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Presentation Skills. Unit 6: Key Language


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Published in: Technology, Business

Presentation Skills. Unit 6: Key Language

  1. 1. PRESENTATION SKILLS Unit 6: Key Language
  3. 3. Softening technique in all its glory.
  4. 4. WE now have come to the main body of your talk.This part is obviously the longest and richest in content.The aim of the main body is not to read out some factswhile showing nice pictures for twenty minutes. The aimof the main body is convey your message and prove it.And it takes some work to make it interesting.Because when will the audience be interested?When you talk interesting and dramatic, and whenthe audience can easily follow the structure of whatyou’re talking about.
  5. 5. WE will start with structuring the main body, after that proceed to special techniques, then examine some useful language, and finally, advice you on troubleshooting.
  6. 6. A good talk must be well-structured.What does it mean?(a) It is divided into separate sections (‘main points’),and the main points are subdivided into subsections.(b) There are clear transitions (‘links’) between partsof presentation.(c) Information is sequenced, i.e. you follow logical order,perhaps chronological (from background to presentand to future).
  7. 7. Clear structuring
  8. 8. Clear structuring1. Signaling different parts in a presentationSignaling the structure makes the organization of the talk clear,helps the audience to follow the developments. Ending the introduction ✣ So that concludes the introduction. ✣ That’s all for the introduction. Beginning the main body ✣ Now let’s move to the first part of my talk, which is about ... ✣ So, first ... To begin with ...
  9. 9. Clear structuring2. Listing✣ There are three things to consider. First, ... Second, ... Third, ...✣ There are two kinds of ... The first is ... The second is ...✣ We can see four advantages and two disadvantages. First, advantages. One is ... ✣✣ Another is ... The third advantage is ... Finally ... On the other hand, the two disadvantages ...
  10. 10. Clear structuring3. LinkingLinking techniques are used when you gofrom one part of your talk to another, or refer to another point. Ending parts within the main body ✣ That completes / concludes ... ✣ That’s all (I want to say for now) on ... Beginning a new part ✣ Let’s move to (the next part which is) ... ✣ So now we come to ... ✣ Now I want to describe ...
  11. 11. Clear structuring3. Linking Adding ideas ✣ In addition to this, I’d like to say that our IT business is going very well. ✣ Moreover/Furthermore, there are other interesting facts. ✣ To increase sales we need a new strategy, plus more people. Referring to other points ✣ I’d like to mention some critical points in connection with/concerning payment. ✣ There are a few problems regarding the quality. ✣ According to the survey, our customers are unhappy with this product.
  12. 12. Clear structuring4. Sequencing✣ There are (seven) different stages to the process. First ... / then ... / next ... / after that ... / then (x) ... / after x there’s y, last ...✣ There are four stages to the project.✣ I’ll describe the development of the idea.✣ First the background, then the present situation, and then the prospects for the future.
  13. 13. NOW,let’s look at various techniques that makeour speech more powerful and dramatic.
  14. 14. Powerful techniques
  15. 15. Powerful techniques1. RepetitionAlthough simple, it’s nevertheless one of the most powerful techniques.✣ It really is very, very difficult to predict what might happen in 10 years.✣ Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody.
  16. 16. Powerful techniques2. TriplingChunking important points in threes is a classic move.✣ What’s needed now is time, effort and money.✣ How did we reach our goals? Simple. By building new plant, by taking on more workers, by keeping production costs.
  17. 17. Powerful techniques3. Rhetorical questionsA rhetorical question is a common, yet a very powerful technique.It presents your idea as a question rather than a direct statement.It sounds more conversational and creates anticipation in the mindsof your audience.✣ So, just how big is the market? .... Enormous!✣ Why do I tell you that? Because there’s nobody else who will.✣ The fact is, cheap imitations of our leading product are flooding the market. So what’s the solution? The solution is to push for tighter controls.
  18. 18. Powerful techniques4. SofteningAs well as being able to emphasize important points, you sometimes needto reduce the force of points which are of less immediate significance.‘Softeners’ are extremely useful when you are uncertain of your factsor want to be diplomatic.Compare: a great improvement — a slight improvement; a major problem — a minorproblem; a total success — a partial success.✣ It seems we will have to delay the delivery.✣ The Chief Executive Officer appears to have left the country.✣ It’s just a little bit further.✣ We’re going to reduce our staff a bit.✣ Perhaps we should consider resigning.✣ There might be another way.✣ To some extent, the company has failed to realize its potential.
