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Start Your Presentation With A Bang!

Start Your Presentation With A Bang! 

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For today’s dollop of clear English speech coaching, here’s more advice about starting your presentation with a bang.

1. If you do nothing else to prepare for your speech, make an opener that not only gets people’s attention but makes them think about your theme.

2. For that reason, wait to prepare your opener until after you outline the body of your presentation.

3. Start thinking about your opening when you first agree to give the speech.

Rerun from 08/12/2013 and 11/14/2016

English Speaking Communication: Presentations- Secrets of the Pros for Reading a Speech

English Speaking Communication: Presentations- Secrets of the Pros for Reading a Speech  

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Sometimes pros will read their speech.   I’ve seen pros look and sound very, very good.  They used special strategies to maximize the effectiveness of their presentation.  Here are some of my favorite tips and strategies from the pros:

  • No matter what format you use for delivering the speech (note cards or printed speech), it should probably start out as a full text.  Here you can make sure you are saying what you want to say.  Here you determine pauses and other details of effective delivery
  • As you work over your speech during rehearsals,  make notes on the text.  Use highlighter or underline or circle words.
    • Then you can go right to the phrases that will trigger the train of thought.
    • You have your own personal road map to help you move quickly through the speech and ensure that you don’t lose your place.
    • Your cards or text should include your grabber at the top or on the front page.  This should be memorized so you can deliver it looking right at the audience.  You should try to memorize your conclusion too.

Layout of Printed Speech

  • Print the speech in large, dark, typeface that you can read while standing upright at the lectern.
  • Use upper and lower case, rather than all caps, because it makes it easier to scan.
  • Most speakers like the speech to be double- or triple-spaced and pages to be numbered, just in case the entire speech tumbles to the floor.
  • Put the speech into a folder or a pocket folder.  A portfolio that can display two entire pages of the speech at once and facilitates sliding pages smoothly.
  • Don’t staple the speech but use a paper clip to hold the speech together.
  • As you finish each page, slide it across into the “out” pile.  This avoids flipping and page-turning.

Eye Contact

  • With the full text written out, a great strategy to maintain eye contact is by looking up at the end of each sentence.

For the next blog on doing presentations, we jump backward in time.  To come is clever advice from the pros about how much time you will need to prepare for a presentation.  That will prevent you from getting the crazy, stress-filled last-minute scramble to a great presentation.

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

Rerun from Aug 13, 2013 and Oct 5, 2016

A Brilliant Opener to Your Presentations

A Brilliant Opener to Your Presentations
Here’s more on a brilliant opener to your presentations—the story or anecdote.
1. An anecdote briefly describes an incident that’s interesting, amusing or biographical. All three together are sure to get attention. That’s why many presenters start by saying “A funny thing happened to me…”
2. It’s critical to make the story connect to your topic!
3. Facial expressions, gestures, and intonations add interest and amusement, and draw in the audience.
4. Make your anecdote reveal something personal about you (like why do you have a purple tongue or running mascara). Audiences respond strongest to presenters who relate on a human level.
5. Do it!
Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.
Rerun from Aug 5, 2013 and Nov 7, 2016

Three of the Most Commonly Mispronounced English Sounds for Indian Speakers

Three of the Most Commonly Mispronounced English Sounds for Indian Speakers

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In India, about 10 percent of the population are English speakers.  Of these, 226,449 speak English as a first language, while 125,000,000 speak English as an additional language. About 4 percent of the population consider themselves fluent

Our Indian students live in:

  • Boulder & Denver, Colorado; California; Florida; Virginia; North Carolina, Pennsylvania; Louisiana and in Canada.

Why do Indian people have such difficulty with clear English pronunciation?

  •  They use the pronunciation from their 35 native languages on their English speech.
  • In those languages, most speech sounds are spoken quickly.  In American English, some sounds are spoken quickly but others are spoken slowly.
  • Multiple syllable words are especially difficult to understand because the sounds are spoken so quickly
  • There are different positions of the tongue, lips, teeth and jaw for many of the Indian-English speech sounds.
  • The stiffness or tenseness of the speech muscles are greater for many Indian-English speech sounds than in American English.

What are three of the most difficult sounds for our Indian students to say accurately in English?

    • “w”   
    • “t”   
    • “th”   

Why are these so difficult?

  • Two of these sounds are produced slowly in American English – “w” and “th.”
  • Positioning of the lips for “w” and the tongue for “th” is quite different than Indian-English
  • The tongue is more relaxed for the “t” in American English than in Indian English

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

Rerun from July 31, 2013 and Sep 28, 2016.

Earn Your Audience’s Attention!

Earn Your Audience’s Attention! 
Let’s turn our attention to those first words for your presentation.
1. The audience has given you their time. But their attention is something you have to earn.
2. The only way you get them thinking and participating is to seize their attention, to grab them.
3. Questions are good grabbers. So are quotes. Personal observations and anecdotes work. Attention getting facts and numbers capture people.
 Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Rerun from July 29, 2013 and October 31, 2016