Articles

Presentations in English – How to Give a Presentation – Business English


Hi, I’m Gina. Welcome to Oxford Online English! In this lesson, you can learn how to make
a presentation in English. Do you have to make presentations in English
in your job? Imagine you have to give an important presentation
in English tomorrow. How would you feel about it? This lesson will help you learn useful phrases
and techniques to introduce yourself and your topic, keep your ideas organised, deal with
problems, and respond to questions from audience members. Imagine you’re standing in front of your
colleagues. You need to introduce yourself and what your
presentation is about. What are some words and phrases you could
use? If some people in the audience don’t know
who you are, you should introduce yourself and your position. In a more formal setting, you could say something
like this: Good morning everyone. For those who don’t know me, my name’s
Simon, and I work in the marketing department. Or: Hello everybody. Before we begin, let me introduce myself briefly:
I’m Reese and I’m the head of HR. If you work in a more informal company, you
could say: Hi guys; if you don’t know me, I’m Sylvia
and I work in digital marketing. Or: Hello! I see some new faces, so I’ll introduce
myself first: I’m Julia and I’m one of our customer service team. Next, you need to introduce your topic. If your presentation topic is simpler, you
could just say one sentence, like this: Today, I’m going to be talking about our
new HR policies and how they affect you. Or: I’d like to talk to you today about
quality control and why we’re all responsible for quality control, whichever department
you work in. If your topic is more complex, you might add
more detail to break your idea into stages. For example:
I’ll begin by outlining the policies, and then I’ll go on to highlight what they mean
for you and your working habits. Finally, I’ll briefly discuss why we feel
these new policies are necessary and beneficial for us all. Here’s another example:
First of all, I’ll explain why ‘quality control’ has a broader meaning than you
might expect. I’ll continue by giving examples of real
quality control, and why this matters for all of us. To finish, I’ll be asking you to think of
ways you can incorporate quality control into your working habits. Here, you saw two examples. You can use these as templates to begin your
presentation: I’ll begin by… and then I’ll… Finally, I’ll… Or: First of all, I’ll… I’ll continue by… To finish, I’ll… Okay, now you can practice! We’d like you to do two things. First, practice introducing yourself informally,
and explaining your topic in a simple way, with one sentence. Then, practice introducing yourself formally,
and explaining your topic in a more detailed way. Pause the video and practice speaking. All the language you need is in this section. Ready? Let’s move on! I’m sure that in your life, you’ve heard
good speakers and bad speakers. Good speakers grab your attention and don’t
let go. You want to hear what they have to say. You feel interested and energised by listening
to them. Bad speakers are the opposite. Even if you try to make yourself listen, you
find that your attention drifts away. Your eyelids feel heavy, and you have to struggle
to stay awake. So, here’s a question: what’s the difference
between good speakers and bad speakers? And, how can you make sure you speak effectively
when you make your presentation in English? Here’s one way to think about it: bad speakers
don’t think they have to earn your attention. Good speakers understand that no one has to
listen to them, so they work hard to make you want to pay attention. What does this mean for you, and your presentation? Getting people’s attention starts from the
beginning. You need to make it clear what people should
expect from your presentation, and why they should care about what you have to say. Sounds like a nice idea, but how do you do
this? Here are three techniques you can use. One: establish a problem which many people
in your audience have. Then, establish that you have a solution to
their problem. For example: Have you ever felt unfairly treated at work,
or felt that the work you do isn’t appreciated? We’ve been working to design new HR policies
that will make sure all staff get fair recognition for their contribution to the company. In this way, you take a boring-sounding topic
like HR policies, and you make it more relevant to your audience. How? By connecting it with their experiences and
feelings. The second technique? Mention an interesting fact, or a surprising
statistic to get people’s attention. For example: Did you know that the average office worker
spends eight hours a day at work, but only does four hours of productive, useful work? I’m here to tell you about ‘quality control’,
and how you can use this idea to make better use of your time. Finally, you can engage people by telling
a short story and connecting it to your topic. Stories are powerful, and they can add an
emotional dimension to your topic if you do it well. For example: I once met a young salesman—I won’t mention
his name. He spent several weeks building a relationship
with a potential client. He worked overtime, and he was working so
hard that he was under severe stress, which started to affect his personal life. In the end, he didn’t close the deal—the
clients signed with another firm. Today, I’m going to talk about confidence
as a sales tool, and how you can avoid the traps that this young man fell into. Use one of these three techniques in your
introduction to connect with your audience and show them why they should be interested
in what you have to say. Here’s a question for you: which technique
would you prefer to use, and why? Okay, now you’ve introduced your topic and
you have everyone’s attention. What next? There’s a famous quote about making presentations: “Tell the audience what you’re going to
say; say it, and then tell them what you’ve said.” Have you heard this before? Do you know who said it? This comes from Dale Carnegie, a very successful
American salesman and writer. He lived a long time ago, but his advice is
still relevant today. So, here’s a question: what does the quote
