Effective Public Presentation

OVERALL OBJECTIVES:

  • How to make an impact on your audience using English as a foreign language at international and multicultural conferences and presentations.
  • How to use visual aids to maximise the effect.
  • How to develop your public speaking style to impress and influence your audience to achieve your expected objective.
  • How to deal with questions from the audience.

 

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

CHAPTER 1: PREPARING THE PRESENTATION

  • To understand the specifics of the communication process, performing in a foreign language and in front of an international audience.

CHAPTER 2: PREPARING THE MEETING

  • To get acquainted with your audience.

CHAPTER 3: OPENING THE MEETING

  • To quickly catch the attention and understand the attendees’ roles.

CHAPTER 4: CONDUCTING THE MEETING

  • To learn how to keep a good pace and to control the ups and downs.

CHAPTER 5: COPING WITH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS

  • Techniques for dealing with interruptions and with not getting distracted from your objectives.

CHAPTER 6: TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE COMMUNICATION SKILLS

  • To understand and practise active listening and non-verbal communication.

CHAPTER 7: CLOSING THE MEETING

  • To learn how to leave a good impression and how to stick to your targets.

CHAPTER 8: DESIGNING A POWERFUL PRESENTATION

  • Easy-to-follow techniques to design a powerful and convincing presentation.

CHAPTER 9: ENGLISH USAGE GUIDELINES IN INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS

  • To learn English expressions and their usage as a foreign language to boost the outcome of presentations.

CHAPTER 1: PREPARING THE PRESENTATION

1
1.1 Key points of any successful presentation

Steady use of your common sense

  • What do I want to communicate?
  • To whom?
  • For what purpose? (my objectives)
  • Under which circumstances?
  • How am I going to do it?
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1.2 The communication process

COMMUNICATION IS THE QUEST FOR PERSUASION USING ANY AVAILABLE METHOD – Aristotle

Message out -> interferences -> Message in

 Emitter -------------------------- Receiver

WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS RECEIVED, NOT WHAT’S SENT OUT

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1.3. The specifics of communicating to a multicultural/international audience

The golden rules:

Show respect = have an open and honest interest in the other person, putting them first.

If you don't know something, ask.

4
1.4. The specifics of communicating in a foreign language
  • Tell your limitations to the audience
  • Employ a neutral tone: practice eliminating strong accents
  • Avoid idioms – except if you find out that your local audience can understand them: wow factor.
  • Avoid acronyms if they are not fully shared by the whole audience
  • If you are including jokes in the presentation, make sure they are funny and you have practice them
  • Talk slowly
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1.5. The specifics of communicating in English
  • Constantly practice the most common sentences in English in business presentations (Chapter 9 of this seminar)
  • English employs fewer words than Spanish to express an idea, this helps to keep a slow pace and gain clarity
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1.6. Different types of presentations

Formal Conference

Casual Conference

Team meeting or discussion group

CHAPTER 2: PREPARING THE MEETING

1
2.1. Defining the objectives of the meeting

Be crystal clear about the outcome of the presentation: your objective(s)

Guideline: use the common SMART approach

2
2.2. Identifying the roles of the attendees

Set a clear map, one by one, of the roles of the attendees

The attendees can be: Apostles, Passengers, Terrorists

Map the roles and their potential attitudes, applying different tactics accordingly

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2.3. Preparation of the agenda
  1. Stick to the time given
  2.  Allow 5mins at the end for Q & As
  3.  Split the allowed time into smaller time frames....


CHAPTER 3: OPENING THE MEETING

1
3.1 Welcoming the attendees and creating rapport

Remember the four keys or TIQS

The TIN Method for closing and acknowledging the speaker

Use “hooks” – simple techniques for getting the immediate attention of the audience

2
3.2 Outlining the objectives of the meeting

Objectives of the opening:

- To capture the attention

- To raise interest

- To centre the presentation

- To obtain a warm welcome

3
3.3 Preparation of the agenda

BEFORE the meeting (and depending on the best practices of you own company), consider:

  • A timekeeper
  • A minute writer

DEFINE who you are going to ask questions:

  • To support your statements
  • To raise questions you have answers to


CHAPTER 4: CONDUCTING THE MEETING

1
4.1 Pacing the meeting (time keeping)

Given that you've split down the time into smaller pieces, stick to them.

Allow time in every piece to close individual ideas:

  • smaller closings help you get the bigger closing

Feel the energy. If it drops, have “boosts” to lift it up, such as:

  • relevant data
  • related jokes or anecdotes
  • alternative resources


2
4.2 Encouraging participation
  • Prepare questions beforehand with your apostles and make them get into the discussion when given a signal.
  • Approach people directly by looking at them in the eyes and “begging them” with your non-verbal signs.
  • Don`t point at people with your finger or your head, call them by their names.
3
4.3 Speeding up the decision making process
  • Use common sales closing terminology in order to reach decisions:
  • - “You all agree that…”
  • - “We have an agreement here, namely…”
  • - “It’s great that we arrived to a conclusion here…”
  • - “Therefore it’s clear to everyone that we…”
  • - “We finish this topic, then, concluding that…”
4
4.4 Expressions for: agreeing, disagreeing, providing options and suggestions

Guidelines:

  • Always be polite, but firm
  • Good manners sell
  • Rudeness sets you automatically out of any positive outcome
  • Politeness doesn't equal weakness

CHAPTER 5: COPING WITH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS

1
5.1 Keeping the meeting on track and dealing with interruptions

Interruptions are an integral part of any presentation, you have to live with them.

