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Part 1 The introduction to a presentation

 TIP 1 Don’t waste a lot of time in the beginning of your presentation introducing yourself, your company and the subject of your talk. Get on with it!

 KEY EXPRESSIONS

Greetings

  • Good morning / afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen…

Subject

  • I plan to say a few words about…
  • I’m going to talk about…
  • The subject of my talk is…
  • The theme of my presentation is…
  • I’d like to give you an overview of…

Structure

  • I’ve divided my talk into three parts.
  • My talk will be in (three) parts.
  • I’m going to divide…
  • First…
  • Second…
  • Third…
  • In the first part…
  • Then in the second part…
  • Finally…

Length

  • My talk will take about ten minutes.
  • The presentation will take about two hours… but there will be a twenty minute break in the middle. We’ll stop for lunch at 12 o’clock.

Policy on questions / discussion

  • Please interrupt if you have any question.
  • After my talk there’ll be time for a discussion and any question.


 TIP 2 How you begin your presentation depends on how formal the situation is. Most audiences prefer a relatively informal approach.

 TWO ALTERNATIVE WAYSOF INTRODUCING YOURSELF AND THE SUBJECT OF YOUR PRESENTATION

FAIRLY FORMAL

MORE FRIENDLY

  • Erm, perhaps we should begin.
  • Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
  • On behalf of…, may I welcome you to…
  • My name’s…
  • For those of you who don’t know me already,
  • I’m responsible for…
  • This morning I’d like to…
  • discuss…
  • report on…
  • and present…
  • If you have any questions you’d like to ask, I’ll be happy to answer them.

or

  • Perhaps we can leave any questions you may have until the end of the presentation.
  • OK, let’s get started.
  • Morning, everyone.
  • Thanks for coming.

 

  • I’m…
  • As you know,…

 

  • I’m in charge of…
  • What I want to do this morning is…
  • talk to you about…
  • tell you about…
  • and show you…
  • Feel free to ask any questions you like as we go along.

            or

  • And don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of time left over for questions at the end.

 

TIP 3 Focus on planning and preparation. Remember nine key areas: audience; speaker’s competence; content; structure; delivery; visual aids; practice; room; language.

Audience

  • expectations
  • technical knowledge
  • size
  • questions and / or discussion

Speaker’s competence

  • knowledge
  • presentation technique

Content

  • what to include
  • length / depth (technical detail)
  • number of key ideas

Structure

  • sequence: beginning, middle, end
  • repetition, summarizing

Delivery

  • style

formal / informal
enthusiasm / confidence

  • voice

variety / speed
pauses

  • body language

eye contact
gesture / movement
posture

Visual aids

  • type / design / clarity
  • relevance

Practice

  • tape recorder
  • script or notes

Room

  • size / seating
  • equipment (does it work?)
  • sound quality

Language

  • simple / clear
  • spelling
  • sentence length
  • structure signals

 

Part 2 Effective Openings

 TIP 4 Communication experts are all agreed that the first three minutes of a presentation are the most important. They talk about “hooks” – simple techniques for getting the immediate attention of the audience. A good start makes you feel more confident. Remember three hooks for your audience: a problem, amazing facts, stories.

  1. Give them a problem to think about. For instance: Supposeyour advertising budget was cut by 99% tomorrow. How would you go about promoting your product?
  2. Give them some amazing facts. For instance: I read somewhere the other day that the world’s highest paid executive works    for Disney and gets $230 million a year. Now that’s about $2000 a minute. That means he’s currently making more money than Volkswagen.
  3. Give them a story or personal anecdote. For instance: Have you ever been in the situation whereyou’ve had to negotiate with Japanese? I remember when I was working in Nagoya and everybody had told me the Japanese don’t like saying no. So in meetings I just kept saying yeahto everything. And they hated it. It turned out yeahsounds like noin Japanese!

 The following frames will help you prepare effective openings:

PROBLEM TECHNIQUE

  1. Suppose ……………………………………………………………………………………

How would you…………………………………………………………………………...?

  1. Have you ever wondered why it is that …………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………..…? You have?

Well, if I could show you …………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………….………would you be interested?

  1. How many people here this morning / afternoon / evening ……………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………….?

Well, imagine ……………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………////…………… Do you think that’s possible?

 

AMAZING FACTS TECHNIQUE

  1. Did you know that ……………………………………………………..……………..…?
  2. According to the latest study, ……………………………………………………………
  3. Statistics show that ……………………………………………………………………….

4.   I read somewhere the other day that ……………………………………………………

 

STORY / ANECDOTE TECHNIQUE

  1. You know, …………………………………………………………………………………

When I think about ……………………………………………………………………….

I’m reminded of ………………………………………………………………………......

  1. Have you ever been in the situation when ……...……………………………………….

It turned out that …………………………………………………………………………

 

TIP 5 Whatever technique you choose, prepare your opening carefully. You should know exactly how you are going to start.]

Part 3 Stating your purpose

TIP 6 It is essential to state the purpose of your presentation near the beginning. To do this clearly and effectively you need a few simple presentation verbs: take a look at, report on, give an overview of etc.

