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This Week: Tips for presentations



LEVEL A2-B1

This Week: Tips for presentations

From BBC News Magazine (August 2006)

  • breathe slowly and deeply
  • exercise and warm up your face: yawn and chew
  • slow down your first six words - this helps give you a smooth rhythm
  • emphasise key words
  • look at individual faces in audience and make eye contact

Language notes.

  • a tip/s [noun, informal]: an informal piece of advice
  • to breathe [verb]: to take air into your body (into your lungs) and then out again
  • to warm up [verb]: to prepare for physical exercise
  • to yawn [verb]: to take a deep breath with your mouth wide open - usually when you are tired or bored
  • to chew something [verb]: to work food in your mouth, between your teeth (e.g. chewing gum)
  • to slow down [verb]: to do something more slowly
  • a smooth something [adjective]: even, not lumpy or rough
  • to emphasise something [verb]: to stress or highlight something
  • an audience/s [noun]: the people to whom you speak when, for example, you are giving a presentation

LEVEL B1.5 - B.2

This Week: top tips for giving presentations

Adapted from BBC News Magazine, Megan Lane (7th August 2006)

Too many people talk fast and flat when speaking in public. So how can a voice coach help?

Whenever I have to speak in public, I get nervous; I speak too fast and lose all control of my intonation. But I am not alone. Many people speak too quickly when giving a presentation. There is an art to public speaking, but all too often those called upon to speak have little idea how best to engage with their audience.

How to improve?

Liz Banks, a voice coach, agreed to give me some tips in order to improve my public speaking skills. Almost at once, she stopped me for speaking too fast. "When people are nervous, they tend to speed up because they produce all this adrenaline. That's why you should speak at a slower pace than you do normally. The way to slow down is to draw out the words, stretching the vowel sounds.

"And there's no punctuation in your presentation at all. As a basic rule of thumb: for a comma, pause for one second; for a full-stop, pause for two; and when you want to emphasise the meaning of a word or phrase, pause for three seconds."
And she also focused my attention on my breathing, pointing out how important it is to do this correctly. "I encourage [my clients] to breathe more deeply because it supports the voice", she said. "Focus on breathing out through your mouth for as long as possible, then in through the nose. That really helps to calm people down."

Tips for public speaking

  • breathe slowly and deeply
  • warm up by pulling faces, yawning, eating pretend toffee
  • slow down first six words - that helps set smooth rhythm
  • emphasise key words
  • focus on individual faces in audience, making eye contact
  • cast yourself in role of storyteller

She also recommends reading aloud regularly, to build vocal stamina and confidence in hearing your own voice.

In addition, to encourage people to modulate their voices, Ms. Banks suggests throwing a ball on key words when preparing for important presentations. Practising in this way encourages the speaker to emphasise important words.

So who, in her professional opinion, is a good public speaker? Ms. Banks rates the former New York mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. "After 9/11, his voice had a confidence and a reassurance at a time when it was very hard to reassure people. He took time over his words."

 

Language notes.

  • to draw (something) out [phrasal verb]: to make something last longer.
    • The last couple of days before my holiday seemed to draw themselves out for ever.
    • Can you draw out the presentation to last about 20 minutes, not just 15?

 

  • a rule/s of thumb [idiom]: a rough, practical method for assessing or measuring something
    • As a rough rule of thumb, you should cook potatoes for 20 minutes.
    • As a rule of thumb, emails shouldn't be any longer than 4 sentences long. Any longer than that and you should use the phone.

 

LEVEL C.1

This Week: top tips for giving presentations

Adapted from BBC News Magazine, Megan Lane (7th August 2006)

Too many people talk fast and flat when speaking in public. So how can a voice coach help?

Whenever I have to speak in public, I get nervous, tense, speak too fast and lose any semblance of intonation. But I am not alone. Many people tend to speak too quickly while staring fixedly at the back wall when giving a presentation. This is a problem in schools too. Recently, a teachers' union said vocal coaches were needed as being able to speak in a strong, interesting voice is the main tool for getting children to learn.

There is an art to public speaking. But all too often those called upon to speak have little idea how best to engage with their audience, be it co-workers, children, or members of the public.

How to improve?

Liz Banks, a voice coach, agreed to give me some tips and put me through my paces in order to improve my public speaking skills. Almost at once, she stopped me for speaking too fast. "When you're nervous, you tend to speed up and rush through our words because you produce all this adrenaline. Speak at a slower pace than you do in a one-to-one. The way to slow down is to draw out the words, stretching the vowel sounds.

