How to give a good presentation in English

How to give a good presentation in English

Updated October 23, 2023

For many people, giving an oral presentation is extremely nerve-racking, but the task becomes even more daunting if you are doing the presentation in English, as a non-native speaker. After all, while you may be able to communicate in everyday situations, public speaking is a different prospect entirely. Nevertheless, learning to give excellent presentations in English can be extremely beneficial, especially when you consider that  English is the international language of business , and practice makes perfect. To make the task slightly easier, we have compiled some top tips for delivering excellent presentations in the  English language , so that you can impress your employers, deliver a great sales pitch to clients, present important findings to your team, or get that excellent grade for oral presentation at school or university.

Our top tips to give an excellent presentation in English

Top 5 presentation tips, useful vocabulary to use in presentations, learn languages at your pace, think about your delivery.

Although what you say is important, the secret to delivering a great speech lies in the way you say things. In particular, when delivering a presentation in English, you should focus on speaking clearly and at a steady pace, so that your audience can understand you easily.

During a presentation , your nerves may get the better of you, causing you to speed up. However, this can make your speech far less clear, so it is important to practice pacing. You should also feel free to take the occasional pause to catch your breath, gather your thoughts, or have a drink of water; especially before introducing a new idea.

Furthermore, you must avoid speaking in a monotone voice, which can make a presentation seem dull and boring, regardless of the content. When rehearsing your speech, focus on placing emphasis on keywords and changing tone depending on what you are saying. If in doubt, watch videos of great speeches and pay attention to  how  they speak.

  • Introduce yourself and establish the topic(s) you are going to discuss. Before you begin, people will want to know who you are and why they should listen to what you have to say, while pinpointing exactly what you are going to discuss can help to establish realistic expectations amongst the audience.
  • Provide an overview of the presentation.   During this phase, you might want to briefly explain the format of your presentation and some of the key points. You may even wish to state some of your conclusions, which you can then expand upon throughout the remainder of the speech.
  • Make sure you acknowledge when you are changing topics.   If you are giving a presentation that lasts more than a few minutes, it is inevitable that some people will tune out at certain parts, because people have short attention spans. Marking a shift in topics is a great way to ‘win back’ those who have tuned out.
  • Establish early that you will take questions at the end.   Giving a presentation is difficult enough, without constant interruptions. At the same time, people may have valid questions about your presentation and the facts contained within it. State early on that you will answer questions after you have finished.
  • Practice your presentation frequently.   Even native speakers will practice giving an important speech ahead of time. One tip is to give your speech in front of a mirror, so you can practice making gestures at the right time. Try to get through your entire speech without using too many filler words like ‘erm’ and ‘ahh’.

Introductory phrases:

The beginning of your presentation is one of the most important parts, because it sets the tone for what is to come. During your introduction, you will likely need to explain who you are, what your position is and what you are going to be discussing. The following may be helpful as introductory phrases:

“Hello everyone, my name is…” “Good morning/afternoon/evening, my name is… and I am a…” “Welcome everybody. Today I am going to talk about…”

Changing focus:

During your presentation, there may be times where you need to shift the focus, in order to make all of the points you wish to make. Drawing attention to any changes of focus can serve to give your presentation a clearer structure and can also help to keep the attention of listeners. Some examples of phrases you might use include:

“I would like to shift focus now to…” “Next, we need to consider…” “This leads me to my next point…”

Drawing attention to the slides:

In many cases, your presentation will include visual aids, such as slides on a screen, or handouts. The inclusion of visuals can help to back up the points you are making, while also making the presentation more interesting or exciting. To introduce your slides or other visual aids, you may find the following phrases helpful:

“If I could draw your attention to…” “This chart/graph/table illustrates…” “If you look up at the screen…” “I would like to show you this…” “On your handout, you may see…”

Summarising a presentation:

At the end of a presentation, it is important to summarise the main points you have made, so that you can remind listeners of what has been said. This is a chance to point out which parts of the presentation you think are especially important, and ensure everybody leaves with the key pieces of information. Useful phrases include:

“To summarise…” “In conclusion…” “I would like to recap…” “To sum up what has been said…” “So, we have covered…”

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  • Speaking exams
  • Typical speaking tasks

Oral presentation

Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully. Which tips do they follow? Which ones don’t they follow?


