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Visual aids – design and type

Introducing the visual

OK. Let’s take a look at …

I have a transparency to show you.

The first / second / next / final slide is …


Check with the audience

Is that clear for everyone?

Is that in focus?

Can everybody see that?


Meaning of the visual

This shows / illustrates / demonstrates / refers to …

This is a graph which shows …

As you can see, this is …

Here we can see …



Focusing attention

I’d like to draw your attention to …

One of the most important aspects of this is …

At first glance it seems … but …

Why a visual aid?

Saves time

Highlights key points

Aerates impact

Helps the presenter

Creates variety

Builds interest


Spot check – visuals

Are spelling and grammar correct?

Is lettering clear?

Is the layout logical?

Are the colours compatible/

Does it communicate or distract?


Type of visual

1. Line graph:

· Scale

· Vertical axis

· Solid line

· Broken line

· Dotted line

· Horizontal axis

2.Pictures and tables:

· Organigram

· Flow chart

· Plan

· Table

· Technical illustration

· Map

· Shapes

· Bar chart

· Pie chart

· Picture Graphic Diagram

3. Equipment and environment:

· A board

· Felt pen

· A white board

· A curtain

· A flip chart

· A video player

· A cassette recorder

· A slide

· A pointer

· A microphone

· A slide projector

· An overhead projector / an OHP

· A handout

· A transparency


Giving explanations

The cause

This happened because …

This was a result of …

So …/ Therefore ….


The result

This will result in …

This will lead to …

Consequently …/ As a result …

Body language – being persuasive


Match your appearance to audience expectations

Maintain eye contact

Use positive facial expressions – smile

Move to create interest

Use hands to create impact with gesture

Establish a confident posture and stance

Create a positive attitude – be relaxed and enthusiastic

Persuading Language


I suggest that we … My suggestion is that we …

I recommend that we … My recommendation is that we …

I propose that we … My proposal is that we …



The difference between … and … is enormous.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of …?

On the one hand …/ On the other hand …

This is far superior to …/ better than …


Stark options

We have no choice.

If we don’t … then we will see …

Either we … or …

Instead of … we could …


Neutral vs emotive words

Neutral Emotive

It is risky. It is commercial suicide.

This may be a problem. This will lead to chaos.

We require this. This is an absolute must.

Some will complain. There will be a riot.


Say it three times! [1] [2] [3]

This new product is faster, cheaper and more efficient.

[1] [2] [3]

This supplier is friendly, customer-focused and next door!


! Presentation tip

Practice the introduction until it is perfect. You need to convince your audience in the first sixty seconds!


Communicating styles

People have different communicating styles. Understanding how you communicate is important to improve your presentation planning and performance. Consider your own style by asking yourself the questions in the table below. Remember – there is no right or wrong but you should have a balanced approach.


Communication factor Personal profile
Systematic vs Organic So you prefer structured presentations to a more organic style?
Formal vs Informal Do you prefer formal language, dress, posture to an informal approach?
Closed vs Open Do you state facts or ask questions and discuss answers?
Complex vs Simple Do you enjoy in-depth analysis or communicating simply and efficiently?
Emphatic vs Relaxed Do you tend to overstate and exaggerate or just concentrate on the facts?
Involved vs Impersonal Do you engage emotionally with your presentation subject or remain detached?


Language choices

Now examine some of the ways in which differences in communicating style translate into differences in the language which we use.


Choose between formality and informality

Formal Phrases Informal Phrases

Good morning ladies and gentlemen … vs Hello, everyone …

On behalf of … may I welcome you to … vs Thanks for coming.

If I may, I’d now like to move on to … vs Right. Secondly, …

If you have any questions, feel free … vs Just interrupt with questions.


Formal Vocabulary Informal Vocabulary

Sakes have recovered. vs Sales have picked up.

We will acquire the company soon. vs We will buy it soon.

We perceive it differently. vs We see it differently.

We must utilize our competence. vs We must use our competence.


Balance personal against impersonal

Tense Passive – Impersonal Active – Personal

Present simple It is thought I think

Present continuous It is being examined We are examining

Present perfect It has been claimed An expert has claimed

Past simple It was arranged I arranged it.

Future This will be looked at later. I will look at this later.

3. Balance ‘stating’ against ‘questioning’

It is clear that … vs Would you agree that …?

I don’t think that … vs Do you think that …?