"And there's no punctuation in your presentation at all. As a crude rule of thumb: for a comma, you should pause for one second; for a full-stop, pause for two; and when you want to emphasise the meaning of a word or phrase, pause for three seconds."

And she also focused my attention on my breathing, pointing out how important it is to do this correctly. "I encourage [my clients] to breathe more deeply because it supports the voice", she said. "Focus on the out-breath - breathe out through your mouth for as long as possible, then in through the nose. That really helps you to calm down as well. You can do it sitting, standing, or simply walking down a corridor."

Tips for public speaking

  • breathe slowly and deeply
  • warm up by pulling faces, yawning, eating pretend toffee
  • slow down first six words - that helps set smooth rhythm
  • emphasise key words
  • focus on individual faces in audience, making eye contact
  • cast yourself in role of storyteller

 

She also recommends reading aloud regularly, to build vocal stamina and confidence in hearing your own voice.

In addition, to encourage people to modulate their voices, Ms. Banks suggests throwing a ball on key words when preparing for important presentations. Practising in this way encourages the speaker to emphasise important words. "If you overdo something when practicing, you will improve when you do it for real, without even noticing" she explained.

So who, in her professional opinion, is a good public speaker? Ms. Banks rates the former New York mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. "After 9/11, his voice had a confidence and a reassurance at a time when it was very hard to reassure people. He took time over his words."

Language notes.

  • to do something fixedly [adverb]: to do something in an unchanging, fixed manner.
    • If we stick fixedly to our sales plan, we might lose sight of new opportunities.
    • Staring fixedly through his window, Marcin decided to quit his job.

 

  • to draw (something) out [phrasal verb]: to make something last longer.
    • The last couple of days before my holiday seemed to draw themselves out for ever.
    • Can you draw out the presentation to last about 20 minutes, not just 15?

 

  • a rule/s of thumb [idiom]: a rough, practical method for assessing or measuring something
    • As a rough rule of thumb, you should cook potatoes for 20 minutes.
    • As a rule of thumb, emails shouldn't be any longer than 4 sentences long. Any longer than that and you should use the phone.

 

Prepared by:

ACT Advanced Corporate Training

Szkolenia językowe i biznesowe

www.act.edu.pl








Other Lessons (show...):


