How to improve spoken communication skills

how to improve speaking skills for beginners and how to improve your spoken english skills
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Published Date:08-07-2017
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RGMTTC Spoken And Presentation Skills – Advanced Level UOM-S004 for the Students of University of Madras BHARAT SANCHAR NIGAM LIMITED (A Government of India Enterprise) RAJIV GANDHI MEMORIAL TELECOM TRAINING CENTRE (ISO 9001:2008 Certified) MEENAMBAKKAM, CHENNAI - 16 UOM-S004 Unit I - General Language knowledge and presentation Starting a Presentation In modern English, Presentations tend to be much less formal than they were even twenty years ago. Most audience these days prefer a relatively informal approach. However, there is a certain structure to the opening of a Presentation that you should observe. 1. Get people's attention 2. Welcome them 3. Introduce yourself 4. State the purpose of your presentation 5. State how you want to deal with questions Get people's attention  If I could have everybody's attention.  If we can start.  Perhaps we should begin?  Let's get started. Welcome them  Welcome to University of Madras.  Thank you for coming today.  Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  On behalf of Intel, I'd like to welcome you. Introduce yourself  My name's Jane Shaw. I'm responsible for travel arrangements.  For those of you who don't know me, my name's Varun Kumar.  As you know, I'm in charge of public relations.  I'm the new Marketing Manager. State the purpose of your presentation  This morning I'd like to present our new processor.  Today I'd like to discuss our failures in the Japanese market and suggest a new approach.  This afternoon, I'd like to report on my study into the German market. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 3 / 80 UOM-S004  What I want to do this morning is to talk to you about our new mobile telephone system.  What I want to do is to tell you about our successes and failures in introducing new working patterns.  What I want to do is to show you how we've made our first successful steps in the potentially huge Chinese market. State how you want to deal with questions.  If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them as we go along.  Feel free to ask any questions.  Perhaps we can leave any questions you have until the end?  There will be plenty of time for questions at the end. Signposting When we are giving a presentation, there are certain key words we use to ‘signpost‘ different stages in our presentation. These words are not difficult to learn but it is absolutely essential that you memorize them and can use them when you are under pressure giving a presentation. When you want to make your next point, you ‗move on’.  Moving on to the next point.  I‘d like to move on to the next point if there are no further questions When you want to change to a completely different topic, you ‗turn to’. I‘d like to turn to something completely different. Let‘s turn now to our plans for next year. When you want to give more details about a topic you ‗expand‘ or ‗elaborate‘. I‘d like to expand more on this problem we have had in Chicago. Would you like me to expand a little more on that or have you understood enough? I don‘t want to elaborate any more on that as I‘m short of time. When you want to talk about something which is off the topic of your presentation, you ‗digress‘. I‘d like to digress here for a moment and just say a word of thanks to Bob for organizing this meeting. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 4 / 80 UOM-S004 Digressing for a moment, I‘d like to say a few words about our problems in Chicago. When you want to refer back to an earlier point, you ‗go back’. Going back to something I said earlier, the situation in Chicago is serious. I‘d like to go back to something Jenny said in her presentation. To just give the outline of a point, you ‘summarize‘. If I could just summarize a few points from John‘s report. I don‘t have a lot of time left so I‘m going to summarize the next few points. To repeat the main points of what you have said, you ‗recap‘. I‘d like to quickly recap the main points of my presentation. Recapping quickly on what was said before lunch,…… For your final remarks, you ‗conclude‘. I‘d like to conclude by leaving you with this thought …… If I may conclude by quoting Karl Marx ……. Survival Language In modern English, Presentations tend to be much less formal than they were even twenty years ago. Most audience these days prefer a relatively informal approach. However, there is a certain structure to the opening of a Presentation that you should observe. I got the language for today's lesson from an excellent book by Mark Powell called "Presenting in English ". As you prepare your notes mark in Red in the margin the core ideas that must be presented no matter what happens. Mark in margin say, Green those ideas that may be presented If get a little extra time and dropped if you have to cut presentation short. If the presentation is more then you may mark margin say, yellow that may be included during presentation. If you get your facts wrong.  