How to make a presentation when English is not your first language.

Confident smiling African American business coach speaking presentation to colleagues group at briefing, company meeting, explaining growth of sales graph, reporting about good result, motivating workers
English – How to make a presentation when is not your first language

There’s no doubt that English is still the first choice language for global business, the arts and most professions.

The demand for leaders who can address audiences in English, even if it’s not their home language is growing. Harvard Professor of Business Administration, Tsedal Neely said,

“English is required for global collaboration and global work.”

Tsedal Neely, Harvard Professor of Business Administration

How, then, should you prepare yourself for this potentially uncomfortable experience?

Practice, practice, practice your English presentation.

Rehearsals are important for everyone who wants to deliver a polished, professional presentation. Keep up your dry runs until, almost like an actor learning their lines, your script is driven into your long term memory.

Pause more frequently.

This helps your speaking audience to absorb your message, as well as giving you time to take a breath and relax, and perhaps consult your notes.

Don’t rush things.

Take your time. Lower your talking speed and watch the audience carefully. If you’re getting puzzled looks, make your point again perhaps using different words.

Your English audience wants you to succeed.

They’re silently willing you to deliver a great presentation. After all, that’s what they came for. Don’t apologize for your accent. It’s okay to mention it, but just explain that you’ll do everything necessary to get your points across.

One final thing about your accent that you may not know: most native speakers find accents attractive and exotic. Keep that thought in your mind and your confidence will grow.

If it’s not your first language, keep practicing it at every opportunity.

Watch English language movies and TV, and read books in English. One of which should be “The Culture Map’ by Erin Meyer.

Rehearse your next presentation with an English speaking colleague. Over and over if necessary until you are comfortable and fluent.

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