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10 Tips for Effective Presentations in English

Here is the full transcript:

Hi. I’m Paul Urwin from and in this short video, I’m going to give you 10 tips for presenting in English. Let’s jump right in.

Number one, don’t be afraid to highlight that fact that you are not a native speaker. Sometimes, this helps to bring you a little bit closer to the audience. They can be a bit more on your side if they understand that English is not your first language and that you are absolutely trying your best. That’s number one. Don’t be afraid to highlight the fact that you are not a native speaker.

Number two, make sure there are no mistakes on your slides. If you have grammatical or spelling mistakes on your slides, that is really going to just draw the audience into them, and they’re going to focus on the mistakes. They’re going to focus on the mistakes instead of focusing on your message and listening to you. So number two, make sure there are no mistakes on your slides.

Number three, do you use too much jargon or technical language. I think there is a tendency to believe that if you use more technical or more complicated language, it will make you sound more intelligent. Actually, the opposite is true. Intelligent presenters are able to explain complex concepts using very simple language and very simple terms. So keep it simple.

Number four, try and reduce crutch words. “Ums” and “ahs.” Well, of course, um, they are, um, going to, um, creep into your presentation. That is inevitable. But try and keep them to a minimum and try and keep your presentation flowing. That’s number four. Try and reduce crutch words.

Number five, speak at the right speed. When you have not only your presentation to focus on but also the fact that English is not your native language, this can often alter the speed of some presenters and some presenters end up talking way too fast while others slow down to a drawl. Neither of those is very comfortable for your audience. So try and find the right speed at which to present your material. That’s number five, speak at the right speed.

Number six, limit abbreviations and acronyms. Again, this is related to keeping things simple. You shouldn’t over-complicate things and you shouldn’t assume that your audience understands all of these abbreviations and acronyms. It’s just going to complicate things. So keep abbreviations and acronyms to a minimum. That’s number six.

Number seven, speak clearly. Often, non-native speakers have issues with confidence. I understand completely. It’s difficult enough as it is to get up and present in front of a crowd in your own language. And to do it in another language is even more difficult. So that can lead to nerves and that can lead to a lack of confidence sometimes. But don’t let that impact the way in which you speak. Sometimes people or presenters who are nervous can mumble things a little bit. If you mumble, it just makes it really unclear and your audience is going to understand even less. So fight through those nerves, pick up your confidence, and speak as clearly as possible. That’s number seven.

Number eight, speak at the right volume. Again, this is something that affects non-native speakers. Nervousness and insecurity about the presentation, lots of things to think about can sometimes affect volume. You don’t want to be shouting. You don’t want to be whispering either. Find the right volume that your audience can understand. That’s number eight. Speak at the right volume.

Number nine, use humor occasionally. A little bit of a laugh and a joke is always good to include something like that in a presentation. But keep it to a minimum. This is not a comedy show. You’re there to share your knowledge and interact and engage the audience. Also, take into account cultures. It’s very important to include any joke that is appropriate for everyone in the audience. And not only appropriate, but they are also going to understand it. So that’s number nine. Use humor occasionally.

And number 10, well perhaps this is the most important of them all, practice. Practice your presentation before you actually get up there on stage. There are a number of different ways to you can do this: practice with a native speaker, record your presentation or asks someone to record you on video so you can have a look back over it and see where you are making the mistakes. You shouldn’t be learning your presentation word for word. That really isn’t going to help. So it’s not about memorizing the presentation, but the more familiar you are with the topic, the more familiar you are with the text, the more familiar you are with the words that you are going to say in English, the more successful you will be in your presentation.

So if you’ve got a presentation coming up soon, best of luck. My name’s Paul Urwin. Thanks for watching. If you like the video, please subscribe and give me a big thumbs up. Paul Urwin, Thank you.


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