Watch the video of two students doing an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam. Then read the tips below.

Melissa: Hi, everyone! Today I would like to talk about how to become the most popular teen in school.

Firstly, I think getting good academic results is the first factor to make you become popular since, having a good academic result, your teacher will award you in front of your schoolmates. Then, your schoolmates will know who you are and maybe they would like to get to know you because they want to learn something good from you.

Secondly, I think participating in school clubs and student unions can help to make you become popular, since after participating in these school clubs or student union, people will know who you are and it can help you to make friends all around the school, no matter senior forms or junior forms.

In conclusion, I think to become the most popular teen in school we need to have good academic results and also participate in school clubs and student union. Thank you!

Kelvin: Good evening, everyone! So, today I want to talk about whether the sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.

As we all know, cigarettes are not good for our health, not only oneself but also other people around. Moreover, many people die of lung cancer every year because of smoking cigarettes.

But, should the government make it illegal? I don’t think so, because Hong Kong is a place where people can enjoy lots of freedom and if the government banned the sale of cigarettes, many people would disagree with this and stand up to fight for their freedom.

Moreover, Hong Kong is a free market. If there's such a huge government intervention, I think it’s not good for Hong Kong’s economy.

So, if the government wants people to stop smoking cigarettes, what should it do? I think the government can use other administrative ways to do so, for example education and increasing the tax on cigarettes. Also, the government can ban the smokers smoking in public areas. So, this is the end of my presentation. Thank you.

It’s not easy to give a good oral presentation but these tips will help you. Here are our top tips for oral presentations.

  • Use the planning time to prepare what you’re going to say. 
  • If you are allowed to have a note card, write short notes in point form.
  • Use more formal language.
  • Use short, simple sentences to express your ideas clearly.
  • Pause from time to time and don’t speak too quickly. This allows the listener to understand your ideas. Include a short pause after each idea.
  • Speak clearly and at the right volume.
  • Have your notes ready in case you forget anything.
  • Practise your presentation. If possible record yourself and listen to your presentation. If you can’t record yourself, ask a friend to listen to you. Does your friend understand you?
  • Make your opinions very clear. Use expressions to give your opinion .
  • Look at the people who are listening to you.
  • Write out the whole presentation and learn every word by heart. 
  • Write out the whole presentation and read it aloud.
  • Use very informal language.
  • Only look at your note card. It’s important to look up at your listeners when you are speaking.

Useful language for presentations

Explain what your presentation is about at the beginning:

I’m going to talk about ... I’d like to talk about ... The main focus of this presentation is ...

Use these expressions to order your ideas:

First of all, ... Firstly, ... Then, ... Secondly, ... Next, ... Finally, ... Lastly, ... To sum up, ... In conclusion, ...

Use these expressions to add more ideas from the same point of view:

In addition, ... What’s more, ... Also, ... Added to this, ...

To introduce the opposite point of view you can use these words and expressions:

However, ... On the other hand, ... Then again, ...

Example presentation topics

  • Violent computer games should be banned.
  • The sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.
  • Homework should be limited to just two nights a week.
  • Should school students be required to wear a school uniform?
  • How to become the most popular teen in school.
  • Dogs should be banned from cities.

Check your language: ordering - parts of a presentation

Check your understanding: grouping - useful phrases, worksheets and downloads.

Do you think these tips will help you in your next speaking exam? Remember to tell us how well you do in future speaking exams!  

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The Presentation

Most presentations are divided into 3 main parts (+ questions):

As a general rule in communication, repetition is valuable. In presentations, there is a golden rule about repetition:

  • Say what you are going to say...
  • then say what you have just said.

