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[ESL/ EFL] Tips for a Successful Presentation
Part 2 of an exclusive podcast by Jennifer Lebedev
Jennifer Lebedev (jenesl)     Print Article 
  Published 2008-09-23 04:14 (KST)   

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Tip No.4: Accepting Questions and Comments

Let your audience know when they may ask questions or offer comments. Here are some polite, effective ways to communicate your preferences:

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"Please feel free to stop me at anytime with requests for clarification. I'll also allow time at the end for some discussion."

"I see a few hands raised. If you'll just allow me to finish this point, I'll then take a few questions."

"I'd now be happy to answer any questions you might have."

"At this point, I'd like to invite any questions or comments."

Tip No.5: Answering Questions

Some questions may not be clear to you. If this is the case, don't guess what your audience wants to know. Ask them to clarify:

"I'm sorry. I'm not sure if I understood your question correctly. Are you asking...?"

Some questions may take you by surprise. You may not even have an answer to a particular question. Don't panic. Calmly tell the truth:

"I'm sorry. I'm not able to answer that question."

"To be honest, I don't know how to answer your question."

When faced with an especially challenging question, you can invite other members of the audience to help you find an answer:

"Would anyone like to offer an answer to this question?"

If no one is able to address the question, you can commit yourself to following up on it:

"I don't have an answer to your question today, but I'll do my best to get you one."

Tip No.6: Overcoming Objections

Some topics naturally lend themselves to heated discussion. In contrast to an informative presentation, a presentation that specifically aims to promote solutions to a problem or argue a point of view will not likely meet with complete agreement from the audience. You can anticipate objections and address them before they're even raised:

"Now I know that some may question... but let me address this concern by telling you..."

"Some may object to this line of reasoning and argue that..., but let me counter by saying..."

Tip No.7: Wrapping It Up

Never leave your audience guessing if you are finished. Phrases such as IN CONCLUSION and TO CONCLUDE will help mark the end of your presentation. You can also directly state that you are done speaking, for example:

"I'm going to end my talk here. In a moment, I'll open up the floor to any questions, but first let me thank you for your time and attention."

Depending on the nature of the topic, you may wish to provide a list of sources for your audience so that they can learn more on their own:

"Before we end, I want to share a few interesting links on the Internet for those of you who'd like to read more on this topic."

"For those interested in learning more on this topic, I'd recommend getting a copy of..."

No matter how you choose to wrap up your presentation, your final words should be words of thanks. Show your appreciation for an attentive audience.

- [ESL/ EFL] Tips for a Successful Presentation 

©2008 OhmyNews
Jennifer Lebedev is a teacher of English as a second and foreign language with 12 years experience. She has additional experience in teacher training and administration of an IEP and is a published author. Find more of her online English instruction on YouTube under the name "JenniferESL".
Other articles by reporter Jennifer Lebedev

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