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Essential Guide for Presenting in English
May 11, 2021 - dom barnard.
Giving a presentation is always challenging. Having to stand up in front of your colleagues and share your knowledge in an informative and persuasive way isn’t easy. You may feel nervous and uncertain that you can perform to your best.
However, this is even more difficult if you are presenting in a foreign language. As a non-native English speaker, you may sometimes be expected to deliver a presentation in English. This can happen if you work for an international company, or travel a lot for business purposes.
You might feel worried about this - after all, ordering a coffee or having a casual conversation in English is a lot different than giving a fully-fledged presentation. It can be hard to know where to start.
Don’t worry! With these handy hints and tips, you will feel a lot more confident about giving that presentation in English, no matter what the topic.
The most important thing when giving a presentation in English - or any second language - is that you are using language that you understand. Not only that, but you will need to make sure that your language is comprehensible to others.
Therefore, you may not want to use language that is too complex, even if you are confident with it yourself.
Think about your audience
When you are preparing to give a presentation in English, it is important to consider who your audience is . You may be giving a talk to native English speakers, to non-native speakers, or to a mix of both. You may be speaking in English to other speakers of your own native language.
When giving your talk, this is vital to take into account, because this will tell you how basic or complex your language use should be. Even if you are an experienced and confident English speaker, you must also consider those you are presenting to, and ensure that they will understand what is being said.
You usually prepare thoroughly for your presentations. You make sure that all of your visual aids are ready, and you practice in the mirror. However, when it comes to presenting in English, you will need to prepare even more than you usually do. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the beginning, middle and end of your presentation, and know exactly what you are going to say.
Try and think about any questions that may come up, and how they may be phrased. This will help you to be able to respond more easily in English. And remember - the more you practice and the more presentations you give, the more confident you will feel!
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Practice with people
Though you may usually practice by yourself, try to practice your English presentations on other people. If you can do this with other second-language speakers, then you can gauge how clear and understandable your speech is to others.
If you can practice your talk on a cross-section of native and non-native English speakers, then this will give you a great idea of if you are on the right track.
Use body language - carefully!
Body language is a vital part of keeping your presentation lively and engaging. Smiling and gesturing can draw your audience in and keep them interested. But bear in mind that not all gestures mean the same things to different cultures .
Depending on what part of the world you are presenting in, you may want to think about what kinds of body language are relatable to your audience. Some gestures are universal, but others are not! When in doubt, ask around, or do some research online.
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Keep it simple
If you are not very confident in your English speaking ability, don’t opt for the most poetic language you can find. Keeping it simple can be very effective, especially when you are presenting business concepts. You don’t need to make your language use sound beautiful, it just needs to be understandable to those around you.
Similarly, make a list beforehand of the main points of your talk and don’t stray too far from them. This can help you to stay on target, and keep you feeling more positive about your word use. If you also make sure that the “story” of your presentation is simple, this can make for a much more clear and easy experience for both you and your audience.
Whoever you are presenting to, articulation matters. Even if you are using simple language and keeping your presentation “story” simple, ensure that you aren’t rushing over your words.
Practice will help you to speak more slowly and clearly, and to employ pauses to allow the audience to absorb what you have said. This is especially vital if you are speaking to non-native English users, who may need extra time to understand what you are relaying.
Not only that but pausing during your talk will allow you to think about what you want to say next with more clarity.
When giving a presentation in English, you will have a clear beginning, middle and end of your talk mapped out beforehand. An effective way to make sure that each part of your speech has been understood is to summarise during your talk. Give short summaries at the end of each section - this will also help you to have a defined endpoint before moving on to the next piece of information.
It is a great idea, where possible, to provide your audience with a summary before your talk, too. This way they will know what to expect and can prepare any questions in advance. It will help them to understand you, and give you an expectation of things they might ask, or want to know more about.
Use clear images
If graphs and images are an important part of your presentation, make sure to check and double-check that these are clear and easy to understand. These also need to be in English, and you must be able to relate them to your presentation easily.
Practice this, and use them as part of your talk and as part of your summaries as an anchor for your presentation. The language and figures used on them can also act as a prompt if you lose your place while presenting.
As important as body language is, you also need to keep your face in clear view. If you are speaking a second language, it is easier for you to be understood if the audience can see the shapes your mouth is making, and gauge your expression.