In other words, use the three parts of your presentation to reinforce your message. In the introduction, you tell your audience what your message is going to be. In the body, you tell your audience your real message. In the conclusion, you summarize what your message was.

We will now consider each of these parts in more detail.


The introduction is a very important - perhaps the most important - part of your presentation. This is the first impression that your audience have of you. You should concentrate on getting your introduction right. You should use the introduction to:

  • welcome your audience
  • introduce your subject
  • outline the structure of your presentation
  • give instructions about questions

The following table shows examples of language for each of these functions. You may need to modify the language as appropriate.

The body is the 'real' presentation. If the introduction was well prepared and delivered, you will now be 'in control'. You will be relaxed and confident.

The body should be well structured, divided up logically, with plenty of carefully spaced visuals.

Remember these key points while delivering the body of your presentation:

  • do not hurry
  • be enthusiastic
  • give time on visuals
  • maintain eye contact
  • modulate your voice
  • look friendly
  • keep to your structure
  • use your notes
  • signpost throughout
  • remain polite when dealing with difficult questions

Use the conclusion to:

  • (Give recommendations if appropriate)
  • Thank your audience
  • Invite questions

Questions are a good opportunity for you to interact with your audience. It may be helpful for you to try to predict what questions will be asked so that you can prepare your response in advance. You may wish to accept questions at any time during your presentation, or to keep a time for questions after your presentation. Normally, it's your decision, and you should make it clear during the introduction. Be polite with all questioners, even if they ask difficult questions. They are showing interest in what you have to say and they deserve attention. Sometimes you can reformulate a question. Or answer the question with another question. Or even ask for comment from the rest of the audience.

How to give a great presentation: 10 easy and effective tips

How to give a great presentation: 10 easy and effective tips

Whether you’re a seasoned professional, an intern or a student, giving a presentation can be a stressful experience, especially if it’s not in your native tongue. But with a little effort – and these 10 tips – you can take your presentation from good to great.

With years of practice in presenting – it’s a big part of my job as an English teacher – and seeing students present almost every day, here are my tried and tested tips for giving a great presentation:

1. Use silence

Generally, people don’t like silence. It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward (hence the term “awkward silence.”)  But during a presentation, silence can be your friend. When you take the stage to begin, all eyes will be on you.  And what should you do? Just stand there. For a moment or two, simply bask in the silence. Take a deep breath. Be still. It may be uncomfortable, even awkward,  but do this.. .and watch your audience lean in with anticipation, eager to hear what you are about to say.

And utilize the power of silence throughout your speech. Use silence to build suspense. To add emphasis. And to avoid using those nasty “filler words” such as um, uh, er, ah, like, etc.

2. Understand body language

Experts say that 55% of all outbound communication is non-verbal. When presenting, you’ll need to have strong body language. Try not to move around too much. Don’t click your pen. Don’t shuffle your feet or tug at your clothes. Don’t yawn (if you can help it). And try not to stand in front of your visuals when presenting. It seems obvious, but remember… if you’re standing right in front of the visual, your audience can’t see it. And when you do move, make it deliberate.

3. Tell a story

Humans love stories – we love to hear them and we love to tell them.  Everyone, without exception, loves a good story. So, when considering how to start your presentation, why not start with something that resonates so deeply with each and every one of us… a story. “Hello ladies and gentleman. Today, I would like to share a story…” And the story should be personal in nature.  It can be about you, or someone else. It can be historical, or futuristic. But paint a picture with words that engages the senses and take your audience on a journey.

4. Be visual

A picture says a thousand words. Images are stronger than text. Perhaps the most common mistake during a presentation is the excessive use of text. This is so problematic for one simple reason. During a presentation, you are speaking. With too much text on the slide, your audience is reading. If your audience is reading, what are they not doing? Listening to you.

