You probably thought you wouldn’t be giving too many presentations once you left school, but knowing how to prepare for a presentation is important for higher education, work, recruitment processes, and many other instances. Now, imagine preparing for a presentation in a language that is not your mother tongue. Do you think you’ll need more preparation for a presentation in English?
If you’re just learning English or looking to start an international career in an English-speaking country, you might have to put together an presentation in English. So whether you are presenting in your native language or in English, don’t miss these tips we have created to help you improve your performance in public speaking.
1 Practice your pronunciation and timing
Let’s be honest—presentations can be a bit scary. But if you practice in front of the mirror or with a mock audience, you’ll end up feeling way more prepared. Presenting to your friends and family can be a great way to make sure that your voice is clear and loud enough—this is also a good tool for practicing the pronunciation of the most difficult words.
Time consideration is sometimes forgotten, but it is very important—you don’t want to go over your time or come up short! Make sure to highlight the most important insights and recommendations in the time given.
2 Introduce yourself, set the theme, and provide an agenda
Make sure you have an introduction that includes:
- Your name, position, and the company you’re representing
- The theme of your presentation
- The topics you will be discussing
This will not only help you to make sure you’re covering every relevant aspect, but it will also help your audience make a mental checklist of those topics. Afterward, begin your presentation with a less-than-9-second opening pitch line. It is said that 9 seconds are enough to fascinate your audience, so don’t waste them!
3 Use clear transitions
It’s important to have a clear link from topic to topic—this keeps things consistent. Avoid speaking in a flat tone; instead make sure it is varied to keep people interested. Try to give hints on topics you will mention later, using phrases like “as I will explain in a while” or “I will deep dive into this subject in a moment.” This not only helps wrap up all the topics being covered, but also keeps the audience engaged.
4 Be bold, dynamic, and concise
A bold speaker makes a positive impression, so try to include:
- Lots of eye contact
- Comments or anecdotes with a touch of humor
- Supporting materials for digital presentations
- Short phrases to explain your point
5 Wrap up the presentation
As a final part of your presentation, briefly summarize the main insights that you have come up with. Provide the audience with your opinions and recommendations and give them a call to action by letting them know what to do next with the information you have provided. When you have nothing else to say, thank all the listeners for their time and invite them to ask any questions. <
6 You’re an expert on the subject—make sure they know it!
You will want to wrap up your presentation with a Q&A section, so it helps to prepare some answers in advance. Have your rehearsal audience ask any possible questions beforehand. The more you know about the topic you’re speaking about, the easier it will be for you to speak confidently.
When was the last time you had to give a presentation in English? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below.
A version of this post originally appeared on Kaplan International English. Join the Kaplan family and benefit from immersive English language courses, choose from over 35 schools located around the world.