Once you have made you ‘sandwich mini speeches’ it’s time to ‘dress them up’. Dressing them means reviewing important things like:

  • Grammatical structures – Have I used the right grammatical structures? What ‘times’ am I talking about? Have I used the right verb tenses to shift from one ‘time’ to the next?
  • Cohesive devices – Have I used enough connecting devices in my mini-speeches. Is my information linked properly?
  • Use and Choice of vocabulary – Is my use of vocabulary accurate? Is it impactful and meaningful?

Have I used the right grammatical structures? What ‘times’ am I talking about? Have I used the right verb tenses to shift from one ‘time’ to the next?

First, begin by considering the grammatical structures you will use. Begin with verb tenses. Each of the English verb tenses tell us about a specific time. What time are you talking about? Are talking about factual information, which is true ALL THE TIME? Are you talking about a past event? A recent activity? An achievement? Plans for the future? Or perhaps you are making predictions or talking about possible future events. Each of these will require a different verb tense.

Each English verb tense can be placed on a time line. Time lines can help us better understand verb tenses. Click on this link to see our Time Line Chart.

Look at the list of functions below. Which English verb tense would you use for each? Click to check your answer.

  • Talking about general truths and factual information
  • Talking about activities happening now or current projects.
  • Talking about completed events in the past
  • Talking about recent past activities, achievements, or experience
  • Talking about duration or length of time
  • Talking about fixed plans for the future
  • Making predictions or talking about possible future situations

Go back and review each section of your sandwiches. Have you used the correct verb tense?

Next review other type of structures. Have you explained a process? You may have to make use of the passive voice. Perhaps you’re talking about the consequence of a future action. You may need a conditional form. Or perhaps you are talking about your company’s Unique Selling Points and making comparisons between your product and services and your competitor’s.

Next, you will need to check whether you have connected your ideas well with connective devices. Connective devices can be used for things like:

  • Sequencing: first, then, next after that, finally
  • Adding information: and, also, additionally, furthermore
  • Showing cause and effect: As a result, as a consequence
  • Expressing reason: because of, due to
  • Providing examples: for example, to illustrate, for instance
  • Etc.
  • Finally, you will need to check your vocabulary. You will need to check two things:

    1. Accuracy of your vocabulary
    Have you chosen words correctly? Have you used words correctly?

  • Check meaning
  • Check form (parts of speech)
  • Check collocations (word partnerships)
  • Check register (formality of the language)
  • 2. Choice of Vocabulary
    Is the vocabulary that you have chosen professional and impactful? Will it help you achieve your overall objective?

    Look at this example. What is wrong with it?

    Our company gives good company service.

    There are many ways we can improve this statement:

  • the register is informal
  • there is ‘bland’ vocabulary that is not engaging
  • there is outdated terminology
  • there are no adjectives or modifiers to make the statement more impactful.
  •  

    Let’s ‘dress it up’!

    1. First we will stabilize the register by ‘switching ‘gives’ to ‘provides’

    Our company provides good customer service.

    1. Next, we will update our terminology and change ‘service’ to ‘experience.

    Our company provides a good customer experience.

    1. Then, we replace the bland adjective ‘good’ with a more engaging adjective like ‘unique’

    Out company provides a unique customer experience.

    1. Finally, we will add the modifier ‘totally’ to make the statement more impactful.

    Our company provides a totally unique customer experience.

     

    What do you think your customers would prefer, good customer service or a totally unique customer experience?

    Remember, vocabulary doesn’t just convey meaning it influences your audience and shapes the way they think and feel.

    Vocabulary is power, use it wisely!

    More Articles about English Presentation Skills

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