mean? It means that your presentation shouldn’t
just give information. You also need to show people how your information
is organized. To do this, you need signposting language. Let me give you an example to explain. Imagine you go to a website. The website is full of really useful, interesting
information. But, the information is all on one page. There’s no organization, and you have to
scroll up and down, up and down this huge page, trying to find what you need. Would you stay on that website? Probably not. You’ll find a website which makes it easier
for you to find the information you need. What’s the point here? The point is that having interesting or relevant
information is not enough. How you structure and organize your information
is equally important. If you don’t structure your presentation
clearly, people won’t pay attention, just like you won’t stay on a website if you
can’t find the information you want. So, how can you do this? You use signposting language. This means using words and phrases to show
the audience where your points begin and end, to show what’s coming next, and to remind
them about things you talked about before. For example: Okay, that covers the new policies. Next, I’d like to move on and discuss what
these policies mean for you. Or: Now that you’ve heard a bit about what
not to do, let’s focus on positive advice to help you be more effective salespeople
and close more of your leads. When you say something like this, you aren’t
giving people information about the topic of your presentation. Instead, you’re showing people where you
are, and where you’re going next. It’s a kind of signpost. You don’t need signposts to travel from
one place to another, but they can make it easier. What else can you use signposting language
for? You can use signposting language to move from
one point to the next. For example: Next, I’d like to talk about… Let’s move on and discuss… Or: At this point, I’d like to turn to… You can use signposting language to add detail
to an idea: Let me go into some more detail about… Let’s examine … in more depth. Or: I’d like to elaborate on… You can use signposting language to show that
you’ve finished your main points, and you’ve reached your conclusion: To wrap up, let’s remind ourselves of why
this should matter to everyone here. Let’s review the key points from this session. So, you’ve heard what I have to say. What conclusions can you take away from this? If you have an important presentation in English,
practice using signposting language. Use signposting language to move between points,
to show when you’re giving a summary or going into more detail, and to signal that
you’ve reached your conclusion. Okay, but things don’t always go so smoothly
in real life. We know that! Let’s look at some advice and language for
dealing with problems during your presentation. Imagine you’re making your presentation
in English. What could go wrong? What problems could you have? There are many common problems: You might forget where you were, or forget
an important word. You might realise that you said something
wrong, or you didn’t explain something clearly. You might forget to mention something important. Or, someone might ask you an awkward question,
which you have no idea how to answer. Of course, there are other possibilities! Let’s think about these problems. What can you do, and more importantly, what
can you say in these situations? First of all, it’s a good idea to make a
cue card with key points, as well as any important vocabulary you need. If you lose your place, or you forget a word,
it could help. However, you can’t prepare for everything. So, it’s useful to learn some phrases to
deal with problems smoothly. If you lose your place, and can’t remember
what to say next, you can use a filler phrase like: Where was I? So, what was I saying? What’s the word in English again? If you still can’t remember, look at your
cue card with your main points. Of course, forgetting something isn’t ideal. But, if you do, it’s better to keep talking,
rather than just standing there in silence. What if you make a mistake, or you realise
that you didn’t explain something well? You could say: Let me rephrase that. Actually, what I meant to say is… To clarify, I wanted to say that… In this way, you can correct yourself without
admitting that you made a mistake! What if you realise that you forgot to mention
something important? Use a phrase like this: Let me just add one more thing:… I’d like to add something to a point we
discussed earlier. Let me return to an earlier point briefly. Again, this allows you to correct your mistake
in a confident way, so you look like you’re in control. Finally, what do you do if someone asks you
a difficult question, which you can’t answer? You have a few options. First, you can delay giving an answer. For example: I’ve allocated time for questions at the
end of this session, so we’ll address your idea later. Or: I’m not in a position to answer that
right now, but I’ll get back to you later this week. This gives you time to think of an answer
and do some research if you have to! Next, you can deflect the question, by asking
a question back, or maybe by asking other audience members what they think. For example: That’s an interesting question. Before I answer, I’d like to know: what’s
your take on this? Or: You’ve raised an important point there. What does everyone else think about this? Finally, if the question is irrelevant, you
can dismiss the question and move on. For example: Thanks for your input, but I don’t see how
that’s connected to what I’m saying. I don’t mean to be blunt, but I don’t
think that’s relevant to today’s discussion. Notice how you can use phrases like thanks
for your input, but… or I don’t mean to be blunt, but… to make your language more
indirect and polite. So, for dealing with difficult questions,
just remember the three d’s: delay, deflect, dismiss! Finally, we want to ask you something. Do you have any advice for giving good presentations,
in English or any language? We’d love to hear your ideas! Please leave a comment and tell us what you
think. Remember to visit our website for more free
English lessons: Oxford Online English dot com. Thanks for watching! See you next time!

Comment here