Additionally, people are more likely to remember things if they have an image to go with it – this is a scientific fact. It actually doesn’t matter what it is: a fact, statistic or story. If you link it to an an image they’re more likely to remember it.

5. Make eye contact

Eye contact is another important aspect of body language. If you’re using notes (which is perfectly fine), don’t look down and read the entire time. Make sure that notes are key words to jog your memory, and keep your eyes up as much as possible. For notes: keep them succinct.

And while interacting with the audience, scan the room. Lock eyes with some audience members, and then continue to scan. This makes the talk seem more like a conversation. As if you’re talking with them, not at them. And never focus on only one audience member (ie – the professor, interviewer, judge, etc.). That can be awkward.

6. Engage your audience

People are good at a lot of things. Paying attention may or may not be one of them. The average adult has an attention span of somewhere between 8 seconds and 20 minutes, more or less. Having your audience do something during your presentation is a great way to break things up and keep them engaged. Perhaps you pose a question and solicit responses. Or ask for a show of hands. Perhaps you say, “close your eyes, and remember a time when…”  Maybe you tell a joke, and make them erupt in laughter.

Whatever you do, be unpredictable. Your audience might want to get bored, reach for their phones, or close their eyes, but engaging them directly can prevent them from doing that and help them focus on what you’re saying.

7. Slow down

Simply put, it is nearly impossible to speak too slowly during a presentation. Slow down, and then slow down some more. Enunciate. And don’t worry about having perfect pronunciation or flawless grammar. Your audience is less concerned about that than you think.

This is particularly important to remember if you’re doing the presentation in a language other than your native tongue (in English, for example) – you might feel insecure about your level of English, but you really shouldn’t. What you say is what matters in the end, so make your point clear and focus on being confident in delivering it.

8. Less is more

With the exceptions of weekends and holidays, most things in life are too long, not too short. Think about it… Your last class, meeting, lecture or flight. Did you leave any of those experiences thinking “That was too short.” Probably not. So keep that in mind. The more information your audience hears, the more they forget. The more they forget, the less they remember. So keep it simple and offer one, clear idea in your presentation.  Less is truly is more here.

9. End it well

How you end your presentation is almost as important as how you begin. So ask yourself, what’s the number one gift you’re offering? What’s the underlying message of the entire presentation?  Create a sentence that captures it. And make it something worth sharing. Conclude with one powerful idea that will echo in the minds of your audience.

10. Say thanks

The audience members have just given you something very valuable: their time. Thank them for it.

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Essential Guide for Presenting in English

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Essential Guide for Presenting in English

May 11, 2021 - dom barnard.

Giving a presentation is always challenging. Having to stand up in front of your colleagues and share your knowledge in an informative and persuasive way isn’t easy. You may feel nervous and uncertain that you can perform to your best.

However, this is even more difficult if you are presenting in a foreign language. As a non-native English speaker, you may sometimes be expected to deliver a presentation in English. This can happen if you work for an international company, or travel a lot for business purposes.

You might feel worried about this - after all, ordering a coffee or having a casual conversation in English is a lot different than giving a fully-fledged presentation. It can be hard to know where to start.

Don’t worry! With these handy hints and tips, you will feel a lot more confident about giving that presentation in English, no matter what the topic.

Check understanding

The most important thing when giving a presentation in English - or any second language - is that you are using language that you understand. Not only that, but you will need to make sure that your language is comprehensible to others.

Therefore, you may not want to use language that is too complex, even if you are confident with it yourself.

Think about your audience

When you are preparing to give a presentation in English, it is important to consider who your audience is . You may be giving a talk to native English speakers, to non-native speakers, or to a mix of both. You may be speaking in English to other speakers of your own native language.

When giving your talk, this is vital to take into account, because this will tell you how basic or complex your language use should be. Even if you are an experienced and confident English speaker, you must also consider those you are presenting to, and ensure that they will understand what is being said.