I am terribly sorry. What I meant to say was this.  Sorry. What I meant is this. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 5 / 80 UOM-S004 If you have been going too fast and your audience is having trouble keeping up with you.  Let me just recap on that.  I want to recap briefly on what I have been saying. If you have forgotten to make a point.  Sorry, I should just mention one other thing.  If I can just go back to the previous point, there is something else that I forgot to mention. If you have been too complicated and want to simplify what you said.  So, basically, what I am saying is this.  So, basically, the point I am trying to get across is this. If you realize that what you are saying makes no sense.  Sorry, perhaps I did not make that quite clear.  Let me rephrase that to make it quite clear. If you cannot remember the term in English.  Sorry, what is the word I am looking for?  Sorry, my mind has gone blank. How do you say 'escargot' in English? If you are short of time.  So just to give you the main points.  As we are short of time, this is just a quick summary of the main points. A Friendly Face When you stand up in front of that audience, you‘re going to be really nervous. Poor speakers pay little or no attention to their audience as people. Big mistake. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 6 / 80 UOM-S004 If you can see your audience as a group of individuals, you‘ll be much more likely to connect with those individuals. Start looking around your audience. See that big guy with his arms folded and an ‗impress me‘ look on his face? Best not to look at him too much. How about that lady with the big smile, looking encouragingly towards you? OK, that‘s your mother, she doesn‘t count. But that other lady with a similar smile is someone you don‘t know. But from now on she‘s your ‗friend‘. Every time that you need any encouragement, look in her direction. Make good eye contact. Establish a form of communication between you. And now you‘ve found one ‗friend‘, you‘ll begin to see others in the audience. Pick out ‗friends‘ all round the room. If you see an ‗impress me‘ person and get discouraged, switch your view back to one of your ‗friends‘. Once you are aware that there are people in your audience who want you to succeed, you‘ll be much more likely to succeed. Microphones Microphones can be a real problem. Very few of us use them frequently and so, when we have to talk into them in an already nervous state, we can easily make elementary mistakes. As a general rule, try to speak more clearly when you are using a microphone. (It will probably help if you speak a bit more slowly.) If you have a free-standing mike, step back from it a bit. This will enable you to speak louder and to vary your tone and inflection. If you are too close, your voice will sound monotonous and your audience will fall asleep. Don‘t turn your head away from the microphone while you are speaking. But do turn it away if you cough or sneeze Any little movement you make, such as shuffling your papers, will be amplified by the mike. Cut out the nervous gestures If you are wearing a clip-on mike, make sure it is not rubbing up against some clothing or jewellery. The noise this makes could ruin your presentation. If you have a radio-mike, make sure it is switched on when you are presenting and switched off at all other times. This particularly applies when you go to the restroom RGM TTC,BSNL Page 7 / 80 UOM-S004 Dealing with Nervousness Almost everybody is nervous when they stand up to speak. There‘s no shame in being nervous. However, if you are too nervous, your anxiety will spread to your audience, making them nervous in turn. So how can you stop yourself from feeling too nervous? Here are a few tips. 1. Don‘t get hung up about being nervous. It‘s a normal human reaction. Don‘t make yourself more nervous because you‘re nervous. 2. Walk off your excessive nervousness. If possible, walk outside and get some fresh air at the same time. But a walk down the corridor is better than no walk. 3. Don‘t let your legs go to sleep. Keep the blood supply moving. Keep both feet on the floor and lean forward. Wiggle your toes. If you can stand up without disturbing anybody, do so. 4. Work your wrists, arms and shoulders to get the tension out of them. Gentle movements, not a major workout, will remove that tension. 5. Work your jaw. Gentle side-to-side or circular motion will help to loosen it. 6. Repeat positive affirmations quietly to yourself. ―I am a good presenter.‖ It may seem corny but it works. 7. Above all, breathe deeply. Make sure your stomach is going out when you breathe in. Don‘t be self-conscious about these warm-up activities. Most good speakers do them. Most people won‘t even notice that you are doing them. They‘re here to hear you speak, they‘re not interested in what you do when you are not in the limelight. Stating your purpose It is important to state your purpose clearly at the beginning of your talk. Here are some ways to do this: talk about = to speak about a subject  Today I'd like to talk about our plans for the new site.  