IATEFL Business English SIG are running their 1st Online Symposium today – a day of pecha kuchas, talks and workshops on Business English topics.
Here’s a summary of a Pecha Kucha presentation by Rachel Appleby (@rapple18): The Confidence to Stand Up and Talk!
Presentations are common in business contexts, and yet, regardless of age and experience, even the most senior in the company can find this challenge nerve-wracking. Course materials provide long lists of “useful phrases”, how to use visuals effectively, and so on, but still many of our clients lack the confidence to do this well. What clients specifically need is how to get started, engage their audience, keep them involved, and, not least, how to end effectively. This pecha kucha will take the fast-lane approach to hooks and tools to help clients not just survive but succeed!
For some people presenting in English is more nerve-wracking that meeting a spider. How to help our students? Rachel is going to present 7 ideas to help the learners build up the confidence to present in English.
1. A good idea: if you don’t have a new idea, tweak it and provide a new a new angle on the topic.
Examples: ‘Recent Sales Figures’ >> ‘The key points about recent sales figures’ or ‘Something you didn’t know about..’; ‘Update on a project’ >> ‘Three features about the project’ / ‘What no-one else has done’.
2 How to start? if the beginning doesn’t make a good impression, you’re doomed.From the very beginning, get attention of the audience, e.g. through a quote / a fun fact (‘Did you know?..‘). Rachel’s favourite is a hands-up question (involves the audience and no-one needs to speak).
3 Have a ‘take home’ message. We could change the audience’s knowledge, attitude or behaviour – all three could be the ‘take-away’.
4 Also, establish your credibility (say a few things about yourself).
5 Provide direction: organize content to have clear structure, e.g. have three WH-questions on the first slide that you answer during the presentation, or organized it around a problem>> solution.
6 Involve the audience (e.g. get them to discuss a question, ask Yes/No questions).
7 Plan the end in advance. This is an invaluable opportunity to make your points again. Get the learners to write down ~3 sentences they’ll end their talk with. Some options: come down to the beginning? Summarize?
This was a very enjoyable and useful session: I feel that these seven key points would make a great check-list for anyone preparing to give a talk.