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Use of Phrases in English

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Use of phrases in the English language is a very interesting and at times a hilarious affair. As Indians, we love to translate the entire sentence, word to word, from Hindi to English; therefore sometimes it becomes quite hilarious. Here’s a look at some of the most commonly used phrases in English which are incorrect.

 

“What’s your good name?”

There is no good or bad name. A name is just a name. So, instead of asking a person’s “good name” what we can ask instead is “May I know your name? or May I take your name?”. It sounds polite and is the correct way of knowing someone’s name.

“Where do you put up?”

Do we put down also!! Well! There is a proper way to ask where the person lives. You can simply ask “Where do you live or where do you reside?”

“Kindly revert back”

Another commonly used phrase is “Kindly revert back”. Revert itself means to reply back so we need not add an additional back with revert.

“Discuss About”

Next comes the humble “discuss about”. Now, you will ask what’s wrong with this phrase. Well! Discuss means to talk about things. Therefore, we again need not add an extra about to it.

“Today Itself”

Next in line is “I will do the work today itself”. Today means by end of the day. So we need not add itself to it

Similar to the above is “I came back today only”.. Again, if you have come today , then it means you are already here, so need not again put an extra only to it.

“Backside ”

Now comes the most amusing phrase used “My house is at the backside of the park”. Ahh!! Backside!! Well, we all know what it refers to!! Instead of saying the backside entrance, we can simply say “the rear of the park or the back of the park or entrance”.

“Out of Station”

We Indians love traveling. And it’s a common phrase to say “out of station”. Again, in earlier times when railway was the preferred mode of transport, this phrase could have still made sense as it referred to moving out of the railway station. But no longer is this phrase apt for today’s era. We can replace this phrase by simply saying “I was out of town”.

“Passed Out”

Next in line is “passed out”. Again a term very commonly used. Now, this means that a person has become unconscious or fainted. We never ever use this phrase to ask “When did you pass out from college?” It literally means “When did you faint in college?” The correct way to as is “When did you complete your college education?” or “When did you pass from college?”

“Giving Exams”

We are all scared of giving exams, isn’t it? There we go!!! Again an Indian phrase commonly used by all “Are you giving your board exams?” That’s completely incorrect. The suitable way of saying this is “Are you taking you board exams?”

“Real Brother / Sister”

As Indians, we love to talk incessantly about our family. And then comes another Indian phrase widely used by most of us; “My real brother/sister”. Come on!! Do we have a fake brother or sister too? No!!! So simply say “siblings”. Another error which we make while talking about our family is “cousin brother/sister”. Cousin is a cousin; you need not add a brother or sister to it.

“Hinglish”

Let’s talk about Hinglish now!! Adding a “Na” at the end of sentence. “You are coming for the movie, na?” Come to think of it!! You are literally asking that person to not come!! Just ask “Are you coming for the movie?” Let that person say a ‘haan’ or a ‘na’!!

“Himself /  Herself”

Another language fallacy is the use of “herself”, inappropriately. e.g. “She herself only completed the work”. Which means that she did the work on her own. A better and of course the correct way of saying this is “She did the work all by herself or she did the work on her own.”

“Back”

Back is back again!! This time wrongly used in a different concept. Ever heard people saying ­­“Two years back I was in China?” Well! Well! Well! No back here please!!! Usage of a small word here, will change the way you talk. Please replace “back” with “ago”. Hence, it’s “Two years ago, I was in China.”

“Overusing Present Continuous Tense ”

Last, but not the least is the over usage of the “Present Continuous Tense”. Words like having, liking, etc. How does this sentence sound – He’s is loving those shoes? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! It should be “He loves those shoes”. Another common one is “Are you having your laptop with you?” Didn’t know we can eat laptops too!!! “Having is consuming”. Therefore, we cannot use having unless we are referring to an eatable item. Instead please say” Do you have your laptop with you?” “Have” indicates possession.

Hope, the above fantastic fifteen will be an eye opener and we stop using these phrases to make our English sound more refined.

Getting my point!! Ohhh!!! I mean, got my point?

