What are some of the basics I need to understand for giving business presentations? How should I prepare for a presentation in English? Take this lesson to impress native English speakers with your next presentation.
Vocabulary – Expressions – Phrasal Verbs – Idioms:
Presentation – a formal introduction of business matters, ideas, or products. Presentations usually include the use of visual aids, such as diagrams, charts, animation, or other visual aids to efficiently present the material, and keep the audience engaged.
Audience – the people you are presenting to. Make sure that you clearly know their ability to understand the content you are presenting so that you can adjust the presentation based on it.
Opening statement – refers to the first few words or sentences of your presentation. It is used to capture the attention of your audience.
Structure – when you are developing your presentation it is recommended that you create an outline that you will insert the content into. Write this out first before you develop the details of the presentation.
Main points – the primary topics of your presentation. If you are providing a visual aid make sure that you include the main points in bold letters and an easy to see format.
Time and length – make sure that your presentation will not go under or over the planned meeting time. Keep in mind there might be questions and interruptions that need to be handled.
Rehearsal – if possible, spend time with a coworker going over the presentation as if you were in front of a live audience. Doing this will give you greater confidence and reduce any errors.
Simple and clear – the language and visual aids used during the presentation need to be easy to understand. Remember, you are probably presenting to people where English is their second language. Using simple sentences and words will accomplish more than making use of complex wording and hard to understand diagrams.
Moving on or Turning now to – two separate phrases that may be used when switching from one topic to another one. You want to use these types of phrases to help lead the audience along and keep their attention on the main points.
Tie everything together – a way of connecting a group of topics together. In some cases the topics might not be fully related.
Flip chart – a large pad of paper on a stand that may be written on by the presenter to provide additional information. Many of these are now digital and can be saved in electronic format.
Handout – printed material gave out to the audience during the presentation. This is usually a document that includes definitions, charts, and graphs pertaining to the topics being discussed.
Summary – done at the end of the presentation. This includes a short review of your main topics to remind the audience what you talked about and to give them a lasting impression. This is where you will include follow-up tasks and what to do next if necessary.
Jill was nervous about giving her first office presentation. She spent several weeks creating a handout and putting together a PowerPoint covering her main points, while also considering whether or not she wanted a flip chart to write on while giving her presentation. She knew that she had to come up with an exciting opening statement to get her audience’s attention and a summary that tied everything together before moving on to audience questions.
Live Conversation Example:
Anna: Are you ready to give your presentation tomorrow? I know you have been working hard on your PowerPoint and handouts over the last few days.
Jill: Yes, but I am a little nervous about my opening statement. I feel like it is not all that interesting.
Anna: I am sure you will do great. Are you going to have a flip chart to write on?
Jill: I have not decided yet. It may be helpful to list my main points here, so I do not forget them when I do the summary.
Anna: As long as you have tied everything together, you should not have a problem remembering your main points.
Jill: I know, but I am still nervous. One thing I need to remember is to tell the audience when we are moving on to the next topic.
Anna: Relax! Go out there and do a great job!
Before doing a presentation, look through it and make sure you have all the information you need to present your idea. Have a complete understanding of your main points.
Always begin with a short welcome and self-introduction. This should include your name and role in the company. Finally, introduce the topic of your presentation. Be sure to allow for questions at the end.
Practice your presentation beforehand, either in front of a friend or while standing in front of a mirror. Pay attention to your body language, including facial expressions, posture, movements, and hand gestures. Do not memorize your presentation. Instead, familiarize yourself with it to ensure you are able to look up at your audience while presenting in natural, non-robotic tone.