It also helps to keep you feeling confident and connected to your audience - and allows you to see how they are responding to you, and if they are understanding what is being said. It might be tempting to turn away if you feel nervous, but try to keep this to a minimum so everyone remains engaged.
Are you feeling ready to give a great presentation in English? Keep this essential advice in mind, and don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues for a little extra help in getting ready! Most of all, go for it! You might be surprised at how confident you feel after delivering an excellent talk.
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- How To Speak by Patrick Winston (video) - MIT OpenCourseWare
Starting a presentation in english: methods and examples.
- By Jake Pool
If you’re going to make it in the professional world, most likely you’ll have to give a presentation in English at some point. No reason to get nervous!
Most of the work involved lies in the introduction. You may or may not need an English presentation PPT file, your topic, audience, or time limit may vary, but a strong opening is a must no matter what! Everything that follows can build from the opening outline you present to your audience.
Let’s look at some guidelines for starting a presentation in English. If you can master this part, you’ll never have to worry about the rest!
Opening in a Presentation in English
While it’s important to have your entire presentation organized and outlined, planning and organization are especially important in the introduction. This is what will guide you through a clear and concise beginning. Let’s look at how to start a presentation with well-organized thoughts .
- Introduce yourself and welcome everyone.
- State the purpose of your presentation
- Give a short overview of the presentation
As we say, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. (No need for a more detailed English presentation script!) Let’s examine the first step.
1. Introduce Yourself & Welcome Everyone
The self-introduction is your opportunity to make a good first impression. Be sure to open with a warm welcome and use language that is familiar and natural. Based on your audience, there are a few different expressions you can use to start your presentation.
If you’re presenting to coworkers who may already know you:
- Hello, [name] here. I would like to thank you all for your time. As you may know, I [describe what you do/your job title] I look forward to discussing [topic] today.
- Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone. Thank you for being here. For those who don’t know me, my name is [name], and for those who know me, hello again.
If you’re presenting to people you’ve never met:
- Hello everyone, it’s nice to meet you all. My name is [name] and I am the [job/title].
- Hello. Welcome to [event]. My name is [name] and I am the [job/title]. I’m glad you’re all here.
There are certainly more ways to make an introduction. However, it’s generally best to follow this format:
- Start with a polite welcome and state your name.
- Follow with your job title and/or the reason you’re qualified to speak on the topic being discussed.
2. State the Purpose of Your Presentation
Now that your audience knows who you are and your qualifications, you can state the purpose of your presentation. This is where you clarify to your audience what you’ll be talking about.
So, ask yourself, “ What do I want my audience to get from this presentation? ”
- Do you want your audience to be informed?
- Do you need something from your audience?
- Do you want them to purchase a product?
- Do you want them to do something for the community or your company?
With your goal in mind, you can create the next couple of lines of your presentation. Below are some examples of how to start.
- Let me share with you…
- I’d like to introduce you to [product or service]
- Today I want to discuss…
- I want to breakdown for you [topic]
- Let’s discuss…
- Today I will present the results of my research on [topic]
- By the end of this presentation, you’ll understand [topic]
- My goal is to explain…
- As you know, we’ll be talking about…
When talking about the purpose of your presentation, stick to your goals. You purpose statement should be only one to three sentences. That way, you can give your audience a clear sense of purpose that sets them up for the rest of the presentation.
3. A Short Overview of the Presentation
The final step in starting your presentation is to give a short outline of what you’ll be presenting. People like a map of what to expect from a presentation.
It helps them organize their thoughts and gives a sense of order. Also, it lets the audience know why they’re listening to you. This is what you’ll use to grab their attention, and help them stay focused throughout the presentation.
Here are some examples of how you can outline your presentation:
- Today, I’m going to cover… Then we’ll talk about… Lastly, I’ll close on…
- We’re going to be covering some key information you need to know, including…
- My aim with this presentation is to get you to… To do that we’ll be talking about…
- I’ve divided my presentation into [number] sections… [List the sections]
- Over the next [length of your presentation] I’m going to discuss…
That’s it! It’s as simple as 1-2-3. If you have a fear of public speaking or are not confident about presenting to a group of people, follow these three steps. It’s a simple structure that can get you off to a good start. With that in mind, there are other ways to bring your introduction to the next level too! Read on for bonus tips on how to really engage your audience, beyond the basics.