Lesson 216: WAIT
Lesson 215: POLITICS
Lesson 214: MATHEMATICS IN ENGLISH
Lesson 213: HEADLINE ENGLISH
Lesson 212: NEW YEAR`S RESOLUTIONS
Lesson 211: WHO IS SANTA CLAUS?
Lesson 210: A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT
Lesson 209: THE RULES OF SARCASM
Lesson 208: DO YOU KNOW WHY?
Lesson 207: THE WAYS TO GET SMARTER
Lesson 206: TELEPHONING
Lesson 205: HUNTING FOR WORDS (2)
Lesson 204: HUNTING FOR WORDS
Lesson 203: BUSINESS WISDOM IN PHRASAL VERB
Lesson 202: TIME
Lesson 201: ALL ABOUT BEER.... TO PREPARE FOR OCTOBERFEST
Lesson 200: TIPS FOR A TRAVELLING BUSINESSMAN
Lesson 199: FANTASTIC ANIMAL FACTS
Lesson 198: CONTAINERS (FOOD)
Lesson 197: FAST FOOD BLUES
Lesson 196: MALE AND FEMALE LANGUAGE
Lesson 195: LOOKING LEFT, THINKING RIGHT ?
Lesson 194: ENGLISH SPELLING SIMPLIFIED
Lesson 193: FOOTBALL FRENZY!
Lesson 192: FACEBOOK STORY
Lesson 191: TOP TIPS FOR GIVING PRESENTATIONS
Lesson 190: SECRETS OF SLEEPERS
Lesson 189: YOUR USE OF PRONOUNS REVEALS YOUR PERSONALITY
Lesson 188: DON`T WORRY, BE HAPPY
Lesson 187: MANAGING STRESS
Lesson 186: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE CONFERENCE
Lesson 185: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - CONFLICT
Lesson 184: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE GENERATION GAP
Lesson 183: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - WHAT`S THE POINT OF HR?
Lesson 182: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - PHILOSOPHICALLY SPEAKING
Lesson 181: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - ACCRUED HOLIDAYS
Lesson 180: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - CALIBRATING POTENTIAL
Lesson 179: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
Lesson 178: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - BUSINESS PARTNERING
Lesson 177: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - NEW YEAR`S RESOLUTIONS
Lesson 176: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - SPHERICAL OBJECTS
Lesson 175: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE COMMUNICATION PLAN
Lesson 174: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TRAINING OR TRAININGS?
Lesson 173: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - A MATTER OF POLICY
Lesson 172: A LONG COLD WINTER
Lesson 171: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TOILET TALK
Lesson 170: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE NEW BOSS
Lesson 169: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - ANGER MANAGEMENT
Lesson 168: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - MOBBING AND BULLYING
Lesson 167: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - WORD TRANSFORMATIONS
Lesson 166: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Lesson 165: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TOP DOG
Lesson 164: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - A SOURCE OF CONFUSION
Lesson 163: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TO BE OR NOT TO BE (AT WORK)
Lesson 162: MEET PETE - E27 - HOW TO TELL THEM APART
Lesson 161: GONE TO THE DOGS
Lesson 160: MEET PETE - E26 - SAVE THE DAY
Lesson 159: COUNTING SHEEP
Lesson 158: HOLIDAY TIME
Lesson 157: Meet Pete – E25 – A Question of Taste
Lesson 156: Meet Pete – E24 – Don’t be a jerk
Lesson 155: THE WALLS HAVE EARS
Lesson 154: FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Lesson 153: Meet Pete – E22 – The New Game Plan
Lesson 152: HERE COMES THE SUMMER
Lesson 151: Meet Pete – E23 – Succession Meeting
Lesson 150: I TAKE IT ALL BACK
Lesson 149: MEET PETE - E21 - ABOUT ONE VERY SERIOUS THING
Lesson 148: CHARACTER
Lesson 147: MEET PETE - E20 - IN THE RED
Lesson 146: A WINTER OF DISCONTENT
Lesson 145: MEET PETE - E19 - JUDGE A MAN BY HIS QUESTIONS
Lesson 144: SPRING IS IN THE AIR
Lesson 143: LANGUAGE REFRESHER – IDIOMS
Lesson 142: DO YOU GET IT?
Lesson 141: MEET PETE - E16 - EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
Lesson 140: A ONE HORSE RACE
Lesson 139: MEET PETE - AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CEO
Lesson 138: BAD DEBTS
Lesson 137: EUPHEMISMS
Lesson 136: Meet Pete - E014 - Delegating
Lesson 135: AND? - EXPRESSIONS WITH AND
Lesson 134: Meet Pete – 5 Whys
Lesson 133: The Morning After The Night Before
Lesson 132: Meet Pete – E13 – Salary Ping-Pong
Lesson 131: A LETTER TO SANTA
Lesson 130: Meet Pete - E12 - It never rains but it pours