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Six Golden Rules To Ace A Group Discussion

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance. Robert Quillen

Six ways to ace group discussion

 

 

As each sport and game has its own rules and tips to help you navigate it successfully, the same goes for group discussion too. The general tip is that you follow the rules, gauge your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, work around their strengths, tap into their weaknesses and you can sail through with the perfect image in group discussions.

Rule 1: Prepare

 

Work begins long before you sit for the group discussion. Your performance is as good as your preparation. Half the preparation is about knowledge. If you think you can wing it with aggression, you are mistaken. Find out the kind of topics that are given at the institution or company you are applying for.

Prepare well in time on as many topics as you can, not just the ones given in the past, but related ones too. You never know when the subject would be changed. Get into the habit of active reading. It’s different from passive reading. Passive reading is where you read merely to understand the subject. Active reading is where you not only understand the subject, but also begin to raise questions and voice your opinion – positive, negative or neutral about the subject. This is critical in the group discussion to counter or support others’ points of view.

The next part of rule 1 is to have mock group discussion, preferably with differing groups of friends. The point is to train your mind to think of any given topic’s pros and cons in a dynamic situation where you can’t predict the person’s response. More importantly, it is about looking at all the possible angles to the topic. This shows your logical mind, creativity and also your ability to think on your feet which comes with preparation.

Rule 2: Know the Participants

 

Carry a notepad and pen to note down your discussion points as soon as the topic is given. Most people who attend GDs are as focused on their performance as they tend to be. Take a deep breath and when the team introduces itself, note down the participants’ names.

In the heat of the discussion, calling out the person’s name is a good way to get their attention. All of us respond instinctively when our name is called out, so use this technique. Not only does it get you their attention, it also shows your people skills and presence of mind.

Rule 3: Take Care of your Posture

 

Your body posture reveals your state of mind. At the same time, it conditions you to a particular way of thinking. Don’t lean back or lean forward. Find the balance.

Let your body posture be of polite intensity so that you come across as a balanced individual with plenty of energy. This also shows empathy and respect to others when they speak and is an asset that brings you additional points.

Rule 4: Take Charge

 

Take charge of the group discussion right in the beginning. It shows your leadership capability. Introduce the topic by setting the framework for the ensuing discussion and state your opening point before leaving it to the group. Further, when it comes to conclusions, many GDs fall through and participants don’t make good use of it although it brings points.

Conclude the discussion by summing up if you can. To do this, listen actively throughout the discussion and note down the key highlights – say, in columns of negative and positive points on your notepad or any other format that suits the discussion.

Rule 5: Retain Your Balance

 

During the group discussion itself, give your logical counterpoint without aggression when there is a disagreement. You are not there to prove that your stand is right, but to show your maturity and logical thinking. When the discussion drags over a point, it is time for you to interject and turn the discussion in a new direction, either with a related point or with an opposite view.

Be to the point and intervene when another candidate is taking all the airtime. When they pause for breath, it is the right time to take your chance, state your point and then, pass the chance to someone who hasn’t had their say.

Rule 6: Follow your Domain

 

Keep the domain in mind while projecting your image. Let’s suppose you are facing a group discussion for a sales function, you may have to take a more aggressive approach whereas a marketing function could veer towards the creative and the practical approach in assessment.

Group discussion is as much about your knowledge and point-of-view as about how you handle yourself and others. Do these right and you will have projected the right image.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Collective Nouns (final)(

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are names for a collection or a number of people or things. Words like group, regiment, and furniture are collective noun examples.

Using collective nouns in sentences can be confusing because at times it’s difficult to differentiate whether to use plural or singular verbs and pronouns.  For using verbs and pronouns correctly, identifying whether the collective noun refers to a group or unit working as individuals or in unison is important.

  • The class waited [singular verb] for its [singular pronoun] teacher silently.

(The class is acting as a single unit here. The students are all doing the same thing at the

        same time.)

  • The class began [plural verb] their [plural pronoun] classwork while they [plural pronoun] waited [plural verb] for their [plural pronoun] teacher.

(The students are a unit, but are acting as individuals — they each doing their own homework assignments.)