For a Strong Presentation in English, Engage your Audience
Presentations aren’t everyone’s strongest ability, and that’s OK. If you’re newer to presenting in English, the steps above are the basics to getting started. Once you’re more comfortable with presenting, though, you can go a step further with some extra tricks that can really wow your audience.
Mastering the skill of engaging an audience will take experience. Fortunately, there are many famous speakers out there you can model for capturing attention. Also, there are some common techniques that English-speakers use to gain an audience’s attention.
*How and when you use these techniques in your introduction is at your discretion, as long as you cover the 3 steps of the introduction outline that we discussed earlier.*
Do or say something shocking.
The purpose of shocking your audience is to immediately engage them. You can make a loud noise and somehow relate the noise to your presentation. Or, you can say, “ Did you know that… ” and follow with a shocking story or statistic. Either way, the objective is to create surprise to draw their attention.
Tell a story
Telling a story related to your presentation is a great way to get the audience listening to you.
You can start by saying, “ On my way to [location] the other day… ” or “ On my way here, I was reminded of… ” and then follow with a story. A good story can make your presentation memorable.
Ask your audience to take part
Sometimes a good introduction that captures attention will involve asking for help from the audience. You can ask the audience to play a quick game or solve a puzzle that’s related to your presentation. Also, you could engage the audience with a group exercise. This is a great way to get people involved in your presentation.
There are many more ways to engage the audience, so get creative and see what you can think up! Here are some resources that will help you get started.
Also, if you want to get better at public speaking (and help your English speaking too!), a great organization to know about is the Toastmasters . The organization is dedicated to helping you be a better speaker, and there are many local groups in America. They offer free lessons and events to help you master your English speaking, and also offer additional help to paying members.
A presentation in English? No problem, as long as your introduction sets you up for success . Admittedly, this can be easier said than done. Native speakers and non-native speakers alike sometimes struggle with getting a good start on their English presentation. But the advice above can help you get the confidence you need to lay a good foundation for your next speech !
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How to give a good presentation in English
Updated October 23, 2023
For many people, giving an oral presentation is extremely nerve-racking, but the task becomes even more daunting if you are doing the presentation in English, as a non-native speaker. After all, while you may be able to communicate in everyday situations, public speaking is a different prospect entirely. Nevertheless, learning to give excellent presentations in English can be extremely beneficial, especially when you consider that English is the international language of business , and practice makes perfect. To make the task slightly easier, we have compiled some top tips for delivering excellent presentations in the English language , so that you can impress your employers, deliver a great sales pitch to clients, present important findings to your team, or get that excellent grade for oral presentation at school or university.
Our top tips to give an excellent presentation in English
Top 5 presentation tips, useful vocabulary to use in presentations, learn languages at your pace, think about your delivery.
Although what you say is important, the secret to delivering a great speech lies in the way you say things. In particular, when delivering a presentation in English, you should focus on speaking clearly and at a steady pace, so that your audience can understand you easily.
During a presentation , your nerves may get the better of you, causing you to speed up. However, this can make your speech far less clear, so it is important to practice pacing. You should also feel free to take the occasional pause to catch your breath, gather your thoughts, or have a drink of water; especially before introducing a new idea.
Furthermore, you must avoid speaking in a monotone voice, which can make a presentation seem dull and boring, regardless of the content. When rehearsing your speech, focus on placing emphasis on keywords and changing tone depending on what you are saying. If in doubt, watch videos of great speeches and pay attention to how they speak.
- Introduce yourself and establish the topic(s) you are going to discuss. Before you begin, people will want to know who you are and why they should listen to what you have to say, while pinpointing exactly what you are going to discuss can help to establish realistic expectations amongst the audience.
- Provide an overview of the presentation. During this phase, you might want to briefly explain the format of your presentation and some of the key points. You may even wish to state some of your conclusions, which you can then expand upon throughout the remainder of the speech.
- Make sure you acknowledge when you are changing topics. If you are giving a presentation that lasts more than a few minutes, it is inevitable that some people will tune out at certain parts, because people have short attention spans. Marking a shift in topics is a great way to ‘win back’ those who have tuned out.
