Presenting in English When It Isn’t Your Native Language



If you aren’t a native speaker of English, giving a presentation in the language may be very stressful. Using the right approach can help. Take extra time to prepare your delivery, and practice more than you think you need to. Yes, your PowerPoint slides matter, but rehearsing your presentation out loud matters even more. Start your presentation by speaking slowly, and articulate your words carefully and confidently. This will help listeners acclimate to your voice, which is important in the first minute or two. (If you’re anxious about having an accent, don’t worry—everyone has one, including native English speakers.) As you continue speaking, pause often. Pausing will give listeners a chance to comprehend your message, and give you a break. To make sure they understand you, you can ask a question: “I know that I am making sense to myself in [your native language]. How am I doing in English?” Your goal doesn’t have to be to speak perfect English. Instead, focus on presenting with confidence.


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