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How to make sure your delivery is clear.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Whenever you are giving a presentation, it’s essential that the talk has specific aims and is expressed clearly.

The purpose of a business presentation may be to inform, persuade or recommend. The success of the outcome will not only be based on the content and visuals but on the clarity of your delivery.

People speak in a range of local and regional accents and English may not be your first language. The most important aspect is that the meaning and main message of your presentation is communicated effectively.

How do you ensure that your delivery is clear?

The guidance below will help improve the overall clarity of the presentation:

  • Speak at an appropriate pace and volume

  • Check pronunciation of vocabulary in advance – identify important vocabulary and phrases and make sure you know how to say them (see activity below)

  • Make sure only important points are outlined on the slides – avoid using too much text

  • Stand in an appropriate position (not behind the computer or in front of the screen) and maintain eye contact with the audience

  • Practise – careful preparation and rehearsal will build confidence.

Your task

When giving presentations, it’s important that your audience understands key words and phrases so your main message is communicated effectively.
Zahra’s topic was Human Resources (HR). The words below are relevant to this context and need to be spoken clearly and understood by the audience:
  • Implementing
  • Strategy
  • Recruitment
  • Process
  • Retention
  • Efficiency
Now look at the words in context and listen to the audio.
I’m going to talk about implementing a new HR strategy for the company.’
Therefore, in the recruitment process we need more scientific methods…
‘…..and the company will see higher staff retention and greater efficiency.
Notice how the words spoken in the extracts are connected to improve the overall flow of speech?
Certain words or phrases are important in terms of content (nouns such as ‘strategy’, ‘recruitment’, ‘retention’) and are emphasised, while others are not. These are called weak forms (articles, prepositions, connectors such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘for’, ‘and’).
Practise some of these phrases yourself. If possible, record what you say and listen back. Is what you say clear with the correct emphasis? Which phrases take more practice?
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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What Makes an Effective Presentation?

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