Vocabulary and Phrases for Making Presentations in English
Here's a step-by-step guide for making presentations in English. You'll find the phrases you need for each step of your presentation.
After you give your opening statement, give a brief overview of your presentation. Say what your presentation is about, how long you will take and how you are going to handle questions.
For example, a presentation to sales staff could start like this:
"Welcome / "Hello everyone."
"As you all know, this company is losing its market share. But we are being asked to increase sales by 20 – 25%. How can we possibly increase sales in a shrinking market?"
"Today I am going to talk to you about how we can do this. My presentation will be in three parts. Firstly I am going to look at the market and the background. Then I am going to talk to you about our new products and how they fit in. Finally, I'm going to examine some selling strategies that will help us increase our sales by 20%. The presentation will probably take around 20 minutes. There will be time for questions at the end of my talk."
Useful language for overviews
"My presentation is in three parts."
"My presentation is divided into three main sections."
"Firstly, secondly, thirdly, finally…"
"I'm going to…
take a look at…
tell you something about the background…
give you some facts and figures…
fill you in on the history of…
limit myself to the question of…
"Please feel free to interrupt me if you have questions."
"There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation."
"I'd be grateful if you could ask your questions after the presentation."
The main body of the presentation
During your presentation, it’s a good idea to occasionally remind your audience why your presentation and ideas are important or relevant.
"As I said at the beginning…"
"This, of course, will help you (to achieve the 20% increase)."
"As you remember, we are concerned with…"
"This ties in with my original statement…"
"This relates directly to the question I put to you before…"
Keeping your audience with you
Remember that what you are saying is new to your audience. You are clear about the structure of your talk, but let your audience know when you are moving on to a new point. You can do this by saying something like "right", or "OK". You can also use some of the following expressions:
"I'd now like to move on to…"
"I'd like to turn to…"
"That's all I have to say about…"
"Now I'd like to look at…"
"This leads me to my next point…"
If you are using index cards, putting the link on the cards will help you remember to keep the audience with you. In addition, by glancing at your index cards you will be pausing – this will also help your audience to realise that you are moving on to something new.
Phrases for introducing visuals
It's important to introduce your visual to the audience. You can use the following phrases:
"This graph shows you…"
"Take a look at this…"
"If you look at this, you will see…"
"I'd like you to look at this…"
"This chart illustrates the figures…"
"This graph gives you a break down of…"
Give your audience enough time to absorb the information on the visual. Pause to allow them to look at the information and then explain why the visual is important:
"As you can see…"
"This clearly shows …"
"From this, we can understand how / why…"
"This area of the chart is interesting…"
At the end of your presentation, you should summarise your talk and remind the audience of what you have told them:
"That brings me to the end of my presentation. I've talked about…"
"Well, that's about it for now. We've covered…"
"So, that was our marketing strategy. In brief, we…"
"To summarise, I…"
Relate the end of your presentation to your opening statement:
"So I hope that you're a little clearer on how we can achieve sales growth of 20%."
"To return to the original question, we can achieve…"
"So just to round the talk off, I want to go back to the beginning when I asked you…"
"I hope that my presentation today will help you with what I said at the beginning…"
Thank the audience for their attention and invite questions.
"Thank you for listening – and now if there are any questions, I would be pleased to answer them."
"That brings me to the end of my presentation. Thank you for your attention. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have."
It’s useful to re-word the question, as you can check that you have understood the question and you can give yourself some time to think of an answer. By asking the question again you also make sure that other people in the audience understand the question.
"Thank you. So you would like further clarification on our strategy?"
"That's an interesting question. How are we going to get voluntary redundancy?"
"Thank you for asking. What is our plan for next year?"
After you have answered your question, check that the person who asked you is happy with the answer.
"Does this answer your question?"
"Do you follow what I am saying?"
"I hope this explains the situation for you."
"I hope this was what you wanted to hear!"
If you don't know the answer to a question, say you don't know. It's better to admit to not knowing something than to guess and maybe get it wrong. You can say something like:
"That's an interesting question. I don't actually know off the top of my head, but I'll try to get back to you later with an answer."
"I'm afraid I'm unable to answer that at the moment. Perhaps I can get back to you later."
"Good question. I really don't know! What do you think?"