 Some examples of Collective Nouns are given below:

  1. an army of soldiers
  2. a bevy of beauties
  3. a band of musicians
  4. a band of robbers
  5. a board of directors
  6. a body of men
  7. a bunch of crooks
  8. a caravan of gypsies
  9. a choir of singers
  10. a class of pupils
  11. a class of students
  12. a gang of thieves
  13. a horde of savages
  14. a host of angels
  15. a line of kings/rulers
  16. a mob of rioters
  17. a group of dancers
  18. a group of singers
  19. a pack of rascals
  20. a pack of thieves
  21. a party of friends
  22. a patrol of policemen
  23. a company of actors
  24. a congregation of worshippers
  25. a crew of sailors
  26. a crowd of spectators
  27. a crowd of people
  28. a dynasty of kings
  29. a galaxy of beautiful women
  30. a galaxy of film stars
  31. a gang of crooks
  32. a gang of labourers
  33. a gang of prisoners
  34. a gang of robbers
  35. a posse of policemen
  36. a staff of employees
  37. a staff of servants
  38. a staff of teachers
  39. a team of players
  40. a tribe of natives
  41. a troop of scouts
  42. a troop of artistes
  43. a troupe of dancers
  44. a troupe of performers
  45. a party of friends

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Who Vs Whom

A lot of speakers get confused when it comes to using who and whom, here’s the logic:

Who

Who, an interrogative pronoun, refers to -what or which person or people and is used in place of the subject of a question

  • Who is in the team?
  • Who did this?

It is used to question a person’s character or authority.

Who is used in statements as well, in place of the subject of a clause.

  • Sameer is the one who wants to play.
  • Anyone who knows the motive should be able to help us.

Whom

‘Whom’ is also an interrogative pronoun, however, it is used in place of the object of a question- more so, in formal writing or speech.

  • Whom is this story about?
  • With whom are you going to the party?
  • Whom did they call?

Whom is used as object of a verb or a preceding preposition

  • to know for whom his heart beats.

 

It is also sometimes used as the object of a following preposition

  • the woman whom you wrote to.

 

And whom can also be used in statements, in place of the object of a clause.

  • This is the girl whom I was talking about.
  • Mani is the man whom we met at dinner last week.

 

Whom is always the correct choice after a preposition.

  • The students, some of whom are graduating this year, failed the test.
  • Jaspreet is the girl with whom I’m going to Nagaland.

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Mastering Extempore

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“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” –Dale Carnegie

Extempore

 

Extempore speaking is the term used for a non-formally prepared speech. Every time you speak you are preparing for extempore speaking. You probably prepare without even knowing it. You have to read to learn new things for this type of speaking. When doing extempore speaking, you need to use the knowledge that you have and use a strong delivery.

 

The key to extempore speaking is that the words spoken are chosen as we speak them, and what is delivered is a stream of consciousness that is fluent, erudite and articulate, while being unscripted. Historically, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) (a top notch business school affiliated to Delhi University) has been known for conducting an extempore session along with the GD/PI rounds in its selection process.

 

Extempore tests the candidates on the following:-

  • Ability to think on the feet
  • Ability to connect with the panel
  • Ability to think outside the box
  • Analysis of the topic and identification of the issue to be addressed
  • Ideation
  • Prioritization and sequencing displaying logical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Overall presentation skills-body language, confidence, poise, composure etc.

 

For effective extempore speaking – candidates must be fluent and well read.

  • Be mentally ready: Know what to speak beforehand. Ponder over the topic for some time and prepare the flow of delivery. Your previous extempore practice sessions would surely be a booster here. Understanding the audience, the direction they are most likely to accept, helps in framing the flow of speech & also helps to connect with the audience.
  • Keep a check on your rate of speech: The key is; neither to go too fast nor too slow. Do not start really fast, as you are likely to end much earlier than the given time.
  • Confidence is the key: It’s not what you say but how you say it” that makes the difference, too. Confidence, along with knowledge, always helps, even in abstract topics where you are tested on presence of mind, spontaneity and analytical skills.
  • Handle mental blocks smartly: Remember the famous quote? “If plan “A” doesn’t work there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.” At times, when you get stuck, try to maneuver yourself out of the situation gracefully by avoiding being nervous. For such situations it is better to have back up plans.
  • Don’t get carried away:  Don’t get emotional about the topic, avoid getting too personal on sensitive matters, don’t deviate from the topic and talk about irrelevant stuff.
  • The darker and brighter sides- In case of controversial topics (e.g. Should actors from Pakistan be given an opportunity in Bollywood?), you may choose to explore both sides, a stand which becomes difficult to take in case of GDs due to challenges of group dynamics. In an extempore, since you are the only person speaking, it becomes possible for a smart, strategic speaker to discuss both aspects of the controversial topic. However, one has to be on his/her toes about the time constraints while taking this stand.
  • Competence, Enthusiasm & Adaptability is the key: Work on yourself & your competitive advantage which could be excellent vocabulary, being good at idioms & expressions, some good proverbs & quotes, good general knowledge, etc. Stay calm & put your best foot forward.
  • Mind your Ps & Qs- Last but not the least; do ensure that you sound polite & don’t end up hurting anyone by commenting on a specific caste, religion or sex. You must have heard-“Words are free, it’s how you use them that may cost you”