Prepare yourself

You usually prepare thoroughly for your presentations. You make sure that all of your visual aids are ready, and you practice in the mirror. However, when it comes to presenting in English, you will need to prepare even more than you usually do. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the beginning, middle and end of your presentation, and know exactly what you are going to say.

Try and think about any questions that may come up, and how they may be phrased. This will help you to be able to respond more easily in English. And remember - the more you practice and the more presentations you give, the more confident you will feel!

Improve your presentation skills with virtual reality. Learn more in our Business English course .

Practice with people

Though you may usually practice by yourself, try to practice your English presentations on other people. If you can do this with other second-language speakers, then you can gauge how clear and understandable your speech is to others.

If you can practice your talk on a cross-section of native and non-native English speakers, then this will give you a great idea of if you are on the right track.

Use body language - carefully!

Body language is a vital part of keeping your presentation lively and engaging. Smiling and gesturing can draw your audience in and keep them interested. But bear in mind that not all gestures mean the same things to different cultures .

Depending on what part of the world you are presenting in, you may want to think about what kinds of body language are relatable to your audience. Some gestures are universal, but others are not! When in doubt, ask around, or do some research online.

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Keep it simple

If you are not very confident in your English speaking ability, don’t opt for the most poetic language you can find. Keeping it simple can be very effective, especially when you are presenting business concepts. You don’t need to make your language use sound beautiful, it just needs to be understandable to those around you.

Similarly, make a list beforehand of the main points of your talk and don’t stray too far from them. This can help you to stay on target, and keep you feeling more positive about your word use. If you also make sure that the “story” of your presentation is simple, this can make for a much more clear and easy experience for both you and your audience.

Articulate carefully

Whoever you are presenting to, articulation matters. Even if you are using simple language and keeping your presentation “story” simple, ensure that you aren’t rushing over your words.

Practice will help you to speak more slowly and clearly, and to employ pauses to allow the audience to absorb what you have said. This is especially vital if you are speaking to non-native English users, who may need extra time to understand what you are relaying.

Not only that but pausing during your talk will allow you to think about what you want to say next with more clarity.

Presenting in English

Provide summaries

When giving a presentation in English, you will have a clear beginning, middle and end of your talk mapped out beforehand. An effective way to make sure that each part of your speech has been understood is to summarise during your talk. Give short summaries at the end of each section - this will also help you to have a defined endpoint before moving on to the next piece of information.

It is a great idea, where possible, to provide your audience with a summary before your talk, too. This way they will know what to expect and can prepare any questions in advance. It will help them to understand you, and give you an expectation of things they might ask, or want to know more about.

Use clear images

If graphs and images are an important part of your presentation, make sure to check and double-check that these are clear and easy to understand. These also need to be in English, and you must be able to relate them to your presentation easily.

Practice this, and use them as part of your talk and as part of your summaries as an anchor for your presentation. The language and figures used on them can also act as a prompt if you lose your place while presenting.

Stay front-facing

As important as body language is, you also need to keep your face in clear view. If you are speaking a second language, it is easier for you to be understood if the audience can see the shapes your mouth is making, and gauge your expression.

It also helps to keep you feeling confident and connected to your audience - and allows you to see how they are responding to you, and if they are understanding what is being said. It might be tempting to turn away if you feel nervous, but try to keep this to a minimum so everyone remains engaged.

Are you feeling ready to give a great presentation in English? Keep this essential advice in mind, and don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues for a little extra help in getting ready! Most of all, go for it! You might be surprised at how confident you feel after delivering an excellent talk.

giving presentations in english

Tips for giving English presentations

Illustration: man holds a presentation

 As I was saying... 

Hello, everyone. Let me start with an apology. To be honest, I haven't really had time to prepare properly for this article about giving presentations. Also, I don't really have enough space here to give you all the advice about English presentations that I probably should. And I'm a bit nervous about so many people reading this. But, anyway, I'll start and see how far I get. Oh, and yes, if you have any questions, then do e-mail me some time... 

