Tips for giving an effective business presentation

Cambridge 11 Test-2, Section-2, Passage-1, General Training (GT) Question 15-22. 

Tips for giving an effective business presentation

Get someone else to evaluate your performance and highlight your best skills. For example, go through your presentation in front of a colleague or relative (Question no: 15, Answer: Colleague). Think about who your audience is and what you want them to get out of the presentation. Think about content and style.

Go into the presentation room and try out any moves you may have to make, e.g. getting up from your chair and moving to the podium. Errors in the first 20 seconds can be very disorientating.

Familiarise yourself with the electronic equipment before the presentation and also have a backup plan in mind, should there be an unexpected problem like a power cut (Question no: 16, Answer: Power cut).

Dealing with presentation nervousness
A certain amount of nervousness is vital for a good presentation. The added adrenaline will keep your faculties sharp and give your presentation skills extra force. This can, however, result in tension in the upper chest. Concentrate on your breathing. Slow it right down and this will relax you (Question no: 17, Answer: Breathing). Strangely, having something to pick up and put down tends to help you do this.

It may seem an odd idea, but we seem to fee! calmer when we engage in what’s referred to as a displacement activity, like clicking a pen or fiddling with jewellery (Question no: 18, Answer: Displacement activity). A limited amount of this will not be too obvious and can make you feel more secure at the start.

Interacting with your audience
Think of your presentation as a conversation with your audience
(Question no: 19, Answer: Conversation). They may not actually say anything, but make them feel consulted, questioned, challenged, then they will stay awake and attentive.

Engage with your present audience, not the one you have prepared for. Keep looking for reactions to your ideas and respond to them (Question no: 20, Answer: Reactions). If your audience doesn’t appear to be following you, find another way to get your ideas across. If you don’t interact, you might as well send a video recording of your presentation instead!

Structuring effective presentations
Effective presentations are full of examples. These help your listeners to see more clearly what you mean. It’s quicker and more colourful (Question no: 21, Answer: Examples). Stick to the point using three or four main ideas. For any subsidiary information that you cannot present in 20 minutes, try another medium, such as handouts (Question no: 22, Answer: Handouts).

End as if your presentation has gone well. Do this even if you feel you’ve presented badly. And anyway a good finish will get you some applause – and you deserve it!

Questions 15-22

Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 15-22 on your answer sheet.

  1. Practising your presentation on a ………………….. or a family member is helpful.
    16. Be prepared for a problem such as a ………………….. .
    17. One way to overcome pre-presentation nerves is to make your ………………….. less rapid.
    18. It is acceptable to do something called a ………………….. at the start of the presentation to reassure you.
    19. Your presentation should be like a ………………….. with the people who have come to hear you.
    20. Check constantly for ………………….. to the points you are making.
    21. Make sure you use plenty of ………………….. to communicate your message effectively.
    22. To keep the presentation short, use things like ………………….. to provide extra details.

Tips for giving an effective business presentation

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