Business presentations - Structure and useful language


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Structure of a business presentation and language associated with each step.

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Business presentations - Structure and useful language

  1. 1. Business Presentations What is the typical structure of a presentation? Presentations follow this structure: • Introduction • Main body • Conclusion
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION  Greet and thank your audience. These are sentences that you can use to begin your presentation. Good morning/afternoon. Good morning/afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning/afternoon, everyone.  Hello everybody and thank you for taking the time to come to this talk. Thank you all for being here today/this morning/this afternoon. I really appreciate you being here today/this morning/this afternoon.
  3. 3.  Introduce yourself. These are sentences that you can use to introduce yourself. I’m (Joe Thomas). My name is (Joe Thomas). For those of you who don’t know me, I’m (Joe Thomas).  Let me introduce myself. My name is (Joe Thomas). As you probably know, I’m (Joe Thomas).
  4. 4.  State your position in the company.. These are sentences that you can use to state your position in the company. I’m the (International sales manager). I’m in charge of (international sales). I’m responsible for the (International sales department).  I’m head of (International sales // the International Sales department).  I’m here in my function as the (Head of ... // Manager of ... ).
  5. 5.  Introduce the topic of the presentation. These are sentences that you can use to introduce the topic. I’m going to talk about ... / comment about ... / describe ... / explain ... I’d like to talk about ... / comment about ... / describe ... / explain ... The purpose / aim of this/my presentation is to ...  I’m here to talk about ... / I’m here to give a presentation on ...  Today I’ll be talking about .... / looking at ... / focusing on ...  My presentation will be about ...  The subject of my talk is ...
  6. 6. Give an overview of the talk. It’s important to mention how the presentation is structured. The best option is to divide the talk into three parts. You can use these sentences to describe the structure. This talk / presentation is in three parts / sections. I’ve divided my presentation / talk into three parts / sections. My talk / presentation will be in three parts / sections. Use these words / phrases to sequence the sections. First, I’d like to ... / The first part looks at / is about ... Second, I’ll move on to ... / Then, I’ll focus on ... / Finally, we’ll consider ... / After that, we’ll deal with ...
  7. 7. Talk about timing. In business, people are usually very busy. So, it’s important to tell people how much time they will need to attend the presentation. These are sentences that you can use to say how long the talk will be.  This / My presentation will take about (20 minutes).  This / My presentation will last about (20 minutes).  This / My talk should take about (20 minutes).  The whole presentation shouldn’t take longer than (20 minutes).  The talk will not take more than (20 minutes).
  8. 8.  Handouts. It is advisable to give out copies of the PowerPoint presentation to your audience, and you should make a comment about this at this stage of your talk. You can say these ...  Does everybody have a handout / brochure / report? Please take one, and pass them on.  Don’t worry about taking notes. I’ve put all the important statistics on a handout for you.  I’ll be handing out copies of the PowerPoint slides at the end of my talk.  I’ll email the PowerPoint presentation for you.  Hopefully, you’ve all received the handout material I sent.  I’ll show the charts in a PowerPoint, in case you don’t have your handouts with you.
  9. 9. Talk about questions. You must tell the audience which is the procedure to ask questions. Do you want people to interrupt you? Do you prefer questions at the end? These are sentences that you can use to explain how to deal with questions. Feel free to interrupt me if there is anything you don’t understand.  Do interrupt me if you have any questions.  Feel free to ask questions at any time during my talk.  If you don’t mind, we’ll leave questions till the end.  There will be time for questions after my presentation. I’d like to keep this short, so please hold your questions until the end.
  10. 10. MAIN BODY  Beginning After you finished your introduction. You must begin presenting the content of your talk. Remember to follow the same order as you announced in the introduction. You can use phrases like these.  So, let’s start with ...  Ok, then. Let’s look at ...  Alright. Let’s talk about ...
  11. 11.  Catching the audience’s attention Presenters often begin their talk using special strategies to catch people’s attention, like telling a story or anecdote, giving a surprising fact, asking a rhetorical question or presenting a problem. You may include these in your talk. Story I remember when I ... / I was once at a conference when ... Rhetorical question  Is market research important for your brand? Surprising fact  According to an article that I read, ... Did you know that ...? A problem to think about  Suppose you ... / Imagine you ...
  12. 12.  Introducing another section.  Now, let’s move on to ... / let’s move on to the next part. ...  Let’s turn our attention to ...  That leads me to ... / That leads me to my third point.  Next, I would like to ...  Turning to ...  The next issue / topic I’d like to focus on is ...  I’d like now to discuss ...  Let’s look at ... now.  Finally, let’s consider ...
  13. 13. CONCLUSION  Summarising and concluding the presentation It is common to give a short summary of the points you talked about before concluding your presentation. For this purpose, you can say these...  So, to sum up, we talked about ...  So, to recap, we talked about ...  So, in summary, we talked about ... To finish off you can say ...  That concludes my talk. / That brings me to the end of my talk.  Thank you for your attention. / Many thanks for your attention.  May I thank you all for being such an attentive audience.