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Tips For Writing Effective Emails

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Email is the most popular form of written business communication. It is essential that it should be well written with a professional touch.

Writing Formal Mails

1.Begin with a greeting

Always begin your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Henry”. If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (e.g. “Dear Mrs. Wright”). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Name”. If you are not sure about the recipient’s identity, you can write Dear Sir/ Ma’am.

2.Subject line:

The mail should have a subject line summarizing briefly and evidently the contents of the message. It should state the purpose or objective of writing the mail. Use the subject line to grab reader’s attention.

3.Use simplified language

Do not clutter the email with too many technical terms. The mail should not have long sentences and complex structures. Keep your message short and clear. Try and follow the KISS technique (Keep it Short and Simple)

4.The recipient should be kept in the mind while writing emails

The tone of the email plays an important role. Usually it is observed that upward communication has an element of humility. On the contrary, the downward communication is laced with arrogance. It is recommended to keep the tone neutral while writing the emails.

5.Use Passive Voice

While writing emails, it is recommended to use Passive Voice. Using passive voice makes the language subtle and less direct.

6.Ascertain following the rules of Punctuation, basic grammar and spellings.

In this era of extensive texting, the basic principles of grammar have lost their sheen. People have become oblivious to punctuation and spellings. Since emails are formal communication, we ought to follow the punctuation rules meticulously. Do not type the entire mail in the Upper or lower case.

7.Try to use positive words

The writer should use positive words as it reflects on his / her attitude towards life.

8.Add your closing remarks

Before you end your email, it’s polite to thank your reader and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooperation” or “Thank you for your consideration” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you”.

9.End with a closing

The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. “Best regards”, “Sincerely”, and “Thank you” are all professional. Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader.

10.Proof read the mail

It is recommended to proof read and edit the mail before pressing the send button.

 

Format of a Formal Email

1. Background

The default white background should be used for all emails. Colored backgrounds or scroll designs are deemed unprofessional and distracting.

2. Font

Preferred fonts are Times New Roman or Arial, font size-12.

3. Font Color

Font should be navy blue or black only.

4. Contact Details

Official contact information like name, designation, email id, contact number, company logo, and address of correspondence should be mentioned in the signature area. Personal statements are best avoided.

5. First Name and Surname

They should be mentioned in the same font as used in the body of the email, only two font sizes larger. Cursive fonts are not recommended.

6. Signature

The following information should be supplied in the same font and size as the body of the email.

  • Designation
  • Company Name & Address
  • Contact Number

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Saying the Dreadful “NO” Effectively

EnglishMate: How to say NO effectively

 

It seems to be a cumbersome task to say no to any person. Most of us face trouble while saying “No”, especially to our seniors. There may be cultural, gender, social, religious, or institutional pressure to conform and please. Often there’s a fear of rejection, a desire to avoid confrontation, or guilt over hurting others’ feelings. However, it’s important to say “no” when necessary, in order to protect our boundaries and maintain one’s own priorities. Saying ‘no’ may sound rude, like you’re rejecting the person. There’s a negative connotation to it or they may even feel they won’t be liked or will be perceived as uncaring and unhelpful. As a result, people usually go the path of least potential conflict and comply with others. If people do say ‘no’, they usually do it in ineffective ways that come with an excuse. To be effective in saying ‘no’, the first step in learning the dynamics involved in it.

