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Useful Business Presentation Tips for ESL Students

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Joined: 01 Oct 2009
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:46 pm    Post subject: Useful Business Presentation Tips for ESL Students Reply with quote

Delivering a business presentation can be a daunting task for many people. However for those who speak English as a second language a business presentation can pose a true challenge. People are sometimes afraid of speaking in public, and if you add the natural discomfort of speaking in a foreign language to that, the situation may seem overwhelming. The good news is that there is always something you can do to make things better. If you follow a few simple tips, giving a presentation is actually very easy.

Tip 1: Prepare, prepare, prepare
Preparation is everything! With good preparation and planning you will be totally confident and less nervous. And your audience will feel your confidence. Your audience, too, will be confident. They will be confident in you. And this will give you control. Control of your audience and of your presentation. With control, you will be “in charge” and your audience will listen positively to your message

Tip 2: Ask yourself these questions
“Why am I giving this presentation?” Do you need to inform, to persuade, to train or to sell? Your objective it very important. It should be clear in your mind. After all, it cannot possibly be clear to your audience if it is not clear in your mind.

“Who am I giving this presentation to?” You should try to know how many people there will be, who they are, where they are from, whether they are experts or non-experts, etc. This is important because it will give you a clue as to what they can expect from you.

“Where am I giving this presentation?” In a small hotel meeting-room or a large conference hall? What facilities and equipment are available? What are the seating arrangements?

“When am I giving this presentation and how long will it be?” Will it be 5 minutes or 1 hour? During what part of the day is it?

“How should I give this presentation?” What should your approach be? Formal or informal? How many visual aids should you use?

“What should I say?” Now you must decide exactly what you want to say. First, you should brainstorm your ideas. You should include only information that is relevant to your audience and your objective. You can always give additional information during the questions after the presentation. The title is also important since it will help you to focus on the subject.

Tip 3: Structure
A well organized presentation with a clear structure is easier for the audience to follow. It is therefore more effective. You should organize the points you wish to make in a logical order. Most presentations are organized in three parts, followed by questions:

Short introduction
• welcome your audience
• introduce your subject
• explain the structure of your presentation
• explain rules for questions

Body of presentation
• present the subject itself

Short conclusion
• summarize your presentation
• thank your audience
• invite questions

Remember a successful presentation is one of the most effective ways of communicating your message. And because English is so widely used in international business, a working knowledge of the vocabulary and techniques used in an English language presentation is a valuable asset. If you need to improve your English for this type of situation, sign up for an ESL Program that covers business presentations.

Rachel Clarkson
Rachel Clarkson is an English teacher at LCI English and blogger at the ESL Blog.
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