Make a great presentation, even with mistakes!

Dernière mise à jour : 15 nov. 2021

Do you worry that your English is not good enough and you are going to make mistakes in your presentations?

Let me tell you 2 things:

1. If you are reading this, your English is good enough.

2. You are definitely going to make some mistakes.

You cannot avoid mistakes when you speak a foreign language, but if you are presenting, you can make sure your mistakes are not important. Let me tell you how:​

  1. Practise, practise, practise. If you don’t have a lot of time, practise the introduction and the conclusion. These are the things people will remember.

  2. The best way to do a presentation is not to memorise it, but to make sure your content is very familiar to you, so you are not stressed about forgetting it. You can also have key words or phrases on your notes to help you. However, I understand that when you have a really important presentation to do, it's stressful and you don't want to have to think about the content in English. I don't advise reading your presentation, but if you have to, you need to practise so that your pronunciation sounds very natural. In my Powerful Presentations training, we work a lot on sentence stress and intonation so that you sound great.

  3. Before you start speaking, go somewhere and take some really deep breaths. Move your body around. Do some power poses. Release your jaw.

  4. Stand up straight. Plant your feet equally on the ground and imagine you have roots coming out of your feet into the earth, like a tree. Release your neck. If you're presenting virtually, consider standing up to present anyway. At the very least, raise your computer so it's at eye level.

  5. Make eye contact. If you're online, that means looking into the camera.

  6. Breathe and speak slowly. Take the time to fully emphasise the important words. If you make a mistake or you forget a word, pause and go back. Breathe. Don’t let it stress you for the rest of your presentation.

  7. A lot of people worry about questions, because you can’t control them. Follow the 4 steps to answering questions and you’ll be much more in control. This is another thing we practise in the Powerful Presentations training.

  8. Be human! You are not a robot. If you forget a word, or you make a huge mistake, or you forget what you were saying, just say so! Anybody in the audience who has ever done a presentation in a foreign language will understand

  9. Work with someone - a trainer, a coach, a fluent friend - who can listen to you and make sure you are not making any terrible mistakes. Your confidence will really increase once you know that your mistakes are not that bad. If you have a lot of important presentations to do, we offer a personalised public speaking and pronunciation coaching programme.

Would you like my top tips on how to engage your audience? Click here to download it now.

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