  19. 19. Powerful techniques4. Softening When people in the audience make negative remarks about the information you’re presenting, you can soften the impact by restating their point in a more positive way. A positive statement question is looking for the answers: ✣ It’s going to be late, isn’t it? — I’m afraid so. ✣ You’ve got problems with the assembly? — Yes, a few. ✣ The suppliers have done their job. Is that right? — Yes, as far as I know.
  20. 20. Powerful techniques4. Softening A negative statement is looking for the answer ‘no’: ✣ We haven’t won the contract, have we? — No, it doesn’t look like it. ✣ It wasn’t a success? — Not much of one. ✣ We aren’t going to make it on time, are we? — I’m afraid not. If the answer contradicts the statement, the word actually is often used: ✣ The plant’s going to close, isn’t it? ✣ Well, actually, I’ve just heard the company is employing more staff.
  21. 21. LET’S talk about various useful expressions now.Very sad that we cannot tell you all ten millions of them. Instead, we just want to draw your attention to what kind of language you might need.
  22. 22. Useful expressions
  23. 23. Useful expressions1. Business termsMany processes — price movements, product development etc. — describea more or less fixed sequence of events. Make sure you know all the wordsyou need to describe each stage in the processes you want to talk about. ✣ For example, what do you do with a contract? First you negotiate about it, then draw it up, then renew. And then one day it can be breached, so you’ll terminate it. ✣ What about development of a product? First you develop it, then manufacture, then launch, and finally distribute. And if something is wrong with it — well, you’ll have to withdraw it. ✣ Same with commercials: first devise it, then produce, and then run. If needed, you may then update and after that re-run it.
  24. 24. Useful expressions1. Business terms Whenever you learn an important new word expression, try to learn its opposite as well. For example: ✣ to consider an option — and to rule it out. ✣ to put forward a proposal — and to withdraw it. ✣ to stay within a budget — and to exceed it.
  25. 25. Useful expressions2. Road signsWhen giving a talk, some words act just like signs on the road. They tellyour audience whether you’re continuing in the same direction, changing direction,contrasting two possible directions, or arriving at your destination.Used effectively, ‘road signs’ make it easier to follow your development. a) Continuation ✣ furthermore ✣ moreover ✣ in addition ✣ Backup mechanisms for computers tend to become obsolete rapidly. Furthermore, new software formats do not always recognize older formats.
  26. 26. Useful expressions2. Road signs b) Change in direction ✣ however ✣ nevertheless ✣ although ✣ despite, in spite of ✣ Although digital cameras are used for more than half of all photographs taken, most of those pictures never go further than the hard drive of a personal computer.
  27. 27. Useful expressions2. Road signs c) Contrast ✣ in contrast ✣ on the other hand ✣ while ✣ whereas ✣ The life of a CD recorded with a CD burner at home could be as little as five years. In contrast, some photographic papers can last up to 200 years.
  28. 28. Useful expressions2. Road signs d) Arrival ✣ consequently ✣ therefore ✣ thus ✣ Thus, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to save a digital file for the next 20 or 50 years.
  29. 29. Useful expressions3.Verbs for ‘solving issues’The following verbs are also of great use. They help to mention difficult issues.✣ I think we first need to identify the problem.✣ Of course we’ll have to clarify a few points before we start.✣ We will have to deal with the problem of increasing prices.✣ How shall we cope with unfair business practices?✣ The question is: why don’t we tackle the distribution problems?✣ If we don’t solve this problem now, we’ll get into serious trouble soon.✣ We will have to take care of this problem now.
  30. 30. Useful expressions4. ParenthesesThese expressions are extremely useful.(Sadly, also endless, so we’re just giving you the most popular ones.)They make our speech sound smarter and our words — more persuasive.✣ In theory, ... ✣ On average, ...✣ Up a point, ... ✣ At least, ...✣ On one hand, ... ✣ In practice, ... On the other hand, ... ✣ In any case, ...✣ On the whole, ... ✣ At a last resort, ...✣ As a matter of fact, ... ✣ As a general rule, ...✣ Under no circumstances, ...
