• the speaker was nervous
• the speaker was disorganised
• the speaker never looked at me
• the speaker had bad accent
• the speaker did not sound enthusiastic
• the speaker was monotonous
• the visuals were bad
• I was irritated by his/her clothing
• the speaker was speaking too softly
• the speech was confused; I didn’t know what
he/she was trying to tell me
This is what irritates people during presentations
To avoid any negative outcome the following aspects are
important in making a presentation:
• Preparation and planning
• Language of presentations
• the presentation itself.
Preparation at home
When you plan your presentation you need to answer the
1. Who is my audience (how much do they know about my
2. How am I going to organise my topic? (it needs to tell a
3. How long should my presentation be? (you will have
time limits and you need to say everything within that
4. What visual support shall I use? (PowerPoint,
transparencies, models, objects...?)
What is a good presenter?
“A presenter should be like a mini skirt:
Long enough to cover the vital parts,
and short enough to attract attention.”
This is the basic structure of a talk:
2. Main part (body)
4. Question & Answer session
Plan you presentation carefully
This means that you need to plan every part carefully.
Your presentation must tell a story. At this stage you are like a screen-writer,
someone who is writing a play.
Good Eye Contact
Pitch & Voice Modulation
Introduction is probably the most important part. The
Purpose of the introduction is “to tell the audience what
you are going to tell them”. You should remember that there
is no second chance for a first bad impression. If you start off badly
you will spoil everything.
During the introduction you need to achieve the following aims:
Getting started - greeting the audience
• Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
• Welcome to my presentation.
• It’s very nice to see you all here today.
• Can we get started?
• Let me say just a few words about my background...
What you need to do first is to greet your audience. Here are some useful phrases:
Then you proceed to the introduction to your topic
Making an effective opening
• Give them a problem to think about (Suppose you... Why is it that...)
• Give them some amazing facts.(Did you know that ...)
• Give them a story or a personal anecdote (stories always atract attention)
• Use a citation (if you want to start on a more philosophical note)
• Make a funny remark (but be careful with humour, not all jokes work well)
• Record a music piece perhaps (if appropriate for the topic)
There are several ways how to attract the audience right from the beginning. Think of
one of the following techniques to introduce your talk:
Possible Introduction Scheme:
1. start with welcoming courtesies/introduce yourself
2. state the purpose of your talk, using one of the techniques
3. give a route map (tell them how long will your presentation take)
4. give the rules (do you allow to be interrupted or should your
audience keep questions until the end)
Some useful phrases
• What I want to do this morning is to …..
• My talk will take about 30 minutes.
• During my presentation, I’m going to be focusing on four main areas.
• I’ll be giving out copies of my transparencies at the end.
• If you have any questions, or comments you’d like to make,
please don’t hesitate to stop me.
Language matters: Spoken vs. Written Style
Use active verbs instead of passive verbs.
Toyota sold two million cars last year.
Two million cars were sold by Toyota last year.
Adapting the language
Chemistry is a science which touches our lives at many points. It forms a bridge
between physics and biology, earth sciences and medical sciences. We can say that with
chemistry we can better understand life cycles on the one hand, and man-made
processes on the other.
Chemistry is an area of study which touches human life at innumerable points. It is
the science which forms a bridge between physics and biology as well as between
earth sciences and life and medical sciences. It is therefore a central science which
holds the key to an appreciation and understanding of life cycles on the one hand
through to man-made processes on the other.
Just look at the example above: it has been taken from a course-book. It was meant
for reading and not for speaking. You cannot possibly use the same text for
speaking. The language is much too condensed and complicated, the sentences are
too long, and difficult to follow. The same idea can be simplified by paraphrasing,
as for example:
"I'll start by describing the
current position in Europe.
Then I'll move on to some of
the achievements we've made
in Asia. After that I'll consider
the opportunities we see for
further expansion in Africa.
Lastly, I'll quickly recap before
concluding with some
Ending your talk
When you come to the end of your presentation you need to indicate this to
the people. Don’t just end up abruptly without giving a conclusion.The
purpose of the conclusion is to “tell the people what you have told them”.
Follow this scheme:
• summarise facts
• give recommendations
• give proposals
Thank the audience
Ending your talk : useful phrases
Thanking the audience & Inviting questions
•Thank you for your attention and if you have any questions I’ll be pleased
to answer them.
• I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
• Are there any questions you’d like to ask?
• This brings me to the end of my presentation.
• Let me just run over the key points again…
• To sum up briefly…
• To conclude …
• As we’ve seen…
• So, my recommendation is ….
• I would welcome any suggestions.
Rehearsal is a vital part of preparation. You should leave time to
practise your speech two or three times and also practise with your
group. In this way you will:
– become more familiar with what you want to say
– identify weaknesses in your presentation
– be able to practise difficult pronunciations
– be able to check the time that your presentation takes and make any
So practise, practise, practise! Prepare everything: words, visual aids,
timing, equipment. Rehearse your presentation several times and time
it. Is it the right length? Are you completely familiar with all your
illustrations? Are they in the right order? Can you give good comments
to your visuals? How will you answer difficult questions? Do you
know the room? Are you confident about the equipment? When you
have answered all these questions, you will become more confident .
Consider this in preparing your presentation:
• Simplify the text.
• Focus your material. You can’t say everything.
• Use transitions (signsposting) to move smoothly.
• Use examples, anecdotes, statistics to support your message.
• Use a lot of visuals to reinforce the message.
• Consider timing.
• Apply the KISS principle.
• Practise alone and with the whole group.