

Take a look at = to examine


First, let's take a look at what we have achieved so far. Before we go on to the figures, I'd like to take a look at the changes we have made.

Tell you about = to speak to someone to give them information or instructions


First, I will tell you about the present situation, then go onto what we are going to do. When I have finished, Jack will then tell you about what is happening in Europe.

Show = to explain something by doing it or by giving instructions.


The object of this morning's talk is to show you how to put the theory into practice. Today I'm going to show you how to get the most out of the new software.

Outline = to give the main facts or information about something.


I'd like to outline the new policy and give you some practical examples. I will only give you a brief outline and explain how it affects you.

Fill you in on = to give some extra or missing information


I'd like to quickly fill you in on what has happened. When I have finished outlining the policy, Jerry will fill you in on what we want you to do.

Give an overview of = to give a short description with general information but no details.

Firstly, I would like to give you a brief overview of the situation. I'll give you an overview of our objectives and then hand over to Peter for more details.

7 Highlight = draw attention to or emphasize the important fact or facts.


The results highlight our strengths and our weaknesses. I'd now like to go on to highlight some of the advantages that these changes will bring.

Discuss = to talk about ideas or opinions on a subject in more detail.


I'm now going to go on to discuss our options in more detail. After a brief overview of the results, I'd like to discuss the implications in more detail.

Describing change - verbs


When we are giving a presentation, we often talk about changes. Usually we illustrate these changes with visual aids to show these changes. We need, however, to explain these changes. To do this, we need special verbs. Increase = to become larger or higher To shoot up = to increase in number or size very quickly Rise = to increase, become higher Take off = to start being successful or popular Improve = to get better Grow = to get bigger Expand = to bigger, larger Fall = become smaller in size or number Slump = to drop suddenly Shrink = become smaller Decline = become worst or smaller Level off = to stop falling or rising Peak = to reach the highest point before falling Bottom out = to reach the lowest point before improving

Describing change adjectives


When talk about changes, we often need to point out how big or rapid these changes have been. To do this, we need to use adjectives. A BIG INCREASE

8 A substantial increase, an enormous increase, a considerable increase, a spectacular increase A SMALL INCREASE A slight increase, a moderate increase, a marginal increase A FAST INCREASE A rapid increase, a sharp increase, a sudden increase A SLOW INCREASE A steady increase, a gradual increase

Commenting on visuals
When we are giving lots of information, we often use visuals to give an overview. However, we often need to highlight only one or two key points or figures and then comment on them. Here's some language to help you. Id like to look at these figures more closely We should focus our attention on one particular area I must draw your attention to this part of the graph Id like to point out the importance of this number We should think about what this figures mean This figure refers to sales in the UK only I should mention how we estimated this particular figure Id like to point out the small difference in these figures Now lets look in more detail at the underlying trend

Emphasizing
Make your presentation more persuasive by making your points stronger. Here is some language to help you: A total disaster The whole project was a total disaster from beginning to end. Extremely good

9 We have an extremely good chance of getting the contract.

A terrible mistake It wasnt a minor error. It was a terrible mistake and cost us millions to put right. Much cheaper Even if we had taken five per cent off our prices, we wouldnt have got the contract. They were much cheaper than us. One hundred per cent certain There is not the slightest doubt. I am one hundred per cent certain that that is what happened. Highly competitive This is a highly competitive market. I am not sure we should enter it. Far too expensive The Chinese and Koreans can offer much lower prices. We are far too expensive. Even better Their previous smart phone was good but this is even better. Fully aware I am fully aware of all the risks but I still think we should do it. Absolutely no chance There is absolutely no chance that we will lose the contract. They love our work. Here is some more language to help you make your presentation more persuasive and make your points stronger: Openly admit

10 I openly admit that I have made mistakes. If they openly admit that they were at fault, they may get the public back on their side.

Totally agree I totally agree with what Susan said. I totally agree with the previous speaker. Strongly recommend I strongly recommend that we invest in the Beijing project. The consultants strongly recommend that we pull out of the US completely. Firmly believe We firmly believe that this company has an excellent future ahead of it. I firmly believe that I am the best candidate for the job. Positively encourage I would like to positively encourage you to apply for the post. I want to positively encourage you to continue with what you are doing. Fully appreciate I fully appreciate that investing in the current economic climate is a risk. We fully appreciate the efforts you have made on our behalf. Categorically deny I categorically deny that I did anything wrong. My client categorically denies all the charges. Absolutely refuse I absolutely refuse to continue with this. I absolutely refuse to consider the possibility of failure.

