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How to give a presentation in English (7 Tips)

Rebecca Schlesinger, ESL teacher, London

18th September 2019

Giving a presentation can be really nerve-wracking, especially when you have to do the presentation in English. Sometimes your nerves might take over and you can’t find the right words in English. In addition to this, you have the added worry that your audience won’t understand you.

Don’t panic! In this article we have included 7 tips for sounding confident when giving a presentation in English. We’ll explain how to grab people’s attention, convince your audience, and make your presentation clear and easy to understand.

 

Giving a business English presentation

1. First, get off to a confident start by politely getting people’s attention

Everythings set up and you’re ready to go. You want to start the presentation but your audience is unaware and busy chatting to one another. So how do you get people’s attention without sounding rude. How about trying these polite phrases?

  • Can I have everyone’s attention please?
  • “Right, shall we begin?”
  • “Ok everyone, let’s get started”. (more casual)

2. Then set the tone with a warm greeting.

After you’ve got people’s attention, you should start with a friendly greeting to make your audience feel comfortable.

  • “I’d like to welcome everybody on behalf of (the team/company name)”
  • “Thanks for inviting me here today”
  • “My name is ____ I am the (job title) here at (company name)”

 

 

3. Next, outline what you’re going to talk about.

In addition to your greeting, you should give a brief outline of your talk so that the audience knows what to expect. Therefore your presentation will be clearer and easier to understand.

Start by introducing the topic:

  • “Today I’ll be talking about…”
  • “I’m here today to give you an overview of…”
  • “In this presentation I’m going to take a look at…”
  • “I’m going to talk about…

Then give a brief outline:

“My presentation is split into 3 parts: First/ to begin with, I will talk about…Then, … Next, … After that… And finally…”

4. Highlight visual aids to back up your points

Visual aids can be a saviour when giving presentations in English. Therefore, we recommend you learn phrases to refer to your visual aids. This is a great way to back up your points with evidence (for instance, using graphs), but also to keep your audience engaged.

“Ok let’s take a look at this chart/graph/slide”.

“I’d like to draw your attention to this…” (more formal)

“As you can see this is…”

“Here you/we can see…”

“This slide shows, illustrates, refers to…”

5. Move smoothly from topic to topic

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of giving a presentation in English is knowing how to transition from topic to topic. So that’s why we’ve included these useful phrases which allow you to smoothly transition from one point to the next. 

“This leads me to my next point”.

“Turning to…”

“Moving on…”

“Now let’s take a look at…

6. Refer back to previous points that you’ve made

You may want to talk about something you’ve said once before. This “re-telling” is very useful in making your presentation memorable. Here are some phrases you can use for this:

  • “As I mentioned earlier…”
  • “So, as we saw earlier…”

 

 

7. Use confident phrases to give your opinion

Furthermore, it’s important to use a range of phrases when giving your opinion. This is because it will make your audience value your opinion more and make you sound more persuasive.

“In my opinion…”

“I consider… important because…”

“In my view…” 

“The main reason I’ve chosen —- is —“

“On the one hand…… on the other hand…”

“An important point to consider is…”

 

So that brings us to the end of our tips, hopefully you’ve found them useful! If you have a presentation in English coming up try using these phrases and you’ll sound cool, calm and in control.

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