"That's a very good question. However, we don't have any figures on that, so I can't give you an accurate answer."
"Unfortunately, I'm not the best person to answer that."
What to say if things go wrong during your presentation
You think you've lost your audience? Rephrase what you have said:
"Let me just say that in another way."
"Perhaps I can rephrase that."
"Put another way, this means…"
"What I mean to say is…"
Can't remember the word?
If it's a difficult word for you – one that you often forget, or one that you have difficulty pronouncing – you should write it on your index card. Pause briefly, look down at your index card and say the word.
Using your voice when making presentations
Don't speak in a flat monotone – this will bore your audience. By varying your speed and tone, you will be able to keep your audience's attention. Practise emphasising key words and pause in the right places – usually in between ideas in a sentence. For example "The first strategy involves getting to know our market (pause) and finding out what they want. (pause) Customer surveys (pause) as well as staff training (pause) will help us do this."
Don't forget – if you speak too fast you will lose your audience!
Making Presentations Quiz
Level: Pre-intermediate and above
- You ''talk about'' something (but ''tell'' a person).
- ''Facts and figures'' is a useful phrase to mean the hard details about something (rather than opinion).
- Move on to = move to the next part
- Only the verb ''shows'' can be followed by ''you''. You could also say, ''As this graph indicates...'' or ''This graph shows / demonstrates / indicates ...
- ''This leads me to my next point'' = My next point it a logical next step from the previous point. (Lead = a straight road running from one point to another point.)
- ''That brings me to the end of my presentation'' is a useful phrase to show you have finished talking.
- ''Thank you for listening'' or ''Thank you for your attention'' are phrases you can use to thank your audience when you finish speaking.
- Feel free = don't hesitate (to do something).
- ''Does this answer your question?'' = Is what I said clear to you?
- ''Put another way'' is a useful way to rephrase something.
Thanks! that's very helpful
very useful. thank you.
thanks ! its helpful
Thank you!!.. Really Helpful.
Very useful, Thanks !!!
very helpful....thank u very much
Thanks! Well done and very useful!
so useful .thanks
It is very useful ... thanks a lot ..
i like it.
Very useful. Many thanks.
Thank so much
its perfect... thank a lot... :)
I was very worried as I had to tomorrow give presentation on chicken pox. This really helped me in great way
Very useful. Thank you very much
It´s so helpful.
It is very fluent and helpful
tooo useful, thanks to all members
Certainly very helpfull, thanks.
that's very helpful
Thank you very much for these useful expressions.
Very helpful.Thank you a lot of yiur wrk
thanks! very helpful :)
Hi,Thank you for sharing this info..
I read it. wasn't disappointed
This is amazing. Helpful indeed. Thanks
Hepful and i the point
Thank youIt's helpfull
THANKYOU SO MUCH
Really informative !
thanks so MÜch, that's very helpful and it"s a good initiative
Very thanks.It is helpful for me.
its awesome tips for presentation & i love all artical ... thank vary vary much sir....
Nkwengoua Zondegoumba Ernestine
Happy DayI'm very sure that, working with your webside, many and many people will improve their level in English.Thank you so muchErnestine
Thank you for enlightening us.
Very good!!! Very important!
thank you.exactly what i was looking for
Thanks! It's very helpful.
It'll help me a lot. Thank you so much
Thanks ! It's very good for me
daudi paul m
thanks its good for me!
Thanku so much....its really very nice instructions for giving an effective presentation... once again thanks a lot...
That,s perfect exercise. I really appreciate
its very nice and also helpful
Very nice & and helpful also.
Really mind blowing..thanks
Thankss , it's so helpful
Thank you for useful information
THANK YOU THIS IS PERFECT
Above contents are really nice and also the practice questions.
Good information, good article, I like it, thank you.
That's great!, Thank you.
Thankful for this article it is graet
thank u for your clarification
Great! Thank you
I am impressed. Thank u
thanks a lot
Apored the real
thanks for the fresh help!
Thank you alot
This way is the best to do presentation. Thanks a lot for this value information
It is great, thank you
thanks for this information, it is very handy!!
Get a FREE English Short Story!
Like to learn English? Join 19,600+ people who read our newsletter and get more help with:
We won't share your email address and you can unsubscribe any time.