1. Say It

Don’t beat around the bush or offer weak excuses or hem and haw. Don’t delay or stall either. Provide a brief explanation .The less said the better- This is the best possible way.

2. Be Assertive and Courteous

You might say, “I’m sorry I can’t right now but will let you know when and if I can.” This approach is polite, and puts you in a position of power by changing the dynamic. You’re taking charge, telling people you’ll let them know when and if you can.

3. Understanding Tactics

Many people and organizations use manipulation techniques, do not get intimidated by their manipulative ways. Be prudent in understanding people’s tactics and not to give into social pressure.

4. Set Boundaries

We need to evaluate our relationships and understand our role within the relationship dynamics. After understanding the concept of relationship dynamics, we usually acquire a position of authority and confidently say “No”.

5. Be Selfish

Put your needs first. If you prioritize that person’s needs over yours, you’ll find your productivity will suffer and resentment will mount. An unhappy you would turn unproductive and cranky.

 

Simple “no” scripts that you can tweak into your bit of conversation

1. “Let me think about it.”

2. “The idea sounds great! It’s just that … “

3. “I can’t today. How about [insert new schedule]?”

4. “I’m sorry, but I can’t.”

5. I ‘m going to say no for now. I would let you if there is a change….

6. I ‘m not able to commit to that right now…..

One should not hold back from saying ‘no’ as we have to be true to ourselves, our convictions, and our priorities. So saying ‘no’ is perfectly fine…..

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter

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Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of Public Speaking

 

An average person ranks the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death. The truth is, this fear could be hurting your professional and personal life. Unless you’re a gregarious extrovert, you feel nervous, your palms sweat, and your stomach ties itself into knots before speaking to a group or getting up in front of the audience.

The fear of public speaking is very real. However, there are techniques to help you overcome your fear. There are even ways to help harness your energy in a positive way.

Get organized

When you organize all your thoughts and material it helps you to become much more relaxed and calm. When you have clear, organized thoughts it can greatly reduce your anxiety and fear of public speaking because you can better focus on the one thing at hand, giving a great speech.

Practice, Practice & Practice

Nothing takes the place of practicing and preparing for your speech. Write out a script of your key points, but don’t read from the script word for word. Prepare for your speech so well that you could answer any possible question thrown at you.

Give your speech to another person

There are plenty of people you can practice on. Be sure to tell the person to be completely honest with you in their critique.

Examples of people you can practice on:

  • Your friends
  • Your parents
  • Your girlfriend/wife
  • Your boyfriend/husband

PowerPoint- Make or break

Sometimes, having a PowerPoint can be your best friend. It can help you if you lose your train of thought, keep your audience engaged, and give people a good place to grab notes and main points from. However, do not put paragraphs on one slide.

Focus on the material, not the audience

Focus on delivering your material in the best way possible. Don’t worry about audience reactions.

Keep a check on the rate of speech

Talking fast during a speech interferes with your breathing patterns. If you talk too fast you will breathe less. Feeling short of breath will make you panicked and more susceptible to fear. Practice slowing down when you speak, and you will be more calm and relaxed.

Practice in front of a mirror

If time and money are issues, there’s always the free mirror in your bathroom. Start with simply smiling at yourself. You’d be surprised by how hard that is for some people. Make eye contact with yourself. See? You’re doing great.

Watch for feedback and adapt to it

Keep the focus on the audience. Gauge their reactions, adjust your message, and stay flexible. Delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners.

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter. 

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Tips to Improve Body Language

Englishmate- Tips for Improving Body Language

 

 

You might be preparing for an interview, a presentation and wondering if you are ready for that. While doing so, most of the people focus more on content, audience, technical know-how and what not. To be sure about the success of your presentation or leaving a good impression during your interview, you need to take care of other important aspects as well such as body language. Body language is a part of non-verbal communication and plays an important role while communicating with someone. Let’s have a look at some of the tips to improve our body language.

1.     Body Posture

Your body communicates what you may not be aware of or a message that you don’t want to communicate. It happens when you don’t have the right posture to convey the intended meaning. Make sure you are aware of the postures you use while having conversation with someone. Try to have a comfortable posture that is neither too relaxed nor too rigid. Having a right posture makes you feel confident and formal especially during those formal meetings.

