Hi, my name is Rebecca, and in today’s lesson I’m
going to show you how to give a presentation in English more effectively. Okay? Now, of
course giving a presentation is never easy, especially when it is in another language
which is not your native language — you’re going to face some special challenges. And
as a corporate trainer who has worked with people from all over the world, I can tell
you that giving a presentation is difficult, but it is also one of the most effective ways
to improve your English and also to increase your level of confidence as a professional
speaking in English. Okay? So let’s look at some of the strategies that you can follow
in order to give a presentation that is more successful. All right, so
I’ve divided the board into two sections; the first part is things that
you should do, and in the second part we’ll talk about things you should not do. So the
first thing that you must remember when you’re speaking in English and giving a presentation
is to use simple language. Many people feel that their English is not good enough and
so they try to use very complicated words. However, if you’re not comfortable with those
words or you’re not sure of the meaning of those words, it’s not going to go over very well.
Simple, clear communication is powerful, so try to remember that point. Okay? Next: speak slowly.
Because you have an accent — and everyone has an accent –, but perhaps
if you have an accent and English is not your native language, it’s going to be a little
bit harder for people to understand you so you need to speak much more slowly than you think.
So however slowly you think you’re speaking, speak a little more slowly. It will only
make it easier for other people to understand exactly what you’re saying. Okay? All right.
The next point is to make sure to have your visuals professionally edited. Make sure that
a native English speaker or an editor has checked all your visuals. There is nothing
that compromises the professionalism of a presentation more than seeing grammatical
errors or spelling errors in the visuals. So make sure to have your
visuals professionally edited. The next thing you want to do is to make sure
to use more verbs rather than nouns. When you use a lot of nouns it makes… It makes
anything that you hear much heavier and difficult to understand. Let me give you a little example of that.
Okay? One second. Okay, so for example, if I say: “The delivery of the package took
place on Sunday afternoon.” That’s okay. It’s not impossible to understand, but let’s compare
it to this: “The post office delivered the package on Sunday afternoon.” It’s much easier
in the second example because I used verbs rather than nouns. Okay? Next point:
use active verbs rather than passive verbs. Let me give you another example. “5000
apartments were rented by ABC Housing last month.” That’s an example of using passive verbs.
“5000 apartments were rented”, right? Let’s contrast that with the active verb. “ABC
Housing rented 5000 apartments last month.” Okay? So you can see it’s much easier
when you use the active verbs. The next point is if possible at all, try
to work with a trainer. Try to work with a professional English trainer or a presentations
coach who can help you to improve your presentation skills, who can give you feedback on how to
improve; what mistakes you’re making, what are your strengths and weaknesses. It will
be very, very helpful to you so try to do that if you have the opportunity. Okay? The
next point is to use a lot of transition words in your presentation. This helps your
listener to know where you’re going. So you can say, for example: “furthermore”, “nevertheless”,
“on the contrary”. These words explain to your listener what you’re trying to say with
even more clarity than if you did not use the words. So try to get accustomed
to using transition words. Another important point, especially in different
parts of the world is to make sure to write down any important numbers. You need to write
them down so that people can see them clearly and also because in some parts of the world,
numbers are described or said in different ways. So for example: this number is what? “One hundred
thousand”, but in India for example they call this “one lakh”. So one lakh is different from saying one hundred thousand.
And if your audience is not familiar with the term “one lakh” or with the term
“one hundred thousand” then you want to make sure you have written the number
down so it is 100% clear. All right? So these are examples of things you should
do; now let’s look at some things you should not do. All right? Don’t use abbreviations, or
acronyms, or short forms of names of organizations or anything else from your country which other
people are not familiar with. Right? Say the entire name and then afterwards you can use
the abbreviation once you have explained it. You also want to avoid jargon. Now, what is jargon?
Jargon is the special kind of language that people who are in a special, in a particular
field use when they speak to each other. So for example: if you listen to computer guys
speaking to each other, you will feel like you landed on another planet because they
speak language that only they can understand. So when you’re speaking to a general audience,
you want to avoid using jargon. Just use regular plain English to explain what you mean, that way
you will reach more members of your audience. Okay? Also, make sure you avoid slang.
Even though you might hear native English speakers using
slang in their presentations, it’s best that you don’t use it, especially if you’re not
familiar with how to use it. The worst thing is when we hear non-native English speakers
using slang in an incorrect way because that doesn’t sound professional at all. All right?
And another point is to avoid crutch words. Now, what’s a crutch word? For that you have
to know: what’s a crutch? Well, crutches are what people use… you know, for example:
if someone has broken their leg, they might use something like this to walk along and
they, these crutches, these sticks support them while they’re walking let’s say with a broken leg.
Right? Similarly, when people are nervous, they sometimes use sounds instead
of words while they’re thinking of the right thought or word. So they might say: “Mm, ah,
for example, uh, like, uh, yeah”, and things like that. These are crutch words and they’re
often used by people who are not sure what word to say next. So avoid crutch words or sounds.
Silence is okay if you’re thinking. So while you’re thinking, try to keep your
mouth closed and avoid these crutch sounds. So these are some basic DOs and DON’Ts — right?
— for giving a presentation in English. There are many other aspects of giving a presentation
in English and I’m going to write some of those for you on the board. Okay, so here are some
other skills that you need to master in order to give a successful
presentation in English. You’ll find lots of information on this and other strategies on
our website: www.presentationprep.com . There you can learn how to, for example, overcome fear.
It’s very natural for you to feel a lot of fear when you are presenting in a language
which is not your native language. Everybody, or many people, feel afraid in giving a presentation
in general, but when you do it in English it’s a little bit more challenging. So you’ll
learn some mental strategies, psychological strategies, and physical strategies to really
help you with this aspect of the fear. You’ll also learn how to use body language
more effectively. In different cultures, body language means different things, so it’s really
important to learn how to use body language effectively in an international context. You’ll
also learn how to structure your presentation for greater clarity. Okay? Also important to
be able to handle the question and answer session effectively. That’s an important ending
of your presentation. So especially if your presentation has gone well, you want to be
completely in command during your question and answer session. So you’ll learn some effective
strategies for doing that. And last but not least, you’ll also learn how to… you’ll also
be able to print out presentation templates which you can actually use when you’re doing
your next presentation. So for that, go to our website www.presentationprep.com . It’s a free website.
www.presentationprep.com . All the best with your presentations!