In the business world, just knowing English isn’t good enough. No matter what your career is, it’s always important to be a good salesperson. Whether you are selling a product, a service, or yourself, having perfect presentation skills is a must.
When you are in an international business network and English is not your first language, this task can become really scary! Nobody wants to mess up in front of a boardroom, in a meeting, or on a sales pitch. The good news is that you’re not the only one who feels this anxiety, this “stage fright”.
As Everywhere English focuses on effortlessly connecting businesses and people worldwide through the power of the English language, we have a list of top tips to help you do the best you can do and present yourself to the best of your ability! Follow these tips and we promise you that you’ll be able to get your message across effectively and with ease.
Even native English speakers need to practice their presentations. Everyone stutters the first time, everyone loses their place, and everyone goes blank on a word. Have you ever forgotten a common word on the spot in your own native language? Well, you’re not the only one! It happens to the best of us. To make this happen less often, you’ll need to practice. Practice in front of the mirror. Also, try recording yourself. The more you practice, the more your speech will flow nicer and smoother.
Unfortunately, your mirror or camera can’t give you feedback. Don’t worry! We can. Book a class a day or two before your presentation and let your teacher know that this is what you’d like to work on. Not only will we help you with pronunciation and grammar, but we can help you with the flow of the presentation and even correct your visuals. If we think that something can be improved, a little more sales-like, or is too forward, we’ll let you know. There are a lot of direct translations to English that can sound a little inappropriate without you knowing, so it’s best to get it checked by the experts in the English sales language.
During a presentation, you may feel a little nervous, especially when it’s not in your native language. You also don’t want them to think that you are not fluent. Because of these things, we tend to speed up our presentations and talk fast. This may seem likes it’s showing off our English skills, but it’s really doing more harm than good. Slow down your presentation and speak clearly. If you need to go slower or even take breaks between points, do it! This will help your audience absorb the information and take everything in. It will also highlight some great points you are making.
Visuals are an amazing tool during a presentation! First of all, images make everything a lot more engaging to your audience. Even if it’s not suggested by customers or partners, taking the initiative and preparing a visual presentation through PowerPoint shows that you are professional and prepared! Another more important reason to use visuals is that you can write your buzz words into each slide. It’s a great way to give yourself a reminder of what to say next.
Don’t be a robot. No matter what you are trying to sell, people invest in people. Although you’re not talking in your native language, it’s best to try and bring across your personality. If you make a mistake or mispronounce a word, that’s ok! Have a little laugh about it and move on to the next point. Don’t over-exaggerate your mistake, but it’s ok to smile a little and correct your mistake, before moving on.
The English language is spoken all around the world; from Australia to the UK to the US, and everywhere in between. Because it’s so vast, you’ll come across a lot of different types of people in an international or overseas career. Before your presentation, research your audience. Take into account that humour and sayings change from country to country. An English saying you learned in Europe might not have been heard of in the US, so it’s best not to use it. For example, if you’re making a presentation for US customers, they won’t understand “CV”. They use “resume”. Also, watch your spelling in your visuals and change it up according to your audience. Don’t worry too much though if you do spell only in one way, we can all understand each other and read both types of English. Marketing agencies do need to worry about this though and should definitely check their work before pitching to potential clients!
Getting your points across and giving useful information to your client or team is only one part of a presentation. Another huge part is using the right language. There is no one answer, and it does depend on your audience. How sales-y can you go? Can you add some humour? Is your audience knowledgeable in your area of expertise or must you use simpler terms? These are all questions you must ask yourself! If you are in IT (technology), you might have learned a new English term like “User-generated content”, but your audience (even if they’re English speaking) may not. Take the jargon out and focus on sales buzz terms like “scalability”, “increase in sales”, and “saving money and time”.
You have an amazing presentation and you’ve practiced on your own, with your teacher, and have it memorized! Great job! Before going into the presentation, remember that you’ll get questions afterward. Normally, follow-up questions are all very similar. The great thing about this is you can have prepared answers! We suggest that you be as prepared (even more prepared) for these answers and have buzz words in your head ready to go. The most common questions will always include topics on payments, set-up, system processes, competitors, and contracts.
If you’re feeling nervous about public speaking, use your assets to your advantage. For listeners, there’s nothing more boring than hearing a robotic tone with no facial expressions. Use hand gestures, smile, and dramatically roll your eyes when talking about the problem you are offering to solve. Presenting can be a little like an acting role, so don’t be afraid to be the star of the show!
We’ve mentioned this already, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again – people invest in people. You need to build trust with your audience, and you’ve only a 10 to 15-minute presentation to do this. You must convince your potential client or your bosses that you are worth investing in. So how do we do this? By telling stories! Telling a professional success story from the past actually hits two birds with one stone. First, you let them in to see your personal side and get to know you a little better, building trust. Second, telling a success story lets you boast a little and show off without being too aggressive. You might think that telling a story is a waste of your time slot, but it will do wonders for your cause!
So, that’s it! That is our top 10 tips to give a good presentation in English and we hope you’ve learned something today. To get help with tip 2, book a class with your teacher today. Sometimes, we might have a lot of corrections, so plan a week in advance, we’ll correct it and we’ll do another lesson to practice the final presentation before the big day.
Best of luck!