2.     Proper Eye Contact

Eye contact occurs when two people look at each other’s eyes at the same time. In human beings, eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior (Wikipedia). Speaking in front of an audience without making a proper eye contact makes your audience feel ignored or neglected. Experts are of the belief that proper eye contact helps in building trust and confidence during conversations.

3.     Don’t Fiddle with Anything

People tend to get nervous when they have to strike a conversation with someone or during formal meetings. It is normally witnessed in language classes that students get nervous and start fiddling with anything they have in their hands, a pen, key etc. when they have to face an audience. The students don’t seem to be aware of it but others can easily notice the restlessness. This problem can be overcome with practice and constant monitoring of one’s hand movements.

4.      Don’t Make Faces

Your facial expressions are crucial for a successful interaction be it an interview, presentation or a general day to day conversation. You might have a habit of making certain facial expressions that can put someone off and may even result in creating a negative image of yours. Try to practice making pleasing facial expressions and get used to doing so.

5.     Learn to Smile

Smile adds to your beauty and makes it a pleasing experience for the people involved in conversation. Smiling while talking to someone can be a welcoming sign and helps continue the conversation. A good smile doesn’t cost much but adds value to your face.

If we have the other things in place and keep the above mentioned points in mind as far as body language is concerned, it will definitely help in creating a lasting impression.

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter. 

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Effective Presentation Skills

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The opportunity to pitch your services to a potential client, spell out your business plan to a potential business partner, or promote your business at an event may require that you give a presentation. Whether or not your presentation achieves its desired outcome can be affected by your skills as a speaker, so it’s important to step in front of your audience with your best foot forward. The following points explain how to prepare, deliver, and answer questions about a killer presentation.

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills: Preparation

Stay focused & on your toes: No one is impressed by a presentation that rambles. Rambling happens when the speaker is both self-indulgent and unorganized. Your purpose and prose must be specifically directed to interests of your listeners or they will mentally shut you down. Even if you hit upon a topic of interest, you will lose them quickly if they can’t follow the logic of your ideas. Outline the structure of your presentation in a way that people can follow easily. Research your audience to make sure the topic is truly of their interest.

Mind your rate of speech: You’ve got a lot of material to cover, so you talk fast to get through all of it. If you need to talk fast, your presentation is too long. Plus, fast talk makes you sound either nervous or like a stereotypical “fast talking'” salesperson. Rather, cut your presentation down. If you’re talking fast because you’re nervous, write “SLOW DOWN!” on each page of your notes.

Don’t tell cock & bull stories: There must be a reason you are presenting to these people. Most likely you want them to take action of some kind.  Maybe you want them to get involved in an activity, or to make something happen in their own lives. They are not likely to ­take action just because you tell them to do so. You need to connect with them emotionally and inspire them to change their behavior. Stories do more for emotional connection than any other speech technique. Audience is very smart. Tell them compelling stories. The more personal and authentic the stories, the better the response.

Making personal excuses: You downgrade the audience’s expectations by offering an excuse in advance for your poor performance. (E.g., “I’m so tired”; “I got in late last night.”) You’re giving yourself an excuse so you won’t feel so bad if you fail. Plus, nobody wants to hear you to crib & cry about your problems to begin with.  Regardless of how you’re feeling, show enthusiasm for being there and put your best foot forward.

Reading from slides will bore them to death : Your slides reflect your thinking on a subject, so you read your slides aloud to the audience in order to replicate your thought process. Presumably everyone in your audience can read, so it becomes boring if it is re-read. Rather, use slides as visual signposts for the points you’re making rather than a written version or summary of those points.

Use Media Only to Enhance: PowerPoint, visuals and video are powerful presentation tools when used correctly. But they can be disastrous distractions when misused.

Do not ask for extra time: You feel you don’t have sufficient time to communicate your important information, so you request extra time to communicate it. If there’s less time because you’re late, you’re adding injury to insult. If it’s because your presentation is too long, well, your presentation is too long. Rather, adapt your presentation so as to fit the allotted time. If you’re late, end your presentation when it’s scheduled to end.

Videotape yourself – You can’t know how you come off to people until you see it. Recording yourself is the best way to target the areas where you can improve.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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