I'm going to be talking to you about the results of our survey. report on = to tell you about what has been done.  I'm going to be reporting on our results last quarter. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 8 / 80 UOM-S004  Today I will be reporting on the progress we have made since our last meeting. take a look at = to examine  First, let's take a look at what we have achieved so far.  Before we go on to the figures, I'd like to take a look at the changes we have made. tell you about = to speak to someone to give them information or instructions  First, I will tell you about the present situation, then go onto what we are going to do.  When I have finished, Jack will then tell you about what is happening in Europe. show = to explain something by doing it or by giving instructions.  The object of this morning's talk is to show you how to put the theory into practice.  Today I'm going to show you how to get the most out of the new software. outline = to give the main facts or information about something.  I'd like to outline the new policy and give you some practical examples.  I will only give you a brief outline and explain how it affects you. fill you in on = to give some extra or missing information  I'd like to quickly fill you in on what has happened.  When I have finished outlining the policy, Jerry will fill you in on what we want you to do. give an overview of = to give a short description with general information but no details.  Firstly, I would like to give you a brief overview of the situation.  I'll give you an overview of our objectives and then hand over to Peter for more details. highlight = draw attention to or emphasize the important fact or facts.  The results highlight our strengths and our weaknesses. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 9 / 80 UOM-S004  I'd now like to go on to highlight some of the advantages that these changes will bring. discuss = to talk about ideas or opinions on a subject in more detail. I'm now going to discuss our options in more detail. After a brief overview of the results, I'd like to discuss the implications in more detail. Emphasizing Make your presentation more persuasive by making your points stronger. Here is some language to help you: a total disaster The whole project was a total disaster from beginning to end. extremely good We have an extremely good chance of getting the contract. a terrible mistake It wasn‘t a minor error. It was a terrible mistake and cost us millions to put right. much cheaper Even if we had taken five per cent off our prices, we wouldn‘t have got the contract. They were much cheaper than us. one hundred per cent certain There is not the slightest doubt. I am one hundred per cent certain that that is what happened. highly competitive This is a highly competitive market. I am not sure we should enter it. far too expensive The Chinese and Koreans can offer much lower prices. We are far too expensive. even better Their previous smart phone was good but this is even better. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 10 / 80 UOM-S004 fully aware I am fully aware of all the risks but I still think we should do it. absolutely no chance There is absolutely no chance that we will lose the contract. They love our work. Emphasizing - 2 Here is some more language to help you make your presentation more persuasive and make your points stronger : openly admit I openly admit that I have made mistakes. If they openly admit that they were at fault, they may get the public back on their side. totally agree I totally agree with what Susan said. I totally agree with the previous speaker. strongly recommend I strongly recommend that we invest in the Beijing project. The consultants strongly recommend that we pull out of the US completely. firmly believe We firmly believe that this company has an excellent future ahead of it. I firmly believe that I am the best candidate for the job. positively encourage I would like to positively encourage you to apply for the post. I want to positively encourage you to continue with what you are doing. fully appreciate I fully appreciate that investing in the current economic climate is a risk. We fully appreciate the efforts you have made on our behalf. