It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a large group of people and deliver a presentation, and yet many employers expect you to do it in English as well! Being able to speak well in English is not just about learning the right words to deliver your message; it’s about stepping into the shoes (or should that be voice?) of a native speaker. Correct pronunciation, word stress and intonation all play a vital part in communicating your message. They also make it easier for the listener, who may also not be a native speaker.
In my standard Business English course, the subject of presentations would normally be dealt with in two sessions: the first to explore useful phrases for outlining and giving direction to your presentation, discuss and practice word stress and intonation, and practice any specialist vocabulary needed. In the second session there would be an opportunity to give a presentation on a work-related or other topic. Feedback would be given by the trainer.
It is also possible to take a one- or two-day workshop on Presenting in English, tailored to the needs of both experienced and inexperienced speakers. Alternatively, a number of sessions can be booked to prepare and practice for one particular presentation. This is particularly useful if your first experience of giving a presentation in English will take place in front of a large international audience.
A tailor-made course can include some or all of the following:
- Introducing yourself
- Defining a clear purpose
- Focussing your audience’s attention
- Giving a clear outline
- Indicating to the audience where you are going
- Giving your message more impact
- Presenting facts and figures
- Referring to visual aids
- Involving the audience
- Using rhetorical questions
- Use of reference words
- Emphasising and highlighting key points
- Handling questions
- Individual and plenary feedback sessions
- Addressing of any grammar issues relevant to delivery
- Expansion of topic-related vocabulary