- Establish early that you will take questions at the end. Giving a presentation is difficult enough, without constant interruptions. At the same time, people may have valid questions about your presentation and the facts contained within it. State early on that you will answer questions after you have finished.
- Practice your presentation frequently. Even native speakers will practice giving an important speech ahead of time. One tip is to give your speech in front of a mirror, so you can practice making gestures at the right time. Try to get through your entire speech without using too many filler words like ‘erm’ and ‘ahh’.
The beginning of your presentation is one of the most important parts, because it sets the tone for what is to come. During your introduction, you will likely need to explain who you are, what your position is and what you are going to be discussing. The following may be helpful as introductory phrases:
“Hello everyone, my name is…” “Good morning/afternoon/evening, my name is… and I am a…” “Welcome everybody. Today I am going to talk about…”
During your presentation, there may be times where you need to shift the focus, in order to make all of the points you wish to make. Drawing attention to any changes of focus can serve to give your presentation a clearer structure and can also help to keep the attention of listeners. Some examples of phrases you might use include:
“I would like to shift focus now to…” “Next, we need to consider…” “This leads me to my next point…”
Drawing attention to the slides:
In many cases, your presentation will include visual aids, such as slides on a screen, or handouts. The inclusion of visuals can help to back up the points you are making, while also making the presentation more interesting or exciting. To introduce your slides or other visual aids, you may find the following phrases helpful:
“If I could draw your attention to…” “This chart/graph/table illustrates…” “If you look up at the screen…” “I would like to show you this…” “On your handout, you may see…”
Summarising a presentation:
At the end of a presentation, it is important to summarise the main points you have made, so that you can remind listeners of what has been said. This is a chance to point out which parts of the presentation you think are especially important, and ensure everybody leaves with the key pieces of information. Useful phrases include:
“To summarise…” “In conclusion…” “I would like to recap…” “To sum up what has been said…” “So, we have covered…”
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Useful English phrases for a presentation
Presentations have the advantage that many standard phrases can be used at various points. Perhaps you wish to welcome the audience, introduce the speaker and the topic, outline the structure, offer a summary, or deal with questions. In all these situations, you can apply a number of useful expressions that will make your presentation a linguistic success.
At the beginning of each presentation, you should welcome your audience. Depending on who you are addressing, you should extend a more or less formal welcome.
Good morning/afternoon/evening, ladies and gentlemen/everyone.
On behalf of “Company X”, allow me to extend a warm welcome to you.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to “Name of the event”.
Introducing the speaker
The level of formality of your welcome address will also apply to how you introduce yourself. Customize it to match your audience.
Let me briefly introduce myself. My name is “John Miller” and I am delighted to be here today to talk to you about…
First, let me introduce myself. My name is “John Miller” and I am the “Position” of “Company X”.
I’m “John” from “Company Y” and today I’d like to talk to you about…
Introducing the topic
After the welcome address and the introduction of the speaker comes the presentation of the topic. Here are some useful introductory phrases.
Today I am here to talk to you about…
What I am going to talk about today is…
I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about…
I am delighted to be here today to tell you about…
I want to make you a short presentation about…
I’d like to give you a brief breakdown of…
Explanation of goals
It is always recommended to present the goals of your presentation at the beginning. This will help the audience to understand your objectives.
The purpose of this presentation is…
My objective today is…
After presenting the topic and your objectives, give your listeners an overview of the presentation’s structure. Your audience will then know what to expect in detail.
My talk/presentation is divided into “x” parts.
I’ll start with…/First, I will talk about…/I’ll begin with…
…then I will look at…
After all this preparation, you can finally get started with the main part of the presentation. The following phrases will help you with that.
Let me start with some general information on…
Let me begin by explaining why/how…
I’d like to give you some background information about…
Before I start, does anyone know…
As you are all aware…
I think everybody has heard about…, but hardly anyone knows a lot about it.
End of a section
If you have completed a chapter or section of your presentation, inform your audience, so that they do not lose their train of thought.
That’s all I have to say about…
We’ve looked at…
So much for…
Drawing interim conclusions is of utmost importance in a presentation, particularly at the end of a chapter or section. Without interim conclusions, your audience will quickly forget everything you may have said earlier.
Let’s summarize briefly what we have looked at.
Here is a quick recap of the main points of this section.