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 11 / 80 UOM-S004 categorically deny I categorically deny that I did anything wrong. My client categorically denies all the charges. absolutely refuse I absolutely refuse to continue with this. I absolutely refuse to consider the possibility of failure Softening Sometimes you want to soften the impact of what you are saying and give it less importance. Here are some ways to do that: Little The quality could have been a little better. The speaker should have spoken a little louder. Slight There is a slight problem we need to deal with. I have a slight doubt about John's suitability for the job. Minor I have a minor reservation about this plan. There are a few minor problems still to be dealt with. Fairly There are some fairly important changes still to be made. Quite I quite like it but no more than that. This is quite a good way to do this. Not quite He isn't quite as good as he thinks he is. I'm not quite sure that we are on the right lines. Partially RGM TTC,BSNL Page 12 / 80 UOM-S004 He has been partially successful with his demands but he didn't get everything he wanted. It is partially finished but there is still a lot to do. Occasional There are occasional errors in his work. Everybody makes occasional mistakes. Rather He is rather aggressive. This is rather too complicated. It is difficult to understand. More or less The report is more or less finished. I just need to read through it again. He is more or less useless. Cannot get anything right. Dealing with questions 1 At the end of your talk, you may get questions. You don't have to answer all the questions - they may not be good questions  If it is a good question, thank the person and answer it.  Some of the questions may be irrelevant and not connected to what you want to say. Say so and get another question.  Some may be unnecessary because you have already given the answer. Repeat the answer briefly and get the next question.  And some may be difficult because you don't have the information. Again, say so and offer to find the information or ask the person asking the question what they think. When you get a question, comment on it first. This will give you time to think. Here are some useful expressions to help you do that:  That's a very interesting question.  I'm glad you've asked that question.  A good question.  I'm sorry but I don't have that information to hand.  Can I get back to you about that?  I'm afraid I can't answer that.  I'm not in a position to comment on that. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 13 / 80 UOM-S004  As I said earlier, …  I think I answered that when I said …  I did mention that.  I don't see the connection.  I'm sorry, I don‘t follow you.  I think that is a very different issue. Rhetorical questions Presentations are more interesting if you use a conversational style. They are more lively and you establish a rapport between you and your audience. You can do this by using a question and answer technique – you ask a question and then answer it. Your questions create anticipation and guide your audience to your point of view. For example: Late delivery is a big problem. What is the best solution? There are two possible solutions. First … Here are some exercises to help you practice this technique: Focussing attention When we really want to focus the attention of our audience on an important point, we can use this "What ……. is …." Look at these examples:  We must cut costs.  What we must do is cut costs.  We need more reliable suppliers.  What we need is more reliable suppliers. Cause and effect When you are giving a presentation, your job is to not only present the facts but also to give the reasons (why), the purpose (objectives) and the results. In a presentation, the language used is often very simple, much simpler than if we were writing. For example: Reason:  We sold the land because we needed to release the cash. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 14 / 80 UOM-S004  We closed the offices in London because they were too expensive to run. Purpose:  We set up the team to look at possible ways to improve efficiency.  We sold the land to get necessary capital for investment. Result:  We sold the land and had enough cash to invest in new equipment.  We expanded the sales network and sales increased. How to Plan Your Presentation Planning of presentation is nothing but deciding what to say and in what order. Presentation is not a sequential display of data but a battle-a battle for the audience‘s wallet or for their hearts. In every presentation you are trying to sell something: a product, a service, or an idea. In a battle you need a strategy or a sequence of moves. STAR strategy: It is putting your presentation through five filters WHO, WHY, WHERE and WHEN before you touch WHAT. WHO WHAT WHY WHERE WHEN RGM TTC,BSNL Page 15 / 80 UOM-S004 WHO: ‘Who‘ is not a simple question, but a cluster of several related questions. Who is your audience? How many people will be there? How old are they? Are they all men or women? What is their educational level? WHO has another dimension too. Who are you to them? What is likely to be their attitude to you? Do they accept you as an expert? Each answer has an impact on what you are going to present and how. If, for example, their attitude to you or to your main proposal is likely to be hostile, neutralizing it has to be a major thrust of your presentation. If their attitude is favorable, you may be able to make certain quick jumps. WHY: WHY is the next filter. Why are you making this presentation? Is it to give the audience some information? Is it to persuade them to do something? There are two agendas for your presentation. One explicit; another hidden. Your