Gauge approach to introductions

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 November, 2007, 12:00am

Hone your office language skills

In my last article, I looked at ways of opening a presentation and introducing yourself. In today's article, I am going to focus on introducing the topic and leading into the main part of the presentation.

A good introduction is clear and structured. So once you have told the audience who you are, you need to tell them what you are going to talk about. For this purpose, let's say your topic is the rise in popularity of shopping online. If your presentation isn't too formal then you could say, 'The topic of my talk today is shopping online and I am going to discuss some of the reasons why it has become so popular.' Alternatively, if your audience is more formal and less relaxed, you could use the following: 'The title of my presentation is The Rise in Popularity of Shopping Online and I will give you some background about this trend in retail.'

The next thing to do is explain when you will be happy to answer questions. So this is when you can say, 'I hope you enjoy my presentation and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me them at the end.'

Alternatively, 'I trust you will find what I have to say useful and relevant. There will be a Q&A session at the end so please hold on to any questions you may have until then.'

It's now important to signal that your introduction is at an end and you are about to begin the main part of your presentation. If you are using a microphone, at this point you can check that it's working properly by saying, 'Can I just double check everyone can hear me okay?? And then you can continue, 'Well if everyone is comfortable [or ready] then I'll begin.'

Article contributed by Kathryn Kelly, a teacher at British Council.

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