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


Now that it is September 2021, lunch meetings are just starting up. They may be in person or via teleconference. Lunch meetings, especially in person, is a way to combine business with pleasure.  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 if in person, be prepared for the sounds of clinking forks and rattling coffee cups.
  • Lunch also presents a double problem for speakers.  You, as presenter, 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.  For politeness sake, you can move the food around on your plate. 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
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Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

Tips for Teleconferences -Zoom, Skype

Tips for Teleconferences

Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 Speech Tips

Pause so another person can speak.

Save complex questions for e-mail unless you need an immediate answer.


English Communication: How to Establish Rapport at Meeings

English Communication: How to Establish Rapport at Meeings

Blog for Saturday, July 17, 2021

Sometimes you going to a meeting to persuade.  The meeting could be one-on-one, you with a group, person-to-person or virtual. Use the first five minutes to establish rapport and relax people.  Egos are on alert the first few minutes of a meeting, and by putting people at ease, they’ll be receptive to your ideas.


One way to rapport is to bring lots of information with you.  Say it’s the first time you’re meeting with the group, then Google the leaders and social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn so you have current info on their backgrounds and activities.  During the first five minutes you could say – “I looked you up online, you’ve had  quite a career” – or mention it when they start talking about something you recognize from your research.  Visit their company’s website.

If you know the people you’re meeting with, use the first five minutes to make them feel valued.  If it is a superior,  acknowledge that the person is taking time out of his or her busy day.  You could say, “Thanks for meeting with me. I know you are busy.”  Or you can be more specific, for example by asking about a project the person is working on.  Or you could be even bolder and aim to be memorable.   The suggestion of Chris St. Hilaire is to think  about the last time your superior/boss or member of management complained about  something – babies crying on the  airplane or a restaurant which never puts enough mayo on a sandwich. When you go to meet with this person, bring a pair of inexpensive headphones or a jar of mayonnaise, set it on the desk, and say, “I’ve solved your problem.  Can I have a minute of your time?”  It is using a casual touch to signal that you listen to the other person and care enough to actually go out and  buy  the item.

During the first five minutes, you will also be making a visual impression.  Here are some tips to consider. Conventional wisdom is to match your dress style to the people you’ll be meeting—this makes you one of them.  

Another tip is that when you are selling a service, consider that you may not want to look exactly like the people you’re persuading.  If you are just like them, why do they need you?  They need a person who can contribute something new.  So consider dressing a little differently to set yourself a little apart.  In this fashion, you are also signaling that you are not competing with them.   Then there is the old but true wisdom of salesmanship that if you’re going to sell something valuable, you need to look affluent.  With all this in mind, you might go with casual dress and choose a classy pullover sweater and jeans, both of which are obviously expensive. Expensive shoes work too.

Lastly, put people at ease knowing that other people will notice and be curious about whatever you are carrying.  It is an icebreaker and rapport building.

Think about how your behavior and dress can put people at ease. Your intention will then direct you in your choices!

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

copyright Clear Talk Mastery, Inc 2021


How to Succeed in the First Five Minutes for Meetings

English Communication: How to Succeed in the First Five Minutes for Meetings


Blog 201 on Friday, July 2, 2021 Everyone goes to meetings, face-to-face or virtual. You could be there to persuade.  Or you could be there to take in or contribute information.  Whatever your purpose, the first five minutes are critical. They are not about impressing other people but about putting people at ease.

First impression is key. smile, make eye contact, and offer a body greeting appropriate for the now. With Covid still around a firm handshake may not be the greeting of choice. Use local custom, perhaps it is a slight bow, hand palms touching with a slight bow, or elbow greeting.

Here are some other etiquette tips for meetings.   If someone asks you how you are, don’t just say, “Fine.”  Instead say, “Fine, thank you for asking. How are you?”   It seems obvious, but people often forget to ask about the other person, and it is likely to be interpreted that you are concerned only with yourself. The “thank you for asking” is gracious.

The second tip is for introductions.  Be sure to include your last name when introducing yourself.  In the North American culture, information systems are organized around last or family names. So for future reference and knowing how to contact you, people love to know your last name.

The third tip is that if you are a visitor and someone asks if you’d like something to drink, request water and be sure to thank them when they hand it to you.  People want to do something nice for you. This is a certain way to make them feel good about themselves without inconveniencing them.  So little, yet it builds connection.

Next time: Are you going to a meeting to persuade?  More tips for putting people at ease.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

copyright Clear Talk Mastery Inc 2021 (140723)

English Communication Skills-Time of Day Tips for Presentations, Meetings & Conversations Afternoon and Evening

English Communication Skills:  Time of Day Tips for Presentations Meetings and Conversations- Afternoon and Evening – Blog 100 on June 16, 2021


Does your body feel the same in the afternoon and evening as it does in the morning? Probably not. But you do want to maximize your influence and making connections during this time of day. Here are some tips to overcome the afternoon and evening barriers to your goals:


  • If you are leading a meeting , doing a presentation or even a one-on one conversation, — either in-person or remotely– the attendee(s) may need a coffee break.  If you are in-person, do make coffee or tea available. If remotely, suggest the attendee(s) get a cup of coffee or tea before you begin. Otherwise you risk that they’ll interrupt your message to seek out coffee and miss a chunk of what you have to say.
  • More likely in the afternoon is that people may be overwhelmed with data.  Remember, they already put in a half-a-day work! Consider a low-key opening so they ease into your message. Provide lots of handouts or easy access to e-files so they can review details later.
  • Attendees, whether in-person or remote, may need to leave early to commute home or leave to take care of other appointments.  Nothing is worse for listeners than you running overtime at the end of the day.  Make your endtime happen as promised.

Early evening

  • Attendees whether in-person or remote may arrive late (and tired) from working all day.  Respect their situations.
  • Parents with young children may either need to go home early if in-person or leave the remote meeting ,presentation or conversation to put their children to bed.  For in-person, have a table at the back of the room so early departures can take the info sheets without distracting the rest of the audience. For remote gatherings, provide at the beginning of the meetings, the electronic info for the extra materials


  • If attendees are in-person, they may have been drinking alcohol at a cocktail or beer and/or wine reception.  Be prepared for loud chatter.
  • Attendees after dinner may simply want to socialize- and may resent a serious speech, especially one that runs too long.  Engage them with your topic, your enthusiasm, your stories, and your brevity!

Contact Dr. Johnson at ALJohnson@ClearTalkMastery.com to sign up for a Free Sample Lesson with us! 

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

Copyright Clear Talk Mastery Inc 2021 (140716)