How to deliver an effective presentation in English
A successful presentation does not solely relate to a person’s ability to speak a language. In addition to outstanding language skills, it is essential to outline the ideas to be conveyed, to have an authentic presenting style and to maintain the interest of the audience.
What strategies do you use to deliver a high-level presentation?
Besides self-confidence and relevant content, the speaker may take into account the following suggestions:
1. A good presentation is like a journey you share with your guests. ÎBefore setting out, you should answer essential questions such as who, what, why: who you are, what you are about to convey, why they should listen to you. The answer must be brief, but correct in terms of ideas and grammar issues.
2. Interact with your audience! Smile after establishing eye contact, initiate dialogue and build relationships. Create a pleasant atmosphere favourable to the presentation. In appropriate moments, ask questions and elicit short answers (yes/no) or actions (hands up!, clap your hands!) to arouse interest in the audience and make it focus on the topic of the presentation.
3. Resort to memorable comparisons, metaphors and amazing analogies, anecdotes and fascinating stories! You can use repetitions (huge change, huge danger), rhetorical questions (They solved the problem. How did they do it?), the rule of three in presentations (faster, higher, stronger) or adversative clauses (The changes are designed not to confuse, but to simplify). Do not forget to make pauses in your speech or to emphasize the key words. Thus, your presentation style will be very refined.
4. Be theatrical, thus grandiose, use power words and convince! A study of the Yale University researchers has emphasized that the following words draw the audience’s attention: discovery, guarantee, love, health, money, you. Modifiers may also be very convincing; mark the difference between Let me then turn to the third and final option and Let me then turn to the third, final and best option.
5. When concluding the presentation, express your intention. Summarize what you said previously in a context which is not too long, otherwise your audience will be distracted, but detailed enough to cover the topic. Then the logical conclusion will naturally follow your summary, as an answer to your initial “why”.
Thus, an effective presentation in a foreign language entails not only exact, carefully researched information, but also surprising or powerful elements; not only expertise, but also a variety of techniques. However, although there are a few good practices in delivering an effective presentation, it is essential that the speaker finds his or her own presentation style: an authentic style which should reflect his / her personality and experience in the relevant business sector.