Präsentationen und Referate auf Englisch durchführen … is it a challenge for you? In international ausgerichteten Firmen und Organisationen, ist Englisch oft die relevante Arbeitssprache. Immer häufiger kommt es vor, dass deutschsprachige Mitarbeitende ihre Präsentationen und Referate auf Englisch halten sollen.
Doch wie fühlen sie sich dabei? Auch wenn Mitarbeitende es gewohnt sind, bei der Arbeit, in Ihrem Team, täglich oder sogar mehrheitlich Englisch zu sprechen und zusätzlich über einen breiten Wortschatz verfügen, fragen sich Nicht-Muttersprachler oft:
- Wie formuliere ich auf Englisch Arbeitsaufträge freundlich und korrekt?
- Wie lade ich zu einer konzentrierten Arbeitsatmosphäre ein?
- Wie gebe ich wertschätzende, akkurate Rückmeldungen?
- Und wie fasse ich zusammen?
Yvo Wüest, Dozent für Didaktische Reduktion und Transkulturalität, ist der Autor von zwei Fachbüchern und mehrerer Artikel für Erwachsenenbildung. Als Trainer ist er in der Schweiz und international unterwegs. In diesem Artikel gibt er Referierenden Formulierungen an die Hand, die ihnen helfen, ihre nächste Präsentation auf Englisch mit mehr Leichtigkeit und Souveränität, durchzuführen.
Wie lege ich los oder … How to beginn a presentation?
With this article, let us make sure that the introduction round that you are about to deliver is as fluent when speaking in English, as it would have been had you used German to express yourself.
The phrases that have been provided in the following sections will aid you in properly introducing yourself in English, and also encourage the participants to introduce their own selves. These phrases will also help you in asking the right questions that will enable you to collate all the information you would need. The choice of phrases that would best work for the training you are conducting is completely up to you. Pick the ones which will work best for your training.
Phrases to introduce yourself
Each and every training differs from one another and so does the information that you deliver during your introductory speech. The context of the training decides what information you need to deliver. You also have to keep in mind that different cultures, regardless of whether they are national or they are organizational, focus on varying aspects. While certain introductions stress more on experience and qualifications, others require you to provide information that is personal. Once you have decided what angle works best with the situation you are delivering the introduction for, you can select the perfect phrase from the following section to properly construct your personal introduction. These phrases include:
- „If you can give a decent speech in public or cut any kind of figure on the podium, then you never need to dine or sleep alone“, said the late Christopher Hitchens, an English-American author, journalist, and social critic … and one of my idols for enlightening presentation techniques.
- A very good morning to you. My name is (your name) and I am very delighted to enjoy your presence at (name of the seminar you are holding).
- A very good morning to you as I would like to warmly welcome you to the (name of the seminar you are holding).
- Let me bring about a start to this day by speaking a few lines regarding myself.
- I had originally been a student of (name of the subject you studied) and have eventually worked in the related field for (number of years of experience) years.
- Upon graduation, I entered the working world as a (name of profession) and started working with various international (name of the sector you worked in) companies, before …
- I qualified for the position of an official and certified trainer in the year (year you qualified in), and have trained several groups successfully in (topic of your training) since then.
- During times that I am not working, I like to spend my free time by doing …
- The topic that I am about to speak on today is one of the favorites that I have. The reason for it being so is …
Phrases to encourage participants to introduce themselves
Unless and until you are dealing with people who are fluent in English, it is quite natural for the participants in your training to feel hesitant about speaking out or introducing themselves in English. With the help of a proper framework and didactical reduction, which makes the process simplified, you would be able to achieve this task in an easy manner and also make the process stress free for your participants. You should also make sure that you write down the points that you are about to ask in the flipchart that has been provided to you, as it will allow you to have added support. Please read the following phrases that you can adapt according to your training situation and context you are speaking them in.
- This makes me more interested in learning further about you. If you don’t mind, I would like you to please introduce yourself by first mentioning your name, speak a little regarding about the job you do (this works for in-house training sessions as well, whereby you ask the individual’s job role in the company) and whether you are well acquainted and experienced with (the seminar topic: for e.g. ‘Presentation Techniques’ or ‘Didactical Reduction’).
- In order to aid a better understanding of each other I would like you to introduce yourself in front of the group and answer the corresponding three questions that I am about to ask of you. What is most enjoyable thing regarding your job? When was the last time that you really felt like you had achieved something? What was the main reason that made you attend this seminar?
- For this introduction round, I would like to bring your attention to the points I have written down on this flipchart, and I would also like you to briefly speak on them.
