April 2016: Improve Your Business Presentations Now

Wie ihr vielleicht wisst, arbeiten wir mit einer Sprachschule in England zusammen, und zwar der inlingua in Cheltenham. Ich hatte wieder das große Vergnügen, an Ostern Amelia, meine Ansprechpartnerin zu treffen. Es macht Spaß zu sehen, wie engagiert sie sich um ihre Teilnehmer kümmern und auf ihre Wünsche eingehen. So wurde es mir gerade erst von einer Kundin von uns, die im Februar dort war, bestätigt.
Außerdem liegt Cheltenham in absoluter Nähe der traumhaft schönen Cotswolds. Ich muss noch ein Bild einstellen, damit ihr euch einen Eindruck machen könnt von dieser malerisch-schönen Gegend.

Auf ihrem Blog veröffentlichen sie Tipps zur Verbesserung von Business English. Sie schicken mir die Beiträge zu und ich finde sie so gut, dass ich sie gerne mit euch teilen möchte.

Hier ist ein erster Beitrag: Improve Your Business Presentations Now

We’re taught from an early age to present to groups of people from the time that we are old enough to do ‘show and tell’ in school and yet, as we turn into grownups, many people start to fear it. The stakes are higher when credibility or maybe a job rests on the success of a presentation, granted, but it is not all that different from show and tell – you know what you’re talking about and what you want to say, it’s just about saying it with confidence!At inlingua Cheltenham when we have clients who want to study Business English, many state their key area of development over their time at the school is to work on presentations – and we do a lot of that in groups and in one to one lessons. The weekly simulated meeting also offers the opportunity to practice with a group of people and receive positive constructive feedback.

So, here are our top tips for improving your presentations in English in five easy steps:1. Without structure, we all fall apart.Every story, every presentation needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Otherwise it’s just a stream of consciousness and it will be hard for your audience to follow and absorb the points you are making. If you need a little help, then index cards – three maximum will give you something to hold in your hands and help remind you as to whether you are sticking to your ‘plot line’ or not.

2. Simple language will help others to understand you

The presentation that you are giving may not be given to just native English speakers, and many adults do not reveal that they are not as confident with their English as they perhaps make out, so many people will thank you for not trying to impress with long sentences and even longer words when a shorter one would do. Nobody likes being bombarded with long complex sentences, especially in hot stuffy meeting rooms and auditoriums – keep it simple and win hearts and minds.

3. Don’t worry and certainly don’t apologise for your English

If you are not a native speaker, you have made a tremendous leap forward from being able to converse to presenting to a room full of people. You are here for a reason, because you are not just great at your job, but because you are the best person to get the point across to this audience. It’s not about having near native speaker proficiency, it’s about giving the best presentation possible with the level of English that you have. (This is why keeping to a structure and keeping your sentences and choices of words as simple as you can will draw attention to the content of your speech).

4. Choose your techniques carefully

The person who said you should imagine your audience in their underpants to feel less nervous needs ignoring and relegating to history forever! Other people may undertake mindfulness techniques – being in the moment and focusing on their soles of their feet on the ground and their breathing rather than the 200 hungry-for-information people in front of them.

As we teach people to give presentations all the time – as well as give them more times than we really care to mention a year all we can say is:

– Dress smartly in what makes you feel good.

– Get into the rhythm of what you practised.

– Connect with people, give eye contact, smile

Connecting with people is important. If you are the type of person that feels more confident in smaller groups, you may find that visualising speaking to one person in the audience works for you. But, please don’t just lock your eyes on them, it’s a little too intense. Instead, pick a different person each time you do so. Imagine it’s just you and them.

5. Your presentation is a part of your body – it is well practised in your head

The most common mistake made in a presentation includes not practising enough so that you forget key points and forget what you want to say. How do we learn to do anything well? Practice. Keep running through it in your head, in front of people, in front of your children, in front of your pets, in front of the mirror.

It’s a part of your day and it’s a part of you and you will find that it’s not just the one subject of content that you learn to present confidently. Subsequent presentations will run like this too because it will be a habit to keep thinking of it and keep practising.

If you would like to really improve your presentations in English, or would like to work on techniques, you can view our combination courses in Business English or you can find the local toastmasters in your country to meet likeminded people who want to be the best public speakers they can be.

Viel Erfolg beim Anwenden!

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