If you are still reading and not asleep by now, I'm sure you'll agree that wasn't a very inspiring beginning. Unfortunately, such introductions are typical of many presentations. 

Many learners who need English at work have to give some sort of presentation at a certain point. Yet, few of us are naturally good speakers in public, even in our own language. One of the main reasons is that we have had no training. However, by observing some simple rules, we can improve our performance dramatically: 

Prepare your presentation properly.

Illustration: woman works on a presentation on her laptop

Structure your presentation clearly.

Do not overrun., take your time., get to the point quickly., don't be too serious., don't worry about being perfect..

Illustration: Weltkugel in einer Hand

Use rhetorical questions.

Record your presentations., prepare the first question., finish on a high point., useful phrases for english presentations.

  • Good morning, everyone, I'd like to get started.
  • The topic of today's presentation is...
  • I've divided my presentation into three parts.
  • First, I'll talk about... Second... Third... 
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to interrupt me.
  • So, to begin, I'd like to look at... If there are no questions, I'll move on.
  • OK, let me come back to the main point.
  • Now I would like to move on to look at...
  • Finally, let's consider...
  • OK, that brings me to the end of my presentation.
  • Before I finish, I'd like to summarize the main points of my presentation.
  • Thank you very much for your attention.

Ian McMaster

Ian McMaster is the editor-in-chief of Business Spotlight , a Germany-based language learning magazine for professionals who want to improve their English skills. He used to be the editor-in-chief of Spotlight , the sister magazine for general English.

English small talk: example dialogues and useful phrases

Would you like to learn more about English words and phrases that are often used in presentations? We have prepared short excerpts from a ficitional presentation that show you how you can formulate an introduction or a conclusion, how you talk about graphs in your presentation, how you deal with technical problems... Every example comes with a handy list of English phrases you might need in your next presentation.

Presentation situation: looking at a microphone and an audience


SpeakUp resources

Starting a presentation in english: methods and examples.

  • By Jake Pool

giving presentations in english

If you’re going to make it in the professional world, most likely you’ll have to give a presentation in English at some point. No reason to get nervous!

Most of the work involved lies in the introduction. You may or may not need an English presentation PPT file, your topic, audience, or time limit may vary, but a strong opening is a must no matter what! Everything that follows can build from the opening outline you present to your audience.

Let’s look at some guidelines for starting a presentation in English. If you can master this part, you’ll never have to worry about the rest!

Opening in a Presentation in English

While it’s important to have your entire presentation organized and outlined, planning and organization are especially important in the introduction. This is what will guide you through a clear and concise beginning. Let’s look at how to start a presentation with well-organized thoughts .

Introduction Outline

  • Introduce yourself and welcome everyone.
  • State the purpose of your presentation
  • Give a short overview of the presentation

As we say, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. (No need for a more detailed English presentation script!) Let’s examine the first step.

1. Introduce Yourself & Welcome Everyone

The self-introduction is your opportunity to make a good first impression. Be sure to open with a warm welcome and use language that is familiar and natural. Based on your audience, there are a few different expressions you can use to start your presentation.

If you’re presenting to coworkers who may already know you:

  • Hello, [name] here. I would like to thank you all for your time. As you may know, I [describe what you do/your job title] I look forward to discussing [topic] today.
  • Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone. Thank you for being here. For those who don’t know me, my name is [name], and for those who know me, hello again.

If you’re presenting to people you’ve never met:

  • Hello everyone, it’s nice to meet you all. My name is [name] and I am the [job/title].
  • Hello. Welcome to [event]. My name is [name] and I am the [job/title]. I’m glad you’re all here.

There are certainly more ways to make an introduction. However, it’s generally best to follow this format:

  • Start with a polite welcome and state your name.
  • Follow with your job title and/or the reason you’re qualified to speak on the topic being discussed.

2. State the Purpose of Your Presentation

Now that your audience knows who you are and your qualifications, you can state the purpose of your presentation. This is where you clarify to your audience what you’ll be talking about.