Important Tip: As soon as the participants entered and you greeted them, you should be able to fairly gauge the English speaking skills that the majority of the crowd possesses. In the case that you find yourself dealing with a group which consists of fluent speakers as well as complete novices, the best choice would be to pick an individual whose command over English is somewhere in the middle, and ask him/her to introduce himself/herself.
The reason behind this is simple. An exceptional speaker of English would immediately intimidate those who are poor in the language, while a weaker speaker will provide encouragement to those who are similarly well equipped in English and urge them to participate and try to answer the points you have mentioned on the flipchart. They would also be delighted to hear the thoughts of a person who has a similar command over English as the weaker speakers and would possibly want to learn about the thoughts they have before grabbing a chance to speak for themselves.
Phrases to use when fishing for more details
During training seminars, it is a brilliant practice to be able to know your audience, and having phrases that will allow you to accrue more details about an individual can prove to be quite useful. This process is also a great way to encourage and support that section of the audience, which is weak in English. The reason that these speakers have kept their introductions short is probably because they are not confident with speaking English.
- Could you please elaborate a little further regarding the (topic)?
- I am quite intrigued by what you had to say about the (topic). I am quite interested in knowing more about what you thing. Could you please elaborate further?
- The details that you gave regarding the (topic) were truly fascinating. Can you please elaborate on it a little more? The words you said touched the (topic) but I would like you to expand a little more on the same.
Phrases to use when you did not understand the words the participants were saying
It should not be a cause of embarrassment if you did not understand the words a participant spoke. If you haven’t understood, there are high chances that other members in the audience have also not understood it. Therefore, by asking again, you are actually helping everybody else as well. The following phrases will help you in being specific regarding the thing that you did not comprehend properly.
- Could you please explain (the thing you did not understand) again?
- I beg your pardon but I could not properly catch what you said regarding …
- Can you please tell me again, about what you do?
- Please correct me if I am wrong. You said that you are a (the job that you understood the speaker saying).
- Please allow me to be completely sure which particular information you are searching for …
- Am I right when I say that I understood you to be responsible for (the job that you understood the speaker saying)?
Phrases to use to ensure that you got the participants name correctly
A great way to create a connection with the participant is by referring to him/her by his/her name. Therefore, if you did not properly understand how someone’s name is pronounced, the best practice is to clear the confusion straight away. So, make sure that you ask the person to repeat himself once again, rather than making the mistake of calling him/her by a wrong name throughout the seminar. The following phrases will help you in that regard:
- I beg your pardon but I am not completely sure how your name is pronounced. Can you please repeat it for me again?
- (The pronunciation of the participant’s name that you think to be correct)- Is that correct? You are (the pronunciation of the participant’s name that you think to be correct)?
The time you spend behind preparing for the introduction round of your seminar is time that you are spending profitably, especially if you are worried and nervous about having to hold a seminar completely in English. If you get the introduction round right, it will help you to feel relaxed and comfortable, while also ensuring that your seminar starts with a bang.
Am Anfang eines Seminars müssen zunächst grundsätzliche Fragen geklärt werden: Agenda, Pausen, Regeln zur Interaktion und Vertraulichkeit … Schaffen Sie als Referentin oder Trainer gleich von Beginn Klarheit für die Teilnehmenden.
The tense and anxious atmosphere that looms before the beginning of a seminar is quite familiar, as participants are expectant and curious about what is going to ensue in the coming day(s). The participants might also be worried about whether their language skills and former knowledge would be put to the test, and the tension expounds, as the participants don’t know each other that well and might be worried about whether they would be able to gel with each other properly or not. They would also be creating their first impressions regarding you as a trainer. Therefore, in such situations transparently providing a clear framework and agreeing upon certain rules at the very beginning would prove to be quite useful in the long run. This allows you to establish a sense of direction and provide security and stability to the entire group.
Phrases to use to present the agenda
You must have spent considerable time deciding upon the best sequence in which you are going to present the materials that you have for the seminar in front of your audience. Although, you have a clear picture about the way things are going to proceed in your head, it is time for you to let the audience in on the same and allow them to understand what’s in store. The following phrases will help you in that regard:
- You must be wondering what the agenda of the seminar is for the coming two days. Please allow me to show it to you.
- The next two hours in our schedule is going to be quite packed and eventful. Let me show you the overview of what is to follow.
- Allow me to provide you with an idea of what is about to happen this morning …
- A lot of ground shall be covered today….
- Please look into the folder that you have been provided. You will find a copy of the agenda.
- For today, we shall be concentrating on .. and … proceeding to … tomorrow.
