Read the following advice on presentations and choose the best heading for each
paragraph from the following list:
Rapport = buena relación /
compenetración Delivery = declamación / estilo de presentación
This refers to the way in which you actually perform or give your
presentation. It is a vital aspect of all presentations and it is at
least as important as content, especially in a multi-cultural context.
Most speakers feel a little uneasy at the beginning of a presentation,
and this is perfectly normal. The answer is to pay special attention to
the beginning of your presentation. First impressions are important and
this is the time when you need to get the attention of your audience. As
you begin, try to speak slowly and calmly. It’s a good idea to learn
your introduction by heart. After a few moments, you will relax and gain
You need to build a warm and friendly relationship with your audience.
Enthusiasm is contagious. If you are enthusiastic your audience will be
enthusiastic too. And be careful to establish eye contact with each
member of your audience. Each person should feel that you are speaking
directly to him or her. This means that you must look at each person in
turn - in as natural a way as possible. This will also give you the
opportunity to detect signs of boredom, disinterest or even
disagreement, allowing you to modify your presentation as appropriate.
What you do not say is at least as important as what you do say. Your
body is speaking to your audience even before you open your mouth. Your
clothes, your walk, your glasses, your haircut, your expression and even
the way you stand all help to give your audience its first impression of
Generally speaking, it is better to stand rather than sit when making a
presentation. Be aware of and avoid any repetitive and irritating
gestures. Be aware, too, that the movement of your body is one of your
methods of control. When you move to or from the whiteboard, for
example, you can move fast or slowly, raising or reducing the dynamism
in the audience. You can stand very still while talking or you can move
from side to side. These movements all have a different effect on your
Because English is so widely used around the world, it is quite possible
that many members of your audience will not be native English-speakers.
In other words, they will not have an Anglo-Saxon culture. You should
always bear in mind differences in culture and try to learn about any
particular cultural points that may affect your audience. This is one
reason why preparation for your presentation is so important.
Cultural differences can also be seen in body language. To a Latin from
Southern France or Italy, a presenter who uses his hands and arms when
speaking may seem dynamic and friendly. To an Englishman, the same
presenter may seem unsure of his words and
lacking in self-confidence.
It is, of course, important that your audience can hear you clearly
throughout your presentation. Remember that if you
turn away from your
audience, for example towards the whiteboard, you need to speak a little
more loudly. In general, you should try to vary your voice. Your voice
will then be more interesting for your audience. You can vary your voice
in at least three ways:
• speed: you can speak at normal speed, you can speak faster, you can
speak more slowly - and you can stop completely! You can pause. This is
a very good technique for getting your audience's attention.
• intonation: you can change the pitch of your voice. You can speak in a
high tone. You can speak in a low tone.
• volume: you can speak at normal volume, you can speak loudly and you
can speak quietly. Lowering your voice and speaking quietly can again
attract your audience's interest.
The important point is not to speak in the same, flat, monotonous voice
throughout your presentation. This could put your audience to sleep!
Of all the information that enters our brains, most of it enters through
the eyes. 80% of what your audience learn during your presentation is
learned visually (what they see) and only 20% is learned aurally (what
they hear). The significance of this is obvious:
• visual aids are an extremely effective means of communication
• non-native English speakers need not worry so much about spoken
English - they can rely more heavily on visual aids
It is well worth spending time in the creation of good visual aids. But
it is equally important not to use too many. Keep the information on
each visual aid to a minimum - and give your audience time to look at
and absorb this information.
Remember, your audience have never seen these visual aids before. They
need time to study and to understand them. Without understanding there
is no communication.
photographs and drawings, some of the most useful visual aids are charts
and graphs, like the 3-dimensional ones shown here:
Piecharts are circular in shape (like a
Barcharts can be vertical (as here) or horizontal.
Graphs can rise and fall.
Remain calm and polite if you receive difficult or even hostile
questions during your presentation. If you receive very difficult
questions, you might suggest that they ask their questions after your
Read the text again and answer the following questions.
1. How should you speak when you start your
2. According to the text, what is the best way of noticing if your
audience is bored with, not interested in or not agreeing with your
3. How can you increase and decrease the dynamism in your audience?
4. What does the expression lacking in self-confidence mean in paragraph
a) mucha confianza en sí mismo
b) una persona muy abierta
c) falta de confianza en sí mismo
5. To turn away from in paragraph 6 means:
a) escribir en la pizarra
b) volver la cara
c) ponerse de cara a / estar de cara a
6. According to paragraph 7, how much information in a presentation is
received through the ears?
7. In paragraph 7 we see the expression to absorb information. Which of
the following phrasal verbs could be used in place of the verb absorb in
a) to take for
b) to take in
c) to take up 8. What should you do if the audience ask difficult questions during
Make collocations with the following words. Follow the example.
Check your answers by finding the collocations in the text.
Complete the following sentences with one of the collocations from the
previous exercises. Follow the example.
Example: If you don’t
you won’t understand what I’m saying.
1. Please for a minute
because I want to see how many of us are here. 2. When I was at school we had to
pages and pages of poetry
. 3. I read somewhere that 90% of people tend to
about someone during the first
three minutes of meeting them for the first time. 4. If you would only
Philip Johnson to use his
imagination, I think you’ll be impressed with his ability to find us new
clients in the private sector. 5. It’s taken us five years to
with Sony, and I’m not sure I
want to take any risks at this point. 6. If you don’t when you
speak in public, you could put your audience to sleep. 7. It’s important to
where and when you’re going to be giving your presentation. 8. These days email is probably the most common