You are currently viewing Business English Speaking Practice: Delivering a speech in English at a conference. Key Tips, Vocabulary and Structure

Business English Speaking Practice: Delivering a speech in English at a conference. Key Tips, Vocabulary and Structure

Today’s session is tailored for those looking to enhance their public speaking skills, particularly in the context of delivering compelling speeches at conferences. We’ll cover essential aspects like structuring your speech for maximum impact, using effective vocabulary, and engaging your audience.

Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or preparing for your first conference speech, this session will equip you with valuable insights to communicate your ideas confidently and effectively in English using natural business vocabulary.

Prepared for you by: My Personal English Coach

The Idioms You Could Practice Today:

  1. Hit the ground running 🏃‍♂️
    • Meaning: To start a new activity with great energy and enthusiasm.
    • Example: “We expect new employees to hit the ground running after our comprehensive orientation.”
  2. Learning the ropes 🧗‍♂️
    • Meaning: To learn how to do a particular job or activity.
    • Example: “The orientation session is designed to help new hires quickly learn the ropes.”
  3. Onboard the bandwagon 🚂
    • Meaning: To join others in doing something that has become fashionable or popular.
    • Example: “It’s great to see all the new employees getting onboard the bandwagon of our company culture.”
  4. A fresh pair of eyes 👀
    • Meaning: Someone new who provides a new perspective.
    • Example: “New team members often bring a fresh pair of eyes to ongoing projects.”
  5. The bigger picture 🖼️
    • Meaning: The overall perspective or objective, not just the small details.
    • Example: “During the orientation, we ensure new employees understand the bigger picture of our company goals.”
  6. Break the ice ❄️
    • Meaning: To do or say something to relieve tension or get conversation started in a social setting.
    • Example: “We start with a team-building activity to break the ice among new colleagues.”

Set 1: Structuring Your Speech

  1. “What are the key components of a well-structured speech for a conference?”
  2. “How do you ensure your speech has a clear beginning, middle, and end?”

If you are not sure what to answer in Question 1, please check the Sample Answer from an experienced public speaking veteran.

Key Grammar/Vocabulary Expressions:

  • Introduction and conclusion (e.g., “A strong introduction and conclusion are crucial for…”)
  • Cohesive transitions (e.g., “Using cohesive transitions helps to…”)
  • Main points (e.g., “Clearly outlining your main points will…”)
  • Thesis statement (e.g., “Your thesis statement should succinctly state…”)

What a Coach Would Answer To Question 1:

As someone who has delivered multiple speeches at various conferences, I believe that the key components of a well-structured speech hinge on three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

Let me break it down:

  1. Introduction: I always start my speeches with a strong introduction. It’s essential to grab the audience’s attention right from the start. For this, I might use a surprising statistic, a relevant anecdote, or pose a compelling question. This part sets the tone and introduces the topic. For instance, if my speech is about innovation in technology, I might start by saying, ‘Did you know that 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone?’
  2. Body: This is where I delve into the main points of my speech. I usually have three key points for clarity and memorability. It’s crucial to present these points logically and support them with evidence or examples. For each point, I use cohesive transitions to ensure a smooth flow. For example, after discussing the first point about the rapid growth of data, I might transition to the second point by saying, ‘Understanding this explosion of data leads us to our next point, which is the role of artificial intelligence in managing this data.’
  3. Conclusion: Finally, I wrap up the speech by summarizing the main points and presenting a final thought or call to action. It’s important that the conclusion resonates with the audience. I might end by projecting future trends or posing a challenge to the audience, like, ‘As future leaders in the tech industry, it’s up to us to harness the potential of AI responsibly.’

Remember, a well-structured speech is like a journey – you tell the audience where you’re going to take them (introduction), take them there (body), and then remind them where they’ve been (conclusion)

Set 2: Vocabulary And Language In Use

  1. “What type of vocabulary is most effective in a conference speech?”
  2. “How can one use language to engage and connect with an international audience?”

Key Grammar/Vocabulary Expressions:

  • Persuasive language (e.g., “Using persuasive language can help to…”)
  • Technical vs. layman’s terms (e.g., “Balancing technical terms and layman’s terms is important for…”)
  • Storytelling elements (e.g., “Incorporating storytelling elements can…”)
  • Rhetorical questions (e.g., “Rhetorical questions are a powerful tool to…”)

What a Coach’s Answer Would Be

In crafting speeches for conferences, especially those with a diverse or international audience,

I pay special attention to the vocabulary and language I use. It’s a balancing act between being precise and accessible.

Here’s how I approach it:

  1. Choosing the Right Vocabulary: I aim for clarity and simplicity in my choice of words. While it’s sometimes necessary to use technical terms, especially in a professional setting, I always try to explain these terms in layman’s terms. This ensures that my speech is accessible to all attendees, regardless of their background in the subject. For example, if I’m discussing a complex scientific concept, I’ll follow up with an analogy or a simple explanation.
  2. Engaging Language: To make my speech more engaging, I often use storytelling techniques. Narratives are a powerful way to illustrate points and keep the audience interested. Also, rhetorical questions are a great tool. They encourage the audience to think and engage with the content. For instance, I might say, ‘What if I told you that this technology could change the way we live our lives?’
  3. Cultural Sensitivity: Given the diverse nature of conference audiences, being culturally sensitive in language use is crucial. I avoid idioms or colloquialisms that might be misunderstood. Instead, I opt for universal expressions that resonate with a global audience.

Round 3: Engaging Your Audience

  1. “What techniques do you find most effective for engaging an audience during a speech?”
  2. “How do you handle nerves or stage fright when speaking at a conference?”

Key Grammar/Vocabulary Expressions:

  • Audience engagement (e.g., “To engage your audience, consider…”)
  • Body language and tone (e.g., “Your body language and tone play a significant role in…”)
  • Eye contact (e.g., “Maintaining eye contact helps to…”)
  • Handling Q&A sessions (e.g., “Effectively handling Q&A sessions requires…”)

What a Coach’s Answer Would Be

Engaging the audience is as crucial as the content of the speech itself. Here’s my approach to ensuring the audience is connected and involved:

Interactive Techniques: I often start with a question or a quick poll to involve the audience right from the beginning. This interaction sets a collaborative tone. For example, I might ask, ‘By a show of hands, how many of you have experienced the issue we’re discussing today?’

  • Body Language and Tone: I’m mindful of my body language and tone as they convey confidence and enthusiasm. Making eye contact with various audience members creates a connection and makes the speech more personal. I move around the stage to maintain dynamic energy.
  • Handling Nerves: It’s natural to feel nervous, but I’ve found that preparation is key to managing stage fright. Knowing my material well gives me confidence. I also take a few deep breaths before starting, to calm my nerves.
  • Q&A Sessions: I always allocate time for a Q&A session at the end. This not only provides clarity but also ensures that the audience feels heard. I listen attentively and respond thoughtfully, which further engages the audience. For instance, I might say, ‘That’s an excellent question, and it brings us to an important aspect…’

Remember – there is always more! Here is your Follow Up Video:

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