A LIST OF PRESENTATION VERBS

This morning I’m going to be

  • talking to you about
  • telling you
  • showing you
  • reporting on
  • taking a look at

So, I’ll start off by

  • filling you in on the background to
  • bringing you up-to-date on
  • giving you an overview of
  • making a few observations about
  • outlining

And than I’ll go on to

  • highlight what I see as the main
  • put the situation into some kind of perspective
  • discuss in more depth the implications of
  • talk you through
  • make detailed recommendations regarding

TIP 7 When you give a presentation in English, clarity is very important, particularly if there are non-native speakers in your audience. It often helps if you state your purpose at each stage of your talk as well as in the beginning.

PRESENTATION EXTRACTS

  1. First of all, I’d like to outlinethe main points of my talk.
  2. Perhaps I should start off by stressingthat this is just a preliminary report.
  3. But later on I will, in fact, be putting forwardseveral detailed proposals.
  4. One thing I’ll be dealing withis the issue of the minimum wage.
  5. And I’ll also be raising the question of privatization.
  6. So, that we’re really looking atare likely developments in the structure of the company over the next five to ten years.
  7. I few could just focus our attention on the short-term objectives to begin with.
  8. The eighteen-month plan, which by now you should’ve all had time to look at, sets outin detail our main recommendations.
  9. Basically, what we’re suggestingis a complete reorganization of staff and plant.
  10. I’d now like to turnmy attention to some of the difficulties we’re likely to face.
  11. I’m sure there’s no need to spell outwhat the main problem is going to be.
  12. But we do need to seriously addressthe question of how we are going to overcome it.
  13. The basic message I’m trying to get acrossis simple. We can’t rely on government support for much longer.
  14. Disappointing end-of-year figures underlinethe seriousness of the situation.
  15. And the main conclusion we’ve come tois that massive corporate restructuring is necessary.

Part 4 Dealing with questions

TIP 8 When people ask you questions, listen carefully. Avoid the temptation to interrupt. It’s a good idea to comment on it before you actually answer it. This gives you time to think.

There are four basic types of questions:

Type of a question

Possible responses

Good questions

Thank people for asking them. They help you to get your message across to the audience better.

 Good point.

I’m glad you asked that.

That’s a very good question.

 Difficult questions

These are the ones you can’t or prefer not to answer. Say you don’t know, offer to find out or ask the questioner what they think.

I’m afraid I don’t have that information with me.

I’m afraid I’m not in a position to comment on that.

Can I get back to you on that?

Interesting. What do you think?

 Unnecessary questions

You have already given this information. Point this out, answer briefly again and move on.

 Well, as I said…

Well, as I mentioned earlier…

I think I answered that earlier.

 Irrelevant question.

Try not to sound rude, but move on.

To be honest, I think that raises a different issue.

I’m afraid I don’t see the connection.

 Part 5 How to become a good presenter:

 1. LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANGE
Check everything before you are due to speak – room, seating, visibility, acoustics and equipment.

2. KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO START
Plan the first minute of your presentation down to the last detail. Try to memorize your  opening words. This will help you sound confident and in control.

3. GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT 
Don’t waste time on long boring introductions. Try to make at least one powerful statement in the first two minutes.

4. TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Many of the best presentations sound more like conversations. So, keep referring back to your audience, ask them questions, respond to their reactions.

5. KNOW WHAT WORKS
Certain things are always popular with an audience: personal experiences, stories with a message, dramatic comparisons, amazing facts they didn’t know. Use them to the full.

6. BE CONCISE
Keep your sentences short and simple. Use deliberate pauses to punctuate your speech.

7. SPEAK NATURALLY
Don’t be afraid to hesitate when you speak, but make sure you pause in the right place. Remember, you are not an actor trying to remember lines. A certain amount of hesitation is actually quite natural.

8. TREAT YOUR AUDIENCE AS EQUALS
Never talk down (or up) to your audience. Treat them as equals, no matter who they are.

9. TAKE YOUR TIME 
Whenever you make a really important point, pause and let the full significance of what  you have said sink in… before you move on.

10. DON’T MAKE A SPECIAL EFFORT TO BE FUNNY
If you make a joke, don’t stop and wait for people to laugh. Keep going and let the laughter interrupt you.

11. LET YOUR VISUALS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
Good visuals are just that – visuals. Don’t put boring tables of figures and long lines of text on the overhead and read them out Stick to the main points. Experiment with three- dimensional charts, cartoons, interesting typefaces – anything to catch your audience’s attention.

12. NEVER COMPETE WITH YOUR VISUALS
When showing a visual, keep quiet and give people time to take it in. Then make brief comments only. Point to the relevant parts of the visual as you speak. If you want to say more, switch off your projector to do so.

13. DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE 
Learn from other public speakers, but don’t try to copy them. Be comfortable with your own abilities. Don’t do anything that feels unnatural for you, just because it works for someone else.

14. ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE
The secret of being an excellent speaker is to enjoy the experience of speaking – try to enjoy the experience!

15. WELCOME QUESTIONS FROM YOUR AUDIENCE
When members of your audience ask you a question, it is usually because they have a genuine interest in what you are saying and want to learn more. Trat questions as an opportunity to get your message across better.

16. FINISH STRONGLY
When you are ready to finish your presentation, slow down, and lower your voice. Look at the audience and deliver your final words slowly and clearly. Pause, let your words hang in the air a moment longer, smile, say Thank you and then sit down.

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