Softening

11 Sometimes you want to soften the impact of what you are saying and give it less importance. Here are some ways to do that: Little The quality could have been a little better. The speaker should have spoken a little louder. Slight There is a slight problem we need to deal with. I have a slight doubt about John's suitability for the job. Minor I have a minor reservation about this plan. There are a few minor problems still to be dealt with. Fairly There are some fairly important changes still to be made. I think that I have a fairly good understanding of your problems. Quite I quite like it but no more than that. This is quite a good way to do this. Not quite He isn't quite as good as he thinks he is. I'm not quite sure that we are on the right lines. Partially He has been partially successful with his demands but he didn't get everything he wanted. It is partially finished but there is still a lot to do. Occasional There are occasional errors in his work. Everybody makes occasional mistakes. Rather

12 He is rather aggressive. This is rather too complicated. It is difficult to understand. More or less The report is more or less finished. I just need to read through it again. He is more or less useless. Cannot get anything right.

Asking for clarification


When we are talking to somebody, we dont always understand everything they say. There are two useful techniques for dealing with this. Firstly, we can simply ask them to repeat what they said.

Could you say that again please? I didnt follow that. Could you repeat it?

Secondly, we can ask them to say again a specific piece of information.


What time did you say? Where exactly are we to meet?

Sometimes you can only ask questions at the end of a presentation. In that case, you need to refer back to the point in the talk you need clarification on. Here are some useful expressions to help you do that: First focus on the point you want to discuss You talked about You talked about the problems with the Glasgow office. You told us about You told us about the success of the new Singapore plant. You dealt with You dealt with the difficulties with the new system quite quickly. You described

13 You described the reaction of the workers to the changes as 'broadly positive'. You commented on You commented on the problems with the euro. You referred to You referred to the poor economic outlook. You mentioned You mentioned the drop in sales in Europe.

Then ask for clarification Could you tell us? Could you tell us why you did that? Could you tell us if you think that was the right thing to do?

Could you explain? Could you explain why you said that? Could you explain the thinking behind that?

These set phrases can be very useful Could you be a bit more specific? Could you give us more details? Could you elaborate on that?

Dealing with questions 1


At the end of your talk, you may get questions. You don't have to answer all the questions - they may not be good questions! If it is a good question, thank the person and answer it. Some of the questions may be irrelevant and not connected to what you want to say. Say so and get another question.

14 Some may be unnecessary because you have already given the answer. Repeat the answer briefly and get the next question. And some may be difficult because you don't have the information. Again, say so and offer to find the information or ask the person asking the question what they think. When you get a question, comment on it first. This will give you time to think. Here are some useful expressions to help you do that: That's a very interesting question. I'm glad you've asked that question. A good question. I'm sorry but I don't have that information to hand. Can I get back to you about that? I'm afraid I can't answer that. I'm not in a position to comment on that. As I said earlier, I think I answered that when I said I did mention that. I don't see the connection. I'm sorry, I dont follow you. I think that is a very different issue.

Dealing with questions 2


Here are some useful expressions for when you are making a presentation or talk, perhaps in a meeting or in a congress or perhaps more informally in a discussion around the coffee machine. Are there any questions? That is all I have to say. Are there any questions?

15 Thats a good question. This is a good way of giving yourself time to think. Thats a good question. Let me think about it for a moment. As I said earlier As I said earlier, we are looking at several different solutions. Im afraid I cant answer that. Im afraid I cant answer that. That information is still confidential. Im afraid I dont know. Thats a good question. Im afraid I dont know the answer. We are still investigating. Im not in a position to answer that. This is a great way of blocking questions. Im not in a position to answer that. You will have to ask Peter about that.

Dealing with questions 3


Here are some ways of dealing with questions when you are the SPEAKER: When you don't want to answer:

To be honest, I'm not really the person to ask about that.

When someone interrupts you:

Sorry, could I just finish?