  31. 31. Useful expressions5. Using examplesExamples help you make your point by taking your audience from the abstract tothe concrete. Signal them by using key words: example, instance, illustrate, case, like,such as.✣ Lets take the example of what happens when ...✣ The best example of ... is probably ...✣ An interesting example of ... is ...✣ For instance ...✣ Lets now look at ... This will illustrate some of the principles weve been talkingabout.✣ Lets take the case where...✣ Vegetables like carrots and squash are loaded with beta-carotene✣ Pollutants such as those found in automobile exhaust are responsible formost of the smog in Los Angeles.
  32. 32. Useful expressions6. Expressing opinionAvoid preceding everything you say with, ‘in my opinion,’ or ‘I think that.’The audience understands that you, the speaker, are generally expressingwhat you think. However, it is important to signal your opinion in contrastto another persons opinion or an opinion that is commonly held. a) To signal another persons opinion ✣ According to Professor Grand ... ✣ Lauren Thompson has expressed the opinion that ... ✣ In a recent article, D.J. Tehl stated that ... ✣ In Mr. John Muggs opinion ... c) To signal your opinion b) To signal a widely-held opinion ✣ In my opinion .... ✣ It is commonly thought that ... ✣ I think that ... ✣ According to conventional wisdom .. ✣ It is my view that ... ✣ It seems to me that ....
  33. 33. THERE is no presentation that goes flawless.There will always be some problems, but remember:the only real problem will be if you panic. Don’t panic.If there’s problem, stay cool about it, and sometimesadding a little self-critical humor will makeyour audience friendlier to you.LET’S look at the common problemsand how we can handle them.
  34. 34. Troubleshooting
  35. 35. Troubleshooting1. Losing your place in your notesIf you lose your place and can’t remember what you should say now,you can go back and summarize the points you have already made.This should give you time to think.✣ OK. Now... Where was I? Let me summarize the points again before I continue.So, there have been three main changes...✣ Umm... sorry, I just lost track. I’ll recap the points so far.
  36. 36. Troubleshooting2.You don’t know or can’t remember the English wordIf you forget a word, use one of the phrases belowand then try to say the same thing using different words.✣ There are several problems with the new model. One problem is that it stops working if it gets... um... what’s the word I’m looking for? Let me try again. One problem is that it stops working if it gets a little wet.✣ How do you say that in English? / Let me rephrase that.
  37. 37. Troubleshooting3. A deleted or wrong slide✣ If you look at the next slide, you’ll see the figures are much healthier... I’m sorry, I can’t find it. OK, let me describe the key points to you.✣ Excuse me for a moment.✣ I’m afraid I can’t find the graph now. I’ll write the main figures on the flip chart.✣ The slide doesn’t seem to be here. Well, the key points/figures are ...
  38. 38. Troubleshooting4. Time is running out✣ Unfortunately, time won’t allow me to explain all the details, so I’ll just outline the last section to you.✣ We only have a few minutes left. Right. Now I’ll conclude/end with this final point.✣ We’ve almost run out of time. OK. I’ll just explain this last point briefly and then there’ll be time for questions.
  39. 39. Troubleshooting5.You have forgotten to say something✣ The basic system will therefore cost about $50 000. Oh, I should have said earlier that we already have the promise of $120 000 to make this project possible. Let me go back and explain how this money became available.✣ Sorry, but I forgot to mention/explain ...✣ I should have explained ...
  40. 40. Troubleshooting6. Making a mistake✣ Presenter: Last year sales in June whereas this year we expect sales to peak in September... Member of audience: Sorry, but didn’t sales peak in July? Presenter: Umm... Yes, of course. What I should have said is that sales peaked in July.✣ Sorry, what I meant to say was ...✣ My mistake. / My bad. What I wanted to say was ...
  41. 41. Troubleshooting7.You are unable to do something that you planned to do✣ OK. As you can see, the new poster for this campaign is really clever. I wanted to give you a copy but I’m afraid the copies didn’t arrive from the printers in time for me to bring them this morning. I will mail you each a copy when they arrive.✣ I planned to ..., but ...✣ I had wanted to ..., but unfortunately ...
  42. 42. KEY POINTS
  43. 43. KEY POINTS 1. Keep structure transparent. Use sequencing, listing, linking. 2. Make speech more powerful.Use rhetorical questions, repetition, softening, etc. 3. Expand your vocabulary.In your sphere and in Business English in general.
  44. 44. KEY POINTS ... and above all:Talk clear and vivid. And no panic!