open agenda is to inform the audience about development or to demonstrate a new product. Your hidden agenda is to sell them your ideas or your products. WHERE: WHERE is the presentation to be made? Is it in your premises or at client‘s place? Or at a common place like hotel/conference hall. Do you have internet facility at that place? Such questions are to be answered. WHEN: WHEN is also an important filter. Timing of your presentation is very important. Is it at the start of the session or at the end. Is yours one of several consecutive presentation? You‘re planning to be such that you can shrink your presentation without running through the slides at breakneck speed. You should be also able to expand your presentation in case you have extra time at your disposal. WHAT: Finally comes WHAT. It answers the question on the content of the presentation. What will interest the audience? What will win them over? What level of information they want? What is likely to be unacceptable to some or most of the participant. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 16 / 80 UOM-S004 MOM Plan MAY BE OUGHT MUST RGM TTC,BSNL Page 17 / 80 UOM-S004 Unit II - Special Language Knowledge and Presentation The Speaker-Listener Technique When it comes to great communication, you can‘t beat the simple advice of James. That is easier said than done, right? In fact, this may be hardest to do in marriage because of the great potential to feel hurt by those we love. The Speaker-Listener Technique offers you an alternative way of communicating when issues are hot or sensitive, or likely to get that way. Any conversation in which you want to increase clarity and safety can benefit from this technique. Most couples (although not all) can decide whether to go out for Chinese food without this technique, but many can use more help when dealing with sensitive issues like money, sex, and in-laws. It‘s the structure of the technique that makes it work. Here are the rules. Rules For Both Of You: 1. The speaker has the floor. Use a real object to designate the floor. When giving seminars, we hand out small cards or pieces of linoleum or carpet for couples to use. You can use anything, though—the TV remote, a piece of paper, a paperback book, anything at all. If you do not have the floor, you are the Listener. As Speaker and Listener you follow the rules for each role. Note that the Speaker keeps the floor while the Listener paraphrases, keeping it clear who is in which role all the time. 2. Share the floor. You share the floor over the course of a conversation. One has it to start and may say a number of things. At some point, you switch roles and continue back and forth as the floor changes hands. 3. No problem solving. When using this technique you are going to focus on having good discussions. You must consciously avoid coming to solutions prematurely. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 18 / 80 UOM-S004 Rules For The Speaker: 1. Speak for yourself. Don‘t mind read. Talk about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns, not your perceptions or interpretations of the Listener‘s point of view or motives. Try to use ―I‖ statements, and talk about your own point of view. 2. Talk in small chunks. You will have plenty of opportunity to say all you need to say, so you don‘t have to say it all at once. It is very important to keep what you say in manageable pieces to help the Listener actively listen. If you are in the habit of giving long monologues, remember that having the floor protects you from interruption, so you can afford to pause for the paraphrase to be sure your partner understands you. A good rule of thumb is to keep your statements to just a sentence or two, especially when first learning the technique. 3. Stop and let the Listener paraphrase. After saying a bit, perhaps a sentence or two, stop and allow the Listener to paraphrase what you just said. If the paraphrase was not quite accurate, you should politely restate what was not heard in the way it was intended to be heard. Your goal is to help the Listener hear and understand your point of view. Rules For The Listener: 1. Paraphrase what you hear. To paraphrase the Speaker, briefly repeat back what you heard the Speaker say, using your own words if you like, to make sure you understand what was said. The key is that you show your partner that you are listening as you restate what you heard, without any interpretations. If the paraphrase is not quite right (which happens often), the Speaker should gently clarify the point being made. If you truly don‘t understand some phrase or example, you may ask the Speaker to clarify or repeat, but you may not ask questions on any other aspect of the issue unless you have the floor. 