When you finally understand what they want to know:

Oh I see. So what you are asking is

When you realise they don't understand what you said:

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. What I was trying to say was

If you don't want to tell everyone:

16

Perhaps we can talk about it when I have finished.

To close off the presentation:

If there are no more questions, we should stop there.

Here are some ways of getting an answer when you are the QUESTIONER: When the answer doesn't give you the information you want:

Yes, that may be so, but what I want to know is

When the answer is evasive:

Yes, but you still haven't answered my question.

If you are skeptical and want more detail:

Well, I'm not so sure. Can you give us an example to illustrate that?

If you don't agree:

That may be so, but I still think ...

Rhetorical questions
Presentations are more interesting if you use a conversational style. They are livelier and you establish a rapport between you and your audience. You can do this by using a question and answer technique you ask a question and then answer it. Your questions create anticipation and guide your audience to your point of view. For example: Late delivery is a big problem. What is the best solution? There are two possible solutions. First How did we do this? It is a complex legal situation. So, how long will it take to sort out? Possibly years. Ive given you three possible scenarios. So, which would I recommend? I think the first scenario is

17 Late delivery is a big problem. What is the best solution? There are two solutions. First

Focusing attention
When we really want to focus the attention of our audience on an important point, we can use this "What . is ." Look at these examples:

We must cut costs. What we must do is cut costs. We need more reliable suppliers. What we need is more reliable suppliers.

Cause and effect


When you are giving a presentation, your job is to not only present the facts but also to give the reasons (why), the purpose (objectives) and the results. In a presentation, the language used is often very simple, much simpler than if we were writing. For example: Reason:

We sold the land because we needed to release the cash. We closed the offices in London because they were too expensive to run.

Purpose:

We set up the team to look at possible ways to improve efficiency. We sold the land to get necessary capital for investment.

Result: We sold the land and had enough cash to invest in new equipment.

18 We expanded the sales network and sales increased.

How to behave at a presentation


Most departments invite speakers to campus to discuss their research and many hold regular seminars that many refer to as "brown bag lunches" because they are often held during lunch hours and the audience is encouraged to bring a simple lunch. Speakers include current students, alumni, professors, and invited speakers. Regardless of who is speaking, it is important that you follow some simple rules for being a good audience because you are judged on your ability to demonstrate respect and foster intellectual communication.

Be Timely and Don't Distract Others Arrive on time and take your seat. Do not get up and move around during the talk unless told to do so. Remain seated until the presentation is over. If you must leave to go to the restroom, do not re-enter the room until there is a break, or take a seat quietly at the back of the room. Sit still with both feet planted on the floor and legs crossed. Keep your hands below your shoulders. Minimize any movement --it's discourteous to others. Be Attentive Try your best to pay attention. Make notes to help you focus. Do not talk or whisper during the presentation. Assist the Speaker If something is funny, laugh. If the speaker asks for questions, have one. If something great happens, applaud. If you enjoyed the presentation, applaud at the end. Also, do not assume the presentation is interactive. Until the speaker announces an exercise or activity, asks questions, requests comments, or asks the audience to interact, remain silent and attentive. Do Not Distract Others This is so important that it appears twice on this list. Do not do anything that distracts either the speaker or the audience. This would include but is not limited to: talking, whispering, wearing strong cologne, coughing, joking,

19 shuffling your feet, rustling papers, tapping your pencil, humming, heckling, allowing your cell phone to ring, talking on your cell phone, or sending e-mail or text messages. Be an Active Participant Come prepared to make your contribution as a member of the audience. It's an active role, not passive. Take notes, think of interesting questions, and have a positive attitude.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

WEB SITE: EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SPEAKING BY PEARSON BROWN: http://www.effective-public-speaking.com/index.html


CONSULTED: APR /07TH/ 2014, 3:52 P.M.

WEB SITE: http://www.susandunn.cc BY: SUSAN DUNN


B.A., English Literature, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota M.A., Clinical Psychology, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas Founding Member, CoachVille Member, International Coach Federation Member, SA Professional Coaches Association Certified Teleclass Instructor Founder, EQ Alive! Coach Certification Program , training and certifying coaches internationally.

CONSULTED: APR 07TH 2014, 4:00 P.M.