We must … vs Is there any way to …?


4. Balance ‘emphatic’ against ‘relaxed’

This is a really big problem vs This is a slight worry

This is a catastrophe vs This may cause a problem

I am convinced … vs I tend to think that …


!Presentation tip

Focus on your strengths.

Work on your weaknesses.


Closing a presentation

Signalling the end

OK. That brings me to the end of my presentation.

Right. That covers everything I wanted to say about …

So, that’s all I have to say.



To sum up then, …

In brief, …

Before I finish, let me just go over …

If I can briefly summarize, …



To conclude, I’d like to say that …

I’d like to finish by saying …

In conclusion, …


Final recommendation

It seems to me, then, that we should …

I would therefore recommend / advise that …



I have prepared some handouts which I will pass round.

I’ll give you my e-mail address in case you want to follow up something I said.



Thank you for listening so attentively.

Thank you for your attention.

I hope that this has been useful.


Inviting questions

I’d be glad to answer any questions.

So, do you have any questions?

Are there any questions?

OK. I think that brings me to the end of the presentation. Are there any questions?

Yes, the gentleman / lady sitting there. [points]


! Presentation tip

Prepare answers to questions which you expect.



Handling questions

Questions for the presenter

Are you saying that …?

What did you mean when you said …?

Could you say a little bit more about …?

Could you go over that again, please? It wasn’t very clear for me.

Don’t you think that …?


Positive response

That’s a good / difficult / complex / an interesting question.

Thank you for asking that question.

I’m glad someone asked that question. It allows me to say …


Check your answer

Does that answer your question? / Is that OK?

Is that clear now? / Can we move on?



If I understand you correctly, you want to know …

You’re asking me about … Is that right?

Sorry, I didn’t follow / catch the question.

Could you repeat for me, please?

In other words, you’re asking …


Refer back

As I said earlier, in the first section/ at the end of the second section …

Yes, I mentioned in the introduction …



Accept criticism

I accept that. / That’s a fair point. / I agree with what you’re saying.

Up to a point, I agree.


Referring back to the presentation

As I said / pointed out / explained earlier, …

I think / already made it clear that …



Wrong person

I’m afraid I can’t really answer that.

That’s not really my area / field, I’m afraid.

I don’t have the figures with me.

Wrong topic

I’m afraid that question goes beyond the subject of today’s presentation.

I’m afraid that’s confidential. / I’m not at liberty to give you that information.

I’d be glad to discuss that with you personally after the presentation.

I’d be glad to discuss that with you personally after the presentation.

Tennis – returning a question

Well, let me ask you the same question.

OK. Let me ask you a question.

I can answer that by asking you a question.


Well, that depends on what you mean by …

Well, it’s a very complicated matter …

Well, there are various ways of looking at it.



Presenting at a glance



Good morning. Welcome to … (Greet) → My name is … (Introduce yourself)→ The objective of my presentation today is … (State objective) → I’ve divided the talk into five sections … (Outline structure) → I will take 15 minutes. (Timing)→ Feel free to interrupt. (Questions) → OK. To begin I’s like to look at … (Link)

Main Body

So, the first part of my presentation is … (Part one) → So, that’s all I have to say on the first point. Any questions on that? (closing first part) → OK, let’s move on to the second section which I have called … (Opening part two) → There are two questions to look at here: firstly … (Sequencing) → OK. That’s everything on Part Two. I will now move on to Part Three. (Closing / moving on) → Here, I would like to highlight two items. (Highlighting) → as you can see on this chart … (Using a visual) → I would suggest … (Recommending) → Could I digress for a second? (Digressing) → Let me now return to … (Returning) → OK, that’s all I wanted to say on Part Three. (Closing)



That brings me to the end of my presentation. (Signal end) → To sum up … (Summarize) → In conclusion. I would like to say … (Conclude) → Are there any questions? (Invite questions) → That’s a good question. (Handle questions positively) → If there are no more questions, I’ll finish there. (Closing)



Cross cultural tips

Remember, some audiences …

Audiences have very different expectations in different cultures. Knowing what your audience expects from the presenter is critical to successful presenting. When preparing and planning presentations for specific audiences, you should consider the following:


Involvement Factor

Interaction: Some audiences simply want to listen and not contribute.

Role of silence: Some audiences use silence to communicate agreement, not


Interruption: Some audience expect to be able to interrupt.