2. Don’t rebut. Focus on the Speaker’s message. While in the Listener role, you may not offer your opinion or thoughts. This is the hardest part of being a good Listener. If you are upset by what your partner says, you need to edit out any response you may want to make, so you can continue to pay attention to what your partner is saying. Wait until you get the floor to state your response. As Listener, your job is to speak only in the service of understanding your partner. Any words or gestures to show your own opinions are not allowed, including making faces. Your task is to RGM TTC,BSNL Page 19 / 80 UOM-S004 understand. Good listening does not equal agreement. You can express any disagreement when you have the floor. Additional Helpful Thoughts for Using this Method: When using the Speaker-Listener Technique, the Speaker is always the one who determines if the Listener‘s paraphrase was on target. Only the Speaker knows what the intended message was. If the paraphrase was not quite on target, it is very important that the Speaker gently clarify or restate the point and not respond angrily or critically. A key point: When in the Listener role, be sincere in your effort to show you are listening carefully and respectfully. Even when you disagree with the point being made by your partner, your goal is to show respect for and validation of his or her perspective. That means waiting your turn and not making faces or looking bored. Showing real respect and honor to one another is the goal. You can disagree completely with your mate on a matter and still show respect. In fact, we are told in scripture to show respect no matter what. Just wait until you have the floor to make your points. Two more points—first, when using the Speaker-Listener Technique, it is important to stay on the topic you mean to discuss. Many issues in marriage can become involved in one conversation, but you‘ll do better on important matters if you try to stay on the issues at hand. Also, don‘t try to problem solve prematurely. Focus on having a good discussion where you can get the issues on the table. Advantages of Using the Speaker-Listener Technique: The Speaker-Listener Technique has many advantages over unstructured conversation when discussing difficult issues. Most important is the way it counteracts the destructive styles of communication. This is crucial. It‘s not that this technique is the be-all-and-end-all of good communication. It‘s just one very simple way to be ―quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry‖ and thereby limit the damage that patterns such as the danger signs can cause. In fact, we do meet couples who try this and do not like it. We don‘t get defensive about it or push it, we simply say to them, ―That‘s fine, as long as you have some other way to have respectful, good conversations on difficult issues. If you can do that, you don‘t need this technique.‖ RGM TTC,BSNL Page 20 / 80 UOM-S004 You may be thinking, ―This sure is artificial.‖ Agreed. In fact, that‘s the key reason it is so effective. The truth is, what comes naturally to couples when difficult issues come up is often destructive and quite the opposite from being ―quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.‖ This technique is designed to help couples keep a tight rein on their tongues. That‘s why it works. When you choose to use it, you are making the choice to limit the defensive responses that come naturally and to submit yourself to a more caring, disciplined approach to understanding your mate. You are unleashing your ears and reining in your tongue. Keep in mind that although these rules are simple, simple does not always mean easy. Structure can make it easier, but sometimes it just takes hard work to communicate well. The process of communication is the essence of education. Teaching and learning occur via the process of communication. It is in the interactions between teachers and students as well as in the interactions amongst students facilitated by the instructor where education takes place. It is not simply the ability to communicate, but the ability to communicate effectively that is essential in the process of education. To be an effective educator one must be an effective communicator. This module provides values-based skills that, when applied, inherently increase effectiveness in communication. Effective communication enhances student learning. Effective Communication "Communication is an intangible process that can be verbal, nonverbal, or a combination of both, and always involves the transaction of meaning between persons" (Scileppi Krivanek, 2000). Effective communication is defined as accuracy in encoding (creating) and decoding (interpreting) of a message between people. In other words, the meaning attached to a message that is sent is similar to the meaning attached to the message that is received. Effective communication occurs when a message that is received by the listener is closely aligned with the message that was sent by the speaker. Misunderstandings often occur either when the sender of a message is not clear or when the listener misinterprets a message. Effective communication is achieved through communicating mindfully (Langer, 1989) and practicing rhetorical sensitivity (Spano & Zimmerman, 1995) in our interactions with others. RGM TTC,BSNL Page 21 / 80

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