I’d like to recap the main points.
Well, that’s about it for this part. We’ve covered…
Use one of the following phrases to move on from one chapter to the next.
I’d now like to move on to the next part…
This leads me to my next point, which is…
Turning our attention now to…
Let’s now turn to…
Frequently, you have to give examples in a presentation. The following phrases are useful in that respect.
A good example of this is…
As an illustration,…
To give you an example,…
To illustrate this point…
In a presentation, you may often need to provide more details regarding a certain issue. These expressions will help you to do so.
I’d like to expand on this aspect/problem/point.
Let me elaborate further on…
If you want to link to another point in your presentation, the following phrases may come in handy.
As I said at the beginning,…
This relates to what I was saying earlier…
Let me go back to what I said earlier about…
This ties in with…
Reference to the starting point
In longer presentations, you run the risk that after a while the audience may forget your original topic and objective. Therefore, it makes sense to refer to the starting point from time to time.
I hope that you are a little clearer on how we can…
To return to the original question, we can…
Just to round the talk off, I want to go back to the beginning when I…
I hope that my presentation today will help with what I said at the beginning…
Reference to sources
In a presentation, you frequently have to refer to external sources, such as studies and surveys. Here are some useful phrases for marking these references.
Based on our findings,…
According to our study,…
Our data shows/indicates…
Graphs and images
Presentations are usually full of graphs and images. Use the following phrases to give your audience an understanding of your visuals.
Let me use a graphic to explain this.
I’d like to illustrate this point by showing you…
Let the pictures speak for themselves.
I think the graph perfectly shows how/that…
If you look at this table/bar chart/flow chart/line chart/graph, you can see that…
To ensure that your presentation does not sound monotonous, from time to time you should emphasize certain points. Here are some suggestions.
It should be emphasized that…
I would like to draw your attention to this point…
Another significant point is that…
The significance of this is…
This is important because…
We have to remember that…
At times it might happen that you expressed yourself unclearly and your audience did not understand your point. In such a case, you should paraphrase your argument using simpler language.
In other words,…
To put it more simply,…
What I mean to say is…
So, what I’m saying is….
To put it in another way….
Questions during the presentation
Questions are an integral part of a presentation. These phrases allow you to respond to questions during a presentation.
Does anyone have any questions or comments?
I am happy to answer your questions now.
Please feel free to interrupt me if you have questions.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Please stop me if you have any questions.
Do you have any questions before I move on?
If there are no further questions at this point, I’d like to…
Questions at the end of a presentation
To ensure that a presentation is not disrupted by questions, it is advisable to answer questions at the very end. Inform your audience about this by using these phrases.
There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.
I’ll gladly answer any of your questions at the end.
I’d be grateful if you could ask your questions after the presentation.
After answering a question from the audience, check that the addressee has understood your answer and is satisfied with it.
Does this answer your question?
Did I make myself clear?
I hope this explains the situation for you.
Occasionally, it may happen that you do not have an answer to a question. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Simply use one of the following phrases to address the fact.
That’s an interesting question. I don’t actually know off the top of my head, but I’ll try to get back to you later with an answer.
I’m afraid I’m unable to answer that at the moment. Perhaps, I can get back to you later.
Good question. I really don’t know! What do you think?
That’s a very good question. However, I don’t have any figures on that, so I can’t give you an accurate answer.
Unfortunately, I’m not the best person to answer that.
Summary and conclusion
At the end of the presentation, you should summarize the important facts once again.
I’d like to conclude by…
In conclusion, let me sum up my main points.
Weighing the pros and cons, I come to the conclusion that…
That brings me to the end of my presentation. Thank you for listening/your attention.
Thank you all for listening. It was a pleasure being here today.
Well, that’s it from me. Thanks very much.
That brings me to the end of my presentation. Thanks for your attention.
If you are not the only speaker, you can hand over to somebody else by using one of these phrases.
Now I will pass you over to my colleague ‘Jerry’.
‘Jerry’, the floor is yours.
We hope that our article will help you in preparing and holding your next presentation. It goes without saying that our list is just a small extract from the huge world of expressions and phrases. As always, the Internet is an inexhaustible source of further information. Here are the links to two websites that we would recommend to you in this context.
- What is the difference between American English (AE) and British English (BE)?
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