A group of international associates are coming to visit. Your manager asks you to give a presentation on a project you've been working on. That's fine - you're used to giving presentations. But this is the first time you'll need to give the presentation in English. You're worried that you won't be able to present your ideas very well.
In this article, we look at the things you can do to ensure your presentation is a success and your visitors go away with a good impression.
There are three parts to presenting:
If you're already confident with creating presentations in your own language, there's no reason to 'reinvent the wheel' (completely change something that's already works).
Here are some tips that might help:
There are two common ways to practise giving presentations in order to try to remember them:
The first helps train your accuracy and is more useful when you're just starting your rehearsals. The second helps train your fluency and is more useful when you're soon to give your presentation.
As your memory improves, you can reduce your rehearsal notes each time you practise. You should eventually end up with just a few notes on your main points, which you can use as your presentation notes.
Besides practising what you'll present, you also need to practise how you'll present. This includes your body language, the speed and pausing in your speaking, and the feeling or emotion that you express.
One of the simplest and most effective ways of doing this is to record and watch yourself presenting on video. You may not like the idea of this, but given that all smartphones have a video function, you don't have any excuse not to! By watching yourself, you'll gain a great understanding of what you're doing well and what areas you can improve.
In addition, you may want to ask a family member or friend (or a group of these) to watch you present. You may receive useful feedback that you didn't consider when watching yourself.
You've done the hard work already so try to feel confident and even excited about the chance to share your ideas with a real audience - easier said than done, I know.
As you take to the stage, keep a few things in mind:
And finally, if you're really feeling nervous when it comes to speaking, you could always try using that famous piece of presentation advice: 'picture (imagine) your audience naked'.
If you're interested in developing your English skills further, you may want to consider taking a course. In our next article, 'What Kind of Course is Right for Me?', we help you understand all of the different options available for you.
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