- Once we have perused … we shall focus on …
- This morning, we shall be focusing in details on the theory that governs …, and once you have had your lunch, we shall try to put that theory into practice.
- Please remember that there shall be coffee breaks during the mid-morning and mid-afternoon hours and a lunch break is scheduled for twelve o’ clock.
- The workshop will finish at five o’clock as of today and tomorrow it will start at half past eight in the morning and continue till half past five in the evening.
Phrases to use to answer certain key questions
The question of how you would address each other during the seminar is a pertinent one and you need to decide whether you would be using „Du“or „Sie“. You would also have to clarify whether the use of first names or surnames would be best suited for the purpose. The following phrases should help:
- We need to come to a consensus on how we would like to address each other during this seminar. All those in favor of using first names to address each other please raise your hands.
- When speaking English, the use of first names is considered to be most natural while addressing each other. I hope that everyone is okay with it?
- Would everyone be comfortable if first names are used to address each other?
You also need to clarify how the participants should be able to deal with the various documents that you have provided to them and other documents that they might be given after the workshop concludes. The following phrases will allow you to address that purpose:
- Each of you must have received a handout for today. Please use it to take down notes that you deem important or helpful.
- I shall now be handing out to you a folder that contains worksheets. We will be using these worksheets today.
- You are most welcome to take down notes if you so wish, but rest assured that an email would be sent from my end containing pictures of the flipcharts that have been used today, once the seminar concludes.
- You’ll find all the documents handed out today on my website, www.didacticalreduction.com
- Please let me know if you are interested in receiving the slides. Once the seminar concludes, I will make sure that I send them to you.
Phrases to use to invite for coffee or lunch
Attending a workshop is hungry and thirsty work! Use the following phrases to talk about catering arrangements:
- You will be able to find tea, coffee, fruits and water, kept on the table at the very back of this room. Please feel comfortable to help yourself to your choice of sustenance at any time of the day.
- There is this restaurant nearby known as ‘La Strada’ that we would be visiting today for lunch. I shall be passing around a list containing the various meal options during the coffee break and you can choose the food that best suits your preferences.
- We will be having lunch at the canteen at one o’ clock sharp. I have made sure that all of us sit together and thereby reserved a table for us.
- If anybody here has any special dietary requirements, feel free to express the same to me.
Phrases to use that will help you set some ground rules
Depending on the seminar that you are conducting, you should be having your own set of ground rules. However, the following phrases are just examples that you can modify according to your own rules and present them in front of the audience. Make sure that you explain the reason behind these rules to avoid any kind of confusion. These include:
- In order to facilitate a cohesive and effective interaction between each other, certain ground rules need to be agreed upon.
- Please have a look at the flipchart, at the section that I am pointing out here. These include certain rules that have been of immense help in the previous workshop. Do you all agree with them, or would you like to add another to the list?
- In order to avoid any unnecessary disturbance I would request all of you to please switch your phones off. If anybody has a problem with that please speak up now.
- Laura, here has told me this morning that she is expecting a very urgent call. I would like to ask everyone else present here whether it is okay with them to allow her to keep her phone switched on until she has received the urgent phone call.
- As you must have noticed in the agenda provided to you, today is going to be a busy day. Therefore, I would request all of you to please return from the breaks at the stipulated time.
- Once lunch is over, the room shall be open again from half past one. The seminar shall resume sharply from half past one.
- Please rest assured that being a professional and experienced trainer I will not pass on anything that you disclose during the course of this seminar.
- Similarly, it is also your responsibility that anything that is shared by other participants is treated with confidentiality from your end.
- I would request you to please pay heed to what other members of this group have to say.
- Please allow others to finish their lines before you start expressing your views on the subject.
- In case you have not understood anything that I have spoken or any other member of this group has spoken, please feel free to ask again.
- I would request you to please not have any side conversations.
Committing to the rules:
- Can you please raise your hands if all of you agree to the rules that I have just laid down?
- If the rules that I just mentioned are acceptable to you, please raise your hands to let me know.
Although, this might seem like a lot to speak in English, you would have a list of things that you can say depending on the situation from beforehand with the help of the aforementioned phrases and information. Depending on your particular style of speaking and situation, you can choose that which best suits you. Also, remember to practice meticulously to reach a level of ease that allows you to conduct a seminar in English seamlessly.
Was sind Ihre Erfahrungen mit Präsentationen auf Englisch? Schreiben Sie Ihre Gedanken und Überlegungen unten in die Kommentarspalte; teilen Sie Ihre Tipps mit den LeserInnen von diesem Beitrag.