Lesson 129: Body idioms
Lesson 128: Meet Pete – Don’t put your fingers in too many pies.
Lesson 127: USING NEGATIVE QUESTIONS TO PERSUADE
Lesson 126: MEET PETE - E10 - THE POLYMATH
Lesson 125: PARTIAL AGREEMENT
Lesson 124: MEET PETE - E09 - ROLE AMBIGUITY
Lesson 123: EVERYTHING IS SUBJECTIVE
Lesson 122: MEET PETE – E08 – GALLUP 12 QUESTIONS
Lesson 121: THE OFFICE - WORK RELATED IDIOMS
Lesson 120: THE BLUES AND OTHER COLOURS
Lesson 119: LANGUAGE REFRESHER – PERSUADING – Part two
Lesson 118: LANGUAGE REFRESHER – PERSUADING – Part one
Lesson 117: HR - but what brand?
Lesson 116: Love your job, hate your boss?
Lesson 115: LANGUAGE REFRESHER - FEEDBACK AND APPRAISALS – Part two
Lesson 114: IDIOM REFRESHER - SPORTS IDIOMS - Part four
Lesson 113: IDIOM REFRESHER - SPORTS IDIOMS - Part three
Lesson 112: LANGUAGE REFRESHER - FEEDBACK AND APPRAISALS – Part one
Lesson 111: A LOAD OF BALLS
Lesson 110: IDIOM REFRESHER - Sports idioms - Part two
Lesson 109: IDIOM REFRESHER - Sports idioms
Lesson 108: Meet Pete – Episode 07 – WHAT’S YOUR GAFFER LIKE?
Lesson 107: SPORTS IDIOMS
Lesson 106: FEEDBACK AND APPRAISALS
Lesson 105: Meet Pete - Episode Six – Fight or flight
Lesson 104: DON’T YOU THINK...?
Lesson 103: Meet Pete - Episode Five - Meet Pete – First Blood
Lesson 102: SMALL TALK - Part 3
Lesson 101: Meet Pete - Episode Four - Meeting deadlines
Lesson 100: SMALL TALK - Part 2
Lesson 99: SMALL TALK - Part 1
Lesson 98: Meet Pete - Episode Three - On The Grapevine
Lesson 97: Advertising slogans
Lesson 96: Emphasis!
Lesson 95: Meet Pete – Episode Two – The Secret of Small Talk
Lesson 94: Job or Work?
Lesson 93: Meet Pete - Episiode two - Names
Lesson 92: Meet Pete - Episode one
Lesson 91: Weasel Words
Lesson 90: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Lesson 89: Vague Language
Lesson 88: Making Predictions
Lesson 87: Tact
Lesson 86: Christmas
Lesson 85: The Christmas Party
Lesson 84: Are you being taken for a ride?
Lesson 83: A dead-end job
Lesson 82: Oblivion
Lesson 81: Trust your senses!
Lesson 80: Stress is tricky!
Lesson 79: What is stress?
Lesson 78: How not to make a fuss in autumn
Lesson 77: Holiday leave
Lesson 76: Belbin team roles
Lesson 75: These are my personal attributes - honestly!
Lesson 74: Managing time
Lesson 73: Engaging with customers by accessing emotions
Lesson 72: Meetings, meetings and more meetings!
Lesson 71: Giving performance feedback
Lesson 70: Performance review guide
Lesson 69: Conflict at work
Lesson 68: Caught napping
Lesson 67: Love is in the air
Lesson 66: The power of persuasion
Lesson 65: Winning negotiations
Lesson 64: Happy Easter
Lesson 63: Brain Teasers
Lesson 62: Sam Goldwyn
Lesson 61: Funny signs
Lesson 60: Oscars
Lesson 59: Language Generation Gap
Lesson 58: The Pareto Principle
Lesson 57: Tact
Lesson 56: Rhyming Slang
Lesson 55: St Valentine’s Day - origin and customs
Lesson 54: Etymology
Lesson 53: Stupidity
Lesson 52: Money jokes
Lesson 51: New Year in Madeira
Lesson 50: Christmas pantomime
Lesson 49: It’s party time!
Lesson 48: Bad Translations
Lesson 47: Proverbs
Lesson 46: Financial Puzzles
Lesson 45: Children
Lesson 44: Halloween
Lesson 43: Food crossword
Lesson 42: Tongue twisters
Lesson 41: Business inspiration quotes
Lesson 40: Political metaphors
Lesson 39: Colours
Lesson 38: Business Wisdom
Lesson 37: A poem
Lesson 36: Making and Spending money
Lesson 35: The Taste of Italy
Lesson 34: The SLOW Movement
Lesson 33: Construction
Lesson 32: Safe Internet Shopping
Lesson 31: SUDOKU
Lesson 30: SPEAK YOUR MIND Say what you really think!
Lesson 29: Harrods
Lesson 28: Full English Breakfast
Lesson 27: London Underground
Lesson 26: Loan Words
Lesson 25: Elements
Lesson 24: Business Etiquette
Lesson 23: PUNS
Lesson 22: Fables
Lesson 21: Work Proverbs
Lesson 20: Riddles
Lesson 19: Whodunit?
Lesson 18: Language of chatrooms
Lesson 17: English is everywhere
Lesson 16: Winter Sports
Lesson 15: This Week - New Year in Madeira
Lesson 14: Christmas Crackers
Lesson 13: Insurance Humour
Lesson 12: This Week: Tips for presentations
Lesson 11: Stress at work
Lesson 10: Sherlock Holmes
Lesson 9: What makes a great salesman?
Lesson 8: TRIVIA
Lesson 7: Holidays
Lesson 6: Crazy Headlines
Lesson 5: Economists
Lesson 4: The Pareto Principle
Lesson 3: How to heat up cold calls
Lesson 2: Business & Psychology
Lesson 1: Advertising slogans