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Tips on preparing oral presentations

Tips on preparing oral presentations

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  • 1. 1SPEAKING – HOW TO MAKE A GOOD SPEECHAddressing a large group of people is always a complicated situation, andwhen you are a student and the audience is your teacher and classmates,it is even more complicated. If, in addition to this fact you have to speakin a foreign language such as English, students sometimes view thesituation as traumatic.DO NOT PANIC! Here are a few tips to help prepare a good speech andbe successful in your task.1. Practice makes perfect, the more times you make a speech, the moreconfident you will become.2. Always prepare in advance. Once you have decided on the subject, do some research work. Knowyour facts and make some notes.3. Your notes should be built by topics. Use cards, one point to each card.4. You can also use visual aids (posters, pictures, PowerPoint presentation) to emphasise your points.5. Involve your audience. Use eye contact and gestures.6. Start with something shocking. Surprise your audience. Make sure you have a strong beginning andending to your speech.PREPARING A ROLE-PLAYStudents often view a role-play as a troublesome activity simply because it implies they have to standup and speak English out loud before an audience. Nonetheless, if you prepare yourself adequately andtake time to practise, a role-play can be fun and a great way to improve your English. Remember, arole-play is just like acting and you can enjoy yourself pretending to be someone else. Just follow thesetips:1. Read the role card very carefully because it will give you the main features of the character you areasked to play.2. The role card will also tell which point of view/opinion you will have to defend, so make sure youunderstand the subject and what you are going to do.3. Once you know which opinion you are going to defend or which point of view you are going toargue, do some research on the subject to develop consistent arguments.4. Make sure you take some notes. Make a list of the arguments you will need to use. Don’t write fullsentences, just write down some topics. If you write full sentences you might feel tempted to readthem during the discussion and that makes your speech sound rehearsed.5. During the role-play, listen to the other participants because you might have to counter argue anddefend your point of view. Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s normal to make mistakes, but that is thebest way to learn.
  • 2. 2PREPARING FOR A DEBATEThe key to a successful participation in a debate is preparation and a relaxed attitude.1. Practice makes perfect, the more times you participate in a debate, the more confident you willbecome. You will be able to express your ideas and views more strongly.2. Always prepare in advance. Once the subject of the debate has been decided, do some researchwork. Know your facts and make some notes. Take special care while doing this if it has beendefined that you will have to defend a specific point of view on the topic.3. Make some notes. They will help you remember some key issues that you mustn’t forget to putforward during the session.4. Do not write full sentences. Your notes should be simple and brief otherwise your participation willsound rehearsed.5. Make each point clearly. Involve your audience, using eye contact and gestures, in order to getthem to understand your views.6. Be careful! If you are going to take part in a debate as a member of a group, it is wise to have aquick pre-debate meeting with all the members of the group so as to coordinate your arguments andavoid repetitions.7. During the debate, pay close attention to what the opposing side is saying. You need to hear theirviews to present counter arguments.Now it’s time to practise. Choose a topic and try it. You’ll find out it is easier than it looks.USEFUL LANGUAGEARGUING COMPLAINING THREATENING AGREEING/DISAGREEINGYou don’t seem to realisethat …Surely, you’re over-lookingsomething …A further advantage …Not only …but alsoI’m complaining about…I’m simply saying it’s wrongof you to do this.If you don’t solve thisproblem, the consequencescould be very serious.If the problem is notresolved, we’ll have to takefurther action.That’s just what I wasthinkingYes, but…Well, you have a point there,but…I’m sorry but I think you aremistaken.I’m afraid that’s not quiteright.EXPLAINING/ADDINGINFORMATIONGIVING EXAMPLES CONCLUDING EXPRESSING OPINIONTo begin with …In the first place …In addition to …The main disadvantage ….Due to the fact that …… as a result ……in order to …For instance…For example…Take this situation as anexample…All things considered, I mustsay that …To sum up …Finally …I’d just like to say…If you ask me …As I see it …I feel very strongly …