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  • Writer's pictureSarah Egan

Let's Smash This!!

How can we carry out* a successful presentation and captivate our audience in English?

The time most of us fear and dread* has finally come! We have to give a presentation or give a speech, conduct a conference or facilitate a course in English.

Not only is this nerve-racking* in your own native language, but to do it in English is also terrifying! I've been there and I know what it's like to have those sweaty palms, a red face, voice and body trembles that can make you want to crawl into a hole and disappear.

Take a look at these tips to help you face this obstacle with more confidence and not get stuck when explaining your ideas during your speech, presentation, conference or whatever public speaking activity you might find yourself up against.

So! Where do we start? How should we carry ourselves? What should we include?

First and foremost* Prepare yourself:

Practicing confidence & competence building, body language and use of floor space is key to setting the foundation for a strong and impactful presentation. People are interested in people, how they carry themselves and how interesting they are to listen to. Practice out loud, in front of the mirror, in your car, or at home until the big day comes. Record yourself so you can hear yourself speak and check for any grammar or intonation corrections.

Be yourself, let your personality shine through* and nervousness is normal.

Take a look at Amy Cuddy's, a social psychologist, 'Fake it Till You Make it'' Ted Talk where she argues that "power posing" standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident, can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success and delivering a great presentation.

This video has helped me gain so much confidence while standing up in front of big audiences.

*Tell your story or your company's story

We all love to listen to real-life interesting stories based on personal or company experiences. So a good introduction to a story combined with your desired presentation objective or topic will surely capture your audience's attention immediately.

Why not start off* with an analogy, a powerful statistic or a mind-blowing* metaphor to really make those eyes focus on you.

*Presentation Layout

Simplicity is Key. Music is emotion. Video captures hearts. Colour speaks louder than words.

That is it.

Let's take a look at some phrases to go along with your presentation layout:


  • ·Good morning/afternoon everyone and welcome to my presentation. First of all, let me thank you all for coming here today.

  • ·On behalf of X-Company I would like to welcome you here today.

  • ·Let me start by saying a few words about my own background.

  • ·As you can see on the screen, our topic today is......

  • ·My talk is particularly relevant to those of you who....

  • ·This talk is designed to act as a springboard for discussion.

  • ·This morning/ afternoon I’m going to take a look at the recent developments in.....

Presentation structure

  • In my presentation, I’ll focus on three major issues.

  • This presentation is structured as follows....

  • The subject can be looked at under the following headings.....

  • We can break this area down into the following fields....

Anticipating the presentation length and timing

  • It will take about X minutes to cover these issues.

Handing out or sending the most important points

  • Does everybody have a handout/copy of my report either digitally or on paper?

  • I’ll be handing out copies of the slides at the end of my talk.

  • I can email the PowerPoint presentation to anyone who would like it.

  • Don’t worry about taking notes, I’ve put all the relevant statistics on a handout for you.


  • If you have any questions, I would be delighted to answer them.

  • If you don’t mind, I'd like to leave questions until the end of my talk /there will be time for a Q&A session at the end...

  • This leads me to my next point, which is…

  • I’d now like to look at / consider…

  • Now I will pass you over to /hand over to …

  • Does anyone have any questions before I move on?

  • If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • If you have any further questions, I will be happy to answer them at the end.

Sequencing phrases

  • My first point concerns...

  • First of all, I’d like to give you an overview of....

  • Next, I’ll focus on.....and then we’ll consider....

  • Then I’ll go on to highlight what I see as the main points of....

  • Finally, I’d like to address the problem of.....

  • Finally, I’d like to raise briefly the issue of....

Highlighting information

  • Allow me to put this situation into some kind of perspective...

  • Let me discuss more in-depth the implications of....

  • Take a look at that more detailed recommendation regarding....

  • Let's think about the significance of this figure here.

  • Whichever way you look at it, the underlying trend and its volatility is clear.


  • So, to summarise the main points of my talk today...

  • Just a quick recap of my main points…

  • I’d like to conclude by…

  • That brings me to the end of my presentation, thank you for listening / for your attention.

  • Thank you all for listening, it was a pleasure being here today.

  • I'd like to wrap up with a quote by a very inspirational person.....

Best of luck in your presentation or public speech guys!

Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions below in the comments box.

Grammar Explanations*

Carry out* (phrasal verb) - to perform, do or execute a task.

Dread* (verb) - to fear or be anxious about something in the future.

Nerve-racking* (compound adjective)- something that makes you feel worried, nervous or stressed.

Shine through* (phrasal verb)- to show clearly, be clearly visible.

First and foremost* (introduction phrase) - Most importantly.

Mind-blowing * (compound adjective)- Overly impressive, incredibly amazing.

Start off + with* (phrasal verb) - To start something is a specific way.

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