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Meetings in English: How to structure your presentation

Welcome to the Conversation Club by MPEC!

We don’t have to convince anyone that the art of presenting is just that—an art. Being good at presentations in any language requires a very complex skill set, and for some of us, they are always a real challenge. But if we make small attempts to present simple and brief concepts—like we’re doing today in this Club session, our minds will register these as successful milestones, and next time we’ll feel a bit better, a bit more in control of the situation, and perhaps even pleased to be able to share something with a group of people who are expecting it. Today, we want to lift the veil of embarrassment off the concept of presenting in English, by inviting you to make 3 micro-presentations with us. Are you ready?

Prepared for you by: My Personal English Coach



5 Idioms for today’s topic:

  1. Jump the gun 🏃‍♀️ – Acting too soon
    Example: Let’s not jump the gun and reschedule the meeting without everyone’s approval.
  2. Beat around the bush 🌳 – Avoid talking directly
    Example : Stop beating around the bush and say what changes you want in the meeting.
  3. Cut to the chase ✂️ – Get to the point
    Example : Let’s cut to the chase; we need to reschedule the meeting.
  4. Play your cards right 🃏 – Handle a situation well
    Example : If you play your cards right, everyone will agree to the reschedule.
  5. Tip the scales ⚖️ – Make a significant difference
    Example : Your input could tip the scales in favour of changing the agenda.

5 Phrasal verbs you may need:

  1. Call off – To cancel something
    Example : They had to call off the meeting due to a sudden emergency.
  2. Put off – To postpone
    Example : We put off the meeting until next week.
  3. Wrap up – To conclude
    Example: Let’s wrap up the meeting by summarising the key points.
  4. Weigh in – To give your opinion or advice
    Example: Please weigh in on the changes we are proposing.
  5. Chime in – To add one’s voice or opinion
    Example : Feel free to chime in if you have any suggestions.

Round 1 The W.I.S.E Introductions

The W.I.S.E acronym provides a straightforward framework for delivering a compelling introduction during presentations. It stands for:

  1. W: “Welcome” – Welcome your audience
  2. I: “Introduce” – introduce yourself
  3. S: “Say why you are here” – What is the main reason the presentation is taking place? What is the goal?
  4. E: “Explain your plan” – Provide an overview the presentation structure (What is the estimated end time? Will there be breaks? Q&A? Minutes? )

Role Play Scenarios for W.I.S.E 🎭

  1. Scenario 1: You are a marketing executive tasked with presenting the new marketing strategy for the next fiscal year. Your audience is the senior leadership team. How will you use the W.I.S.E framework to introduce your presentation?
  2. Scenario 2: You are an engineer and you have found a potential solution to a long-standing production issue that could save the company significant amounts of money. Your audience is a mix of engineers, production staff, and non-technical managers. How would you introduce your presentation in a way that is understandable to everyone?

Round 2: It’s All About Signposting

Now, we move on to creating ‘the body’ of your presentation. Choose one of the scenarios below and apply the vocabulary you can find below

Internal Meeting

Instruction: You’re leading an internal team meeting to discuss project progress and upcoming milestones. Signpost to smoothly switch from one agenda point to another.

  • Introduce the meeting with W.I.S.E., detailing what the main discussions will be about.
  • Use “To elaborate further…” and “For example…” to provide additional details on project progress or upcoming milestones.

Finance

Instruction: You need to present the yearly budget and financial projections to the board. Employ signposting to separate sections like past financial performance, future projections, and risk assessment.

  • Utilise the W.I.S.E. acronym to introduce the presentation clearly and professionally.
  • Transition through your key points using phrases like “On the other hand…” to compare past and future financial statuses, and “To sum up…” to bring your presentation to a close.

Round 3: Closing with a BANG!

We’re almost done! Here is ALL you need to know to quickly add a well-structured conclusion to your presentation

Student 1: HR Meeting on Remote Work Policy

  • You have presented new remote work guidelines.
  • Your audience comprises department heads.
  • You need to ensure that everyone understands the key points, why the changes are being made, and what steps are to be taken next.

Conclusions to Practice:

  1. Sum up the three key aspects of the new remote work policy.
  2. Reiterate why the policy change is crucial for the company’s growth.
  3. Address why this should matter to each department.
  4. Provide recommendations for implementing these guidelines in their respective departments.
  5. End with a motivational quote on change and adaptation.
  6. Invite questions and thank the audience.

Scenario 2: Marketing and Sales Strategy Review

  • You’ve reviewed the quarterly sales and marketing data.
  • Your audience includes the marketing and sales teams.
  • Your goal is to motivate the team to hit new targets for the next quarter.

Conclusions to Practice:

  1. Summarise the main accomplishments and challenges of the last quarter.
  2. Reiterate the revenue goals for the upcoming quarter.
  3. Explain why hitting these targets is essential for the team and company.
  4. Outline immediate steps to be taken in the next two weeks.
  5. Close with an intriguing statistic that shows the growth potential.
  6. Encourage questions and thank everyone for their hard work.

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


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