So, ask yourself, “ What do I want my audience to get from this presentation? ”

  • Do you want your audience to be informed?
  • Do you need something from your audience?
  • Do you want them to purchase a product?
  • Do you want them to do something for the community or your company?

With your goal in mind, you can create the next couple of lines of your presentation. Below are some examples of how to start.

  • Let me share with you…
  • I’d like to introduce you to [product or service]
  • Today I want to discuss…
  • I want to breakdown for you [topic]
  • Let’s discuss…
  • Today I will present the results of my research on [topic]
  • By the end of this presentation, you’ll understand [topic]
  • My goal is to explain…
  • As you know, we’ll be talking about…

When talking about the purpose of your presentation, stick to your goals. You purpose statement should be only one to three sentences. That way, you can give your audience a clear sense of purpose that sets them up for the rest of the presentation.

3. A Short Overview of the Presentation

The final step in starting your presentation is to give a short outline of what you’ll be presenting. People like a map of what to expect from a presentation.

It helps them organize their thoughts and gives a sense of order. Also, it lets the audience know why they’re listening to you. This is what you’ll use to grab their attention, and help them stay focused throughout the presentation.

Here are some examples of how you can outline your presentation:

  • Today, I’m going to cover… Then we’ll talk about… Lastly, I’ll close on…
  • We’re going to be covering some key information you need to know, including…
  • My aim with this presentation is to get you to… To do that we’ll be talking about…
  • I’ve divided my presentation into [number] sections… [List the sections]
  • Over the next [length of your presentation] I’m going to discuss…

That’s it! It’s as simple as 1-2-3. If you have a fear of public speaking or are not confident about presenting to a group of people, follow these three steps. It’s a simple structure that can get you off to a good start. With that in mind, there are other ways to bring your introduction to the next level too! Read on for bonus tips on how to really engage your audience, beyond the basics.

For a Strong Presentation in English, Engage your Audience

Presentations aren’t everyone’s strongest ability, and that’s OK. If you’re newer to presenting in English, the steps above are the basics to getting started. Once you’re more comfortable with presenting, though, you can go a step further with some extra tricks that can really wow your audience.

Mastering the skill of engaging an audience will take experience. Fortunately, there are many famous speakers out there you can model for capturing attention. Also, there are some common techniques that English-speakers use to gain an audience’s attention.

*How and when you use these techniques in your introduction is at your discretion, as long as you cover the 3 steps of the introduction outline that we discussed earlier.*

Do or say something shocking.

The purpose of shocking your audience is to immediately engage them. You can make a loud noise and somehow relate the noise to your presentation. Or, you can say, “ Did you know that… ” and follow with a shocking story or statistic. Either way, the objective is to create surprise to draw their attention.

Tell a story

Telling a story related to your presentation is a great way to get the audience listening to you.

You can start by saying, “ On my way to [location] the other day… ” or “ On my way here, I was reminded of… ” and then follow with a story. A good story can make your presentation memorable.

Ask your audience to take part

Sometimes a good introduction that captures attention will involve asking for help from the audience. You can ask the audience to play a quick game or solve a puzzle that’s related to your presentation. Also, you could engage the audience with a group exercise. This is a great way to get people involved in your presentation.

There are many more ways to engage the audience, so get creative and see what you can think up! Here are some resources that will help you get started.

Also, if you want to get better at public speaking (and help your English speaking too!), a great organization to know about is the Toastmasters . The organization is dedicated to helping you be a better speaker, and there are many local groups in America. They offer free lessons and events to help you master your English speaking, and also offer additional help to paying members.

The Takeaway

A presentation in English? No problem, as long as your introduction sets you up for success . Admittedly, this can be easier said than done. Native speakers and non-native speakers alike sometimes struggle with getting a good start on their English presentation. But the advice above can help you get the confidence you need to lay a good foundation for your next speech !

Jake Pool

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