Human touch: Some audiences like to see the personality of the presenter.

Punctuality: Most audiences respect punctuality.

Formality: Some audiences see informality as a lack of professionalism.

Animation: Some audiences prefer a reserved style to over-enthusiastic


Level of analysis: Many audiences have in-depth specialist knowledge.


Organization Factor

Systematic: Some audiences prefer an organic style to rigid structure.

Support: Some audiences don’t want a lot of visuals and handouts.

Digression: Some audiences see digression as irrelevant.

Body Language Factor

Hands: Some audiences view hand(s) in pockets as sloppiness.

Eye contact: Some audiences feel uncomfortable without eye contact.

Dress: Some audiences work in companies and cultures with strict dress


Body: Some audiences expect a presenter to be dynamic.

Face: Some audiences look for animated facial expressions.


Delivery Factor

Language: Some audiences have a limited English vocabulary.

Reading text: Some audiences favour spontaneity over precision.

Voice: All audiences need sufficient volume and a suitable speed.


Social Factor

Names: Some audiences prefer family names to first names.

Business card: Some audiences will request a business card.

Host thanking: All audiences expect basic courtesies. Be polite.

Hierarchy: All audiences respect social and corporate hierarchies.


Survival strategies

Situation Language

The audience doesn’t understand. Let me go over that again.

You forgot! Perhaps I should mention …

No vocabulary! I’m sorry, what’s that word again?

You are lost. Now, where was I?

You drop your slides! Please, just bear with me a second.

No time. So, the main point is …



Golden rules

Practice and rehearse key English phrases :


· Establish a clear objective.

· Talk about what your audience expect you to talk about.

· Organize the information.

· Use notes or key words to assist.

· Have a strong opening and close.

· Make it interesting.

· Use your voice for effect.

· Keep it simple.

· Use visuals which improve impact and clarity.

· Handle equipment professionally.

· Speak with sufficient volume and intonation.

· Use summaries to link the parts.

· Think about the cultural environment.

· Dress for the occasion.

· Prepare and practise beforehand.

· Be confident and relaxed.

· Balance spontaneity against preparation.

· Handle questions positively.



· Make assumptions about the venue and facilities – check.

· Present information which is too complex for the audience.

· Talk for too long.

· Tell irrelevant anecdotes or inappropriate jokes.

· Speak too quickly.

· Use too many visuals.

· Photocopy small text onto an overhead.

· Read from a scripted text or visuals.

· Block your audience’s view of a visual.

· Talk with your back to the audience.

· Use distracting mannerisms.

· Forget to summarize at the end.





Warm up

Discuss the following questions:

1. What are the main reasons for holding a meeting?

2. What is the role of the chairperson?

3. Why are so many meetings unsuccessful?

4. Describe a meeting that you have attended recently. How effective was it and why?


Complete the following sentences with appropriate words from the list:

agenda casting vote consensus minutes circulate

chairperson items arising conduct apologies


1. In all formal meetings and most informal meetings, there is a ............................ whose job it is to ............................ the business of the meeting and to ensure that the meeting's objectives are achieved.

2. It is helpful in both formal and informal meetings to have an ............................. listing the points that are to be discussed. It is usual to ............................ this in advance so that participants can prepare adequately for the meeting.

3. If there are too many ............................ on the agenda, it is inevitable that the meeting will be over-long and so less effective.

4. After formal meetings, the secretary writes up the ....…..….…….…..... an official record of the discussion that has taken place.

5 If you cannot attend a meeting, it is customary to send your ............................. to the chairperson, who reads out the names of any absentees at the beginning of the meeting. After naming absentees, the chairperson may ask if there are any matters ............................ out of the minutes of the last meeting.

6 When decisions must be taken, the chairperson hopes there will be a ........................... on what should be done. Otherwise, a vote must be taken and sometimes the votes for and against are equal. If this happens, the only way to break the deadlock is for the chairperson to give his or her ............................ .



Reading 1


1. Pre-reading questions:

a) How often are meetings held in your faculty (group)?

b) How many people usually take part in them?

c) What problems are discussed at these meetings?

d) Does a meeting usually lead to action?


2. Read the text and answer the following questions:

a) What is crucial for a person’s carrier?

b) When should a meeting be held?

c) What are brainstorming sessions for?

d) What is a proper way of reasoning with quiet members of the meeting?

e) What is the necessary preparation for the meeting?



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