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English Language Support: Presentations


The work you do in the Presentations short course needs to be supplemented and extended with independent study.  There are specific books on presentation skills in the library and for easy access to good resources there are many up to date and useful videos and guides on ‘how to deliver a successful presentation’ on the internet.

On this page you will find useful resources recommended by our teachers.   

Tips and techniques

  • Preparation is the key! Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. If you leave it until the last minute, you will get stressed and anxious when it comes to the delivery. ·
  • Consider your audience! How much background information do they need? Do they have knowledge on your topic? What is your audience going to get out of your presentation? You have to think carefully about ‘who your audience is’ in the initial stages when planning your presentation. ·
  • Keep it simple: concentrate on your core message! What is the key message you want your audience to take away? Keep your core message brief and focused throughout. If things you plan aren’t centred around the core message, don’t put them in.  
  • Think about your visuals! Visual aids are there to complement your presentation, not repeat it, or deliver the presentation for you. Your slides should offer a short summary of points, or an illustration that supports concepts you're discussing, but remember, you are the main focus.
  • Use your voice and body effectively! Varying the speed, pitch and tone when you talk makes your voice more interesting for an audience. Body language is also crucial in getting your message across. Be open and confident with your gestures. 
  • Practice with a friend! Ask a friend if they’ll help you with a practice run. They can check if they can hear you speaking, if they can understand what you are saying and if you stay within your allocated time, helping you build confidence in your delivery. You could also record yourself on Teams (for example) and play it back to yourself. This will allow you to reflect carefully on your practice performance.

Recommended books in the library

Recommended online resources

Academic Skills – Presenting Effectively

A very useful video which explains how to give an effective academic presentation from sequencing the presentation to using effective visuals in your PowerPoint. Click here to watch.

The 3 magic ingredients of amazing presentations – Ted Talks

This is a Ted Talks lecture on presenting, focusing on audience, speaker and transformation. The speaker demonstrates his effective ‘Audience Transformation Roadmap’, which is a successful albeit innovative way to presenting. Click here to watch.

The OCR Guide to presentation skills

This presentation skills guide (pdf) gives you step-by-step instructions on how to present successfully.

Speaking: Watch your pitch pattern

This short video concentrates on the importance of intonation when you speak and effectively shows the difference between varied intonation and monotone speech. It demonstrates how changing the intonation and stress in your voice can give a different meaning to the same phrase. Click here to watch.

4 tips to do voice modulation while speaking: Public speaking tips

This video shows you how to modulate your voice when speaking and how necessary changing your pitch pattern is to get your message across to your audience - from high and low pitch to fast and slow. Click here to watch.


Languages for All

Sign up for Languages for All and get free extra English practice with the language learning application, Rosetta Stone. 

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