However, interruptions can play a positive role if they are meant to help you get to your point.

If you feel this is the case encourage them, BUT, set a time limit: “This is an interesting point that is helping us clarify the topic X, and I'd love to dedicate to it Y minutes if you agree.”

2
5.2 Managing conflicts

Conflicts are not a bad thing if you manage them properly, but handle them poorly and you're done.

To avoid a conflict arising:

1- Keep a good presentation pace and rhythm.

2- Stay alert of the room's “energy”: keeping a good mood avoid conflicts.

3- YOU are the first source of conflict if:

  • You're not credible.
  • Don't provide good, accurate answers.
  • Don't MASTER your topic.

CHAPTER 6: TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE COMMUNICATION SKILLS (AND REACHING YOUR OBJECTIVES)

1
6.1 Active listening

Active listening creates rapport and improves your credibility.

Keys to active listening:

  • Show real interest in the topic.
  • Be honest with yourself. If you`re really not interested in the person or the topic they are talking about, it will show.
  • Briefly repeat an excerpt of what`s being said, thus showing that you`ve understood it and generating automatic rapport.
  • If there`s something you haven`t understood, ask them politely to repeat it.
  • It`s good manners to ask a short question related to the topic that leads to a short answer.
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6.2 Precision questioning

When related to previous topic, asking a good, insightful question helps in the active listening process and generates rapport.

Guidelines for precision listening questioning:

  • Only ask a question when you haven't understood the topic.
  • Ask questions that are related to the current topic (avoid off-topic questions).
  • Ask questions that improve positively the image of the speaker.
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6.3 Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is key to the success of the presentation.

It has to follow and fully support your verbal communication.

If you can't control your body or tics, practice beforehand in front of a mirror or by recording yourself.

Confidence is not gained, it is transmitted.

CHAPTER 7: CLOSING THE MEETING

1
7.1 Preparing the post-meeting phase

Presenting conclusions and obtaining the approval from the participants.

Conclusions must be a fair summary of the discussion.

Don't make things up. Again, be fair.

Ask for reassurance from your apostles.


Usually, it’s good to have flip charts at hand to write down the outcomes and have them signed off.

2
7.2 Converting decisions into action points

Come back to the flip chart to write down the pre-decisions and have them signed off along the presentation.

Guidelines :

  • KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid.
  • Use verbs rather than adjectives.
  • Better use 1st person plural (royal “we”).
  • Sign-off means put a name behind a decision.
  • If relevant, set a delivery date.
3
7.3 Writing the minutes of the meeting

It`s a great best practice to have someone of your trust to write minutes.

In some companies minutes are compulsory and they have a particular form. Stick to it.

Whenever possible, avoid writing them yourself as the task:

- Distracts you from the flow of the presentation.

- Opens unnecessary waiting times.

If you have to write them use the flip chart (preferably a second one to avoid flipping pages all the time)

CHAPTER 8: DESIGNING A POWERFUL PRESENTATION

1
8.1 Controlling the environment, the content, the delivery and the materials

Environment

Content

Delivery

Materials

2
8.2 Design the do’s and don’ts

Some final words

  • Communication is key.
  • Text to support communication.
  • Pictures to simplify complex concepts.
  • Animations for complex relationships.
  • Visuals for support, not for distraction.
  • Sounds only when absolutely necessary.


CHAPTER 9: ENGLISH USAGE GUIDELINES IN INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS

1
9.1 Introductions and outline

Introducing institute/department:

Hi. Thanks for coming. I am a PhD student/researcher/technician at…

I am doing a PhD/ a Masters/some research at…

I am part of a team of 20 researchers and most of our funding comes from…

The work that I am going to present to you today was carried out with the collaboration of the University of…


Telling the audience what point your research has reached and in what context it is:

What I am going to present is actually still only in its early stages, but I really think that our findings so far are worth telling you.

We are already at a quite advanced stage of the research, but I was hoping to get some feedback from you on certain aspects relating to…

Our research, which we have just finished, is actually part of a wide project involving…

2
9.2 Transitions

Moving on to the main body of the presentation

Okay, so let me start by looking at…

So first I'd like to give you a bit of background.

So why did we undertake this research? Well…

Introducing a new element or topic

With regards to X…

As far as X is concerned…

Regarding X…

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9.3 Emphasising, qualifying, giving examples

Emphasising a point

I must emphasise that…

What I want to highlight is…

At this point I would like to stress that…

What I would really like you to focus on here is…

These are the main points to remember: The main argument in favour of/against this is…

The fact is that…

This is a particularly important point. This is worth remembering because…

You may not be aware of this but…

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9.4 Diagrams

Making initial reference to the diagram

Here you can see…

I have included this chart because…

This is a detail from the previous figure…

This should give you a clearer picture of…

This diagram illustrates…

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9.5 Discussing results, conclusions, future work

Very strong affirmations

These results definitely prove that…

We are convinced that our results show that…

What these results prove is…

6
9.6 Ending

Warning the audience that the presentation is near the end

Okay, we're very close to the end now, but there are just a couple of important things that I still want to tell you.

Final summary

Well, that brings me to the end of the presentation.

So, just to recap...

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