Presenting in English – effective introductions for beginners

Presenting in English – does it make you nervous?  Does the idea of speaking in front of people make your mouth go dry? Well keep reading …

If you are nervous about presenting in English, making an effective introduction is especially important.  An effective introduction will help your audience know what to expect and it will help you feel confident.  Once you’ve started well it is easier to keep going – and don’t forget that your audience is there to listen to what you have to say and not your English!

Effective introductions for beginners – the 3 Ps

A colleague shared this simple technique with me, and it always works. When you are presenting in English (or in any language) your introduction needs to answer three questions:

1.  Why are you standing there presenting? What is the purpose of your presentation?

2.  What are the steps in your presentation? What is the process you will follow?

3.  Why should your audience listen to you?  What is their payoff?

It doesn’t matter if you are introducing your team, presenting a process or giving an update on a project – the structure is the same. The 3Ps help you remember this structure, and if it helps you when you are nervous, why not use the three keywords?

Presenting in English – an example of the 3Ps in action

“Good afternoon and thank you for coming.  The purpose of my presentation today is to update you on the factory acceptance test.  The process I will follow is to first review the agreed schedule, then talk about the tools we are using and finally we will look at two problems we have found and how we will solve them.  This will take me 10 minutes. Why should you listen?  Well, your payoff is that you will be confident that we can complete the FAT on schedule and that everything is under control.”

If you follow this structure your introduction will be simple, clear and effective.  Most importantly you can concentrate on what you want to say, and stop worrying about the English.

Good luck, and why not let me know how it works for you?