Do you feel confident speaking in front of others? Do you feel competent speaking English in a professional environment? If the answer to these questions is yes, would you still feel competent and confident when presenting in English to other professionals?
That last question was answered by a number of our valued clients a few weeks ago, at our first speakeasy for 2014. Each was given a chance to present something they were familiar with, but in another language; English!
Obviously, one of the biggest problems anyone has is that they are nervous when speaking to a group of strangers. However, presentation practice, especially in another language, helps build your confidence. It also improves your vocabulary by encouraging the use of power words and expressions, forces you to find synonyms for commonly used words one is more inclined to always use, and above all, it allows you to practice a skill that is performed differently in another culture. In fact, getting comfortable and feeling as competent as you are in your native tongue is a lot of work. Trying it in a second or third language is even harder
So what can you do to make speaking and presenting in front of others in another language easier? Well, the obvious thing to say would be to take every opportunity you can to practice your speaking skills in English. However, simply saying things isn’t enough. Instead, think about the following points:
> Avoid sounding to complicated. Choose the right words and expressions, and keep the language you use simple enough for your intended audience to understand it. Besides, the more difficult the vocabulary you try to use, the more likely you will trip up and make a mistake. > Practice but don’t memorize. It is easy to review over and over again. However, the more you do, the less likely you will come across as being natural. Furthermore, if you suddenly forget or panic, you might even forget the rest of your presentation. > Finally, the most important point, make sure you know why you are even giving your presentation in the first place, and of course how you can communicate that reason to your audience.
As for our last Speakeasy, everyone did a great job. Plus, there were lots of laughs alongside some great presentation topics.
Our next speakeasy presentation night will take place soon. Should you or anyone else you know be interested in participating, drop us an email. We’d be happy to see you there.