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English Communication Skills: Time of day tips for presentations–Lunch

English Communication Skills: Time of day tips for presentations–Lunch

shutterstock_136833263As human beings, we like to combine business with pleasure.  Thus, presenters are asked to do the noon meal.  Here are some tips for you so that this occasion for presentation can indeed combine work with pleasure.

Presentations during lunch:

  • Lunch presents problems for listeners, who, of course, want to eat.  Never talk when your listeners are trying to enjoy the main part of their meal.  If you must talk during dessert, that’s doable. But be prepared for the sounds of clinking forks and rattling coffee cups.
  • Lunch also presents a double problem for speakers.  Ah yes, you need food for energy.  But you can’t eat a big meal right before you speak because it will just sit there in your stomach as a big lump.  Then there is the added danger of getting food stuck in your teeth.  Distracting? Yes!  It is distracting for listeners to watch the  spinach stuck between your front teeth flapping in the breeze of your “s” and “z”.  Best option?  Consider doing a light snack before you arrive.  Then skip the served meal.  Use your table time to relax and find out what other people are thinking.
  • Participants want to talk with their friends.  Do make your luncheon talk as informal and conversational as possible – so listeners feel like you’re at the table conversing with them.
  • Luncheon groups want to have fun.  Give them fun—real life examples, anecdotes, clever quotes.  Remember: Lunch is meant to be a relaxing break in their day

Presentations Immediately after lunch

  • Listeners may be drowsy after eating a big meal.  Make the opening of your speech attention-grabbing.
  • Post-lunch attendees may not be able to arrive on time.  If you don’t want your opening to be interrupted, consider starting a few minutes late.  You could even usher late arrivals into the room personally.
  • Listeners may have a difficult time switching from an “entertainment mode” to a “learning mode.”  Consider opening with something lighthearted to make that transition easier for them

Next time:  Pitfalls in afternoon and evening presentations

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