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Unit 2 Presentations: Introduction
Exercise 1.In any presentation the beginning is crucial. Certainly some things are essential in an introduction and others are useful. Here is a list of what could be included in an introduction. Mark them according to how necessary they are (1- most necessary, 9-least necessary)
· Subject / title of talk.
· Introduction to oneself, job title, etc.
· Reference to questions and/or discussion.
· Reference to the program for the day.
· Reference to how long you are going to speak for.
· Reference to the visual aids you plan to use.
· The scope of your talk: what is and is not included.
· An outline of the structure of your talk.
· A summary of the conclusions.
Exercise 2.Listen to the beginning of a presentation on the marketing plans for a new telecommunications system produced by Telco.
a) Is it a good introduction?
b) Why? Why not?
Exercise 3.Now listen to a second example of an introduction to a presentation. This one is about plans to develop a new production plant in Taiwan.
As you listen, think about these points:
a) Is it a good introduction?
b) Why? Why not?
Exercise 4. Work in pairs. Each of you should suggest a possible phrase for each of the cues below.
a) Greet your audience.
b) Introduce yourself.
c) Give the title of your talk.
d) Describe the structure of your talk.
e) Explain that the audience can interrupt if they want.
f) Say something about the length of your talk.
g) Say a colleague will be showing a video later.
Now listen to the recording of a model introduction based on suitable phrases for a-g.
Exercise 5. Read the given tips on how make a successful introduction. Match the sub-titles below with the most appropriate tip.
ATell a story or start with a joke
BStart with a quote from an important person
CUse a bold statement or an interesting statistic
DWrite about a problem
ESpeak about necessary background information
FStart with a question
Giving Powerful Introductions
When you write, what's the best way to begin? Here are six ways to give better introductions.
Everybody has problems! Most of our energy each day is spent trying to solve problems. By starting your talk with a problem, you automatically hook your audience into searching for a solution. Your audience will start to think about how they might solve the problem or wonder what solution you have in mind. But be careful not to take too much time on the problem itself. This is an introduction, not the body of your presentation.
A very brief story or joke that illustrates your main idea can also hook the audience. Use clear details and vivid descriptions to appeal to your audience ' senses and emotions. For example, if you want your audience to give up smoking, describe the painful effects of an elderly person who is unable to stop coughing, unable to breathe freely. If you are talking about an interesting place, describe what the audience would see, what they would hear, what they would taste, so that they can almost feel they are there. A joke, if it really fits the topic, can also make your audience more receptive to your ideas.
This is one of the easiest ways to begin your talk. However, be careful not to use questions that are too simple. If everyone already knows the answer, they will not be interested in what you say next. Remember, you have to make them think! "Do you like to eat?" is not very interesting. However, "Have you ever spent more than $100 dollars on one meal?" will make your audience start dreaming!
If you begin with something like, "In the United States, fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce!", your audience will want to know your point of view on this topic. You can look up statistics on the Internet for just about any topic, so go to it!
This kind of introduction has two advantages. As with the other ways, it gets your audience to think about what you will say next. In addition, the words of important people have the ability to persuade many people. "If Bill Gates said it, it's probably true", many people will think.
This is not a very interesting way to begin, but sometimes it's necessary to help your audience before you begin. Some topics will be too difficult for audience to follow without some help, so you may have to provide basic information first. If possible, try to speak about this information using one of the five opening techniques above!
1. D; 2. A; 3. F; 4. C; 5. B; 6. E
Use the notes below to prepare a brief introduction to talk on safely for a manufacturing company.
Listen to the recording of a model answer after you have given your own version.
Give a one minute introduction only to a talk on any topic you like! If you cannot think of a topic, choose from the list below:
your hometown your favourite sport tourism
your very first job eating out vacations
a thing you really like your previous job your hobbies
Prepare an introduction to a short talk on one of the following:
your company and / or its products / services
any company you know well
an institution that you know well.
Decide who the audience is. Make notes. Look at the Skills Checklist and remember in particular to consider the points under the heading Audience. Look at the Language checklist.
Do not write the whole text. When you are ready, practice your introduction. If you can, make a recording. When you have finished, answer the following questions:
· Did you make a recording? If you did, listen to it now.
· Does the recording sound well prepared and competent?
· Did you read everything you said from detailed notes?
· Did you talk using only brief notes?
· Did you speak clearly and not too fast?
· Did you outline the topic, structure and content of your talk?
· Did you refer to audience questions and to discussion?
· How could you improve your introduction?
*When you drive on the roads, you know where you are. Each road has a name. Each town has a name. And each house has a number. You can look at the signposts for directions. It is easy to navigate the roads. You cannot get lost. But when you give a presentation, how can your audience know where they are? They know because you tell them. Because you put up signposts for them, at the beginning and all along the route. This technique is called 'signposting' (or 'signalling' / 'sequencing' / 'ordering'). Use this technique in all three parts of your presentation: introduction, body and conclusion!
Quick Communication Check
Complete the spaces in the five opening sentences of presentations.
The classic presentation has three parts. Here are six sentences from the introduction to a presentation. Put them in the right order.
a) I'm going to talk about the new organization of our European Sales.
b) Afterwards you can ask any questions or say what you think.
c) Good afternoon, everyone. My presentation today is about changes in our organization.
d) Finally I'll describe the new arrangement - the new system.
e) First I'll describe the current situation - how things are now.
f) Then I'll explain why we have to change this.
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