Over the years I have listened to hundreds of presentations and speeches by students in my classes. It's a great chance for them to practise and get some feedback from me! Higher level students often over-complicate things and I normally work with them to simplify what they want to say. Now, that might sound a little strange that an English teacher wants to make their English simpler. However, the objective of any kind of speech is to keep the audience listening and for them to understand you!
Here are my top tips for CLEAR and ENGAGING presentations:
Use less complex structures in your speaking than your writing.
Speak in simple phrases and sentences- this will help you sound more fluent and keep your audience listening.
Use words that the audience will understand. Avoid jargon.
Use signposting language, so your audience understands where you are and were you are going.
Use prompt cards and try not to read too much.
Occasionally you will need to use a long word or sentence, but don't use it just to impress!
By the way......
A professor (Daniel Oppenheimer) of Psychology at the UCLA Andersen School of Management led a study into the use of language and how it can make someone appear more or less intelligent. Surprisingly, he found that writers of essays that used shorter words gave the readers the impression they were more capable than other authors that used longer words. Strange, isn't it? We think of longer words as being more impressive, but if we use too many then it can make us harder to understand. When someone tells us something and we understand it easily we are more likely to think that person is intelligent and like them! . Read more about this study here.
Click here to practise your presentation with me!