Learn to control nerves in your next presentation with these tips to English speaking in public and ensure your success.
We have all felt anxious about the idea of presenting orally in front of an audience, either for school reasons such as the defense of a job, a job interview, an employment meeting or a conference. Tension increases when we must do it in a language that is not our mother tongue, because we are afraid of making mistakes, confusing the vocabulary, forgetting the right words or not understanding the questions they ask us. So that you go prepared to your next presentation, we offer you some tips to speak English in public and get away with the situation.
- Analyze the fear
The fear to speak English in public can have origin in several aspects, reason why it is fundamental to review those that produce you more nervousness. If your main problem is pronunciation, practice your speech aloud as many times as you feel safe, using an application that helps you improve the phonetics of specific terms.
Maybe the fear comes from not understanding the questions, so you’ll have to find a friend who speaks English to simulate the exposure and lower the level of anxiety. When your source of concern is a specific part of the speech, prepare it with more dedication than the rest of the talk. Anticipate everything that could go wrong to find viable solutions before it happens, and then you will have an extra card up your sleeve that can be used at any time.
- Write the speech
As in any oral presentation, the organization on paper is essential to structure the speech and choose which parts you will place on the slides or program that executes a summary of the ideas worked on. The written page allows you to color, draw, modify and take it with you to where you go to practice on the bus, the waiting room of an office, or the bridge hours at the university without the need to have a loaded electronic device.
- Evaluate yourself in front of the mirror
A classic technique to be aware of your tone of voice, fluency, body posture and gesticulation: remember that your audience will examine both verbal and nonverbal communication. The control of your body is the key in an exhibition; it will even help you to relax.
You will detect errors that you have not noticed, you will ask questions to see your expression while you think the answer and you will finish the practice recording in video to pay attention to the visual and sound aspects separately. To do this, play the video several times focusing on one aspect at a time, closing your eyes when it is necessary to evaluate the voice.
- Think in English
Try to think in English the days before the presentation, getting used to generating ideas in a language that is not natural for you. Mixing a thought in Spanish with an articulation in English could generate conflicts when it comes to making the translation aloud, instead generating the phrase in English from the beginning will facilitate its expression. You will arrive more confident to the instance of exposure in which you will apply the same method.
- Weapon transition phrases
Transition phrases serve to gain time when you receive questions that require the meticulous elaboration of a response, as they are complex or take you by surprise. Choose two or three that get you out of trouble and practice them, for example “Well, that’s a good question”. In case you do not understand the question, ask for the repetition “I’m sorry, could you repeat that please?” Or ask them to express the idea with other words in order to have the chance to reinterpret them.