Today we’re looking at presenting information using charts and graphs.
Turning to the results, as you can see from the diagram, most people decided what to buy when they saw the product at the showroom. About one third made their decision based on what the salesperson said. The others knew what they wanted to buy already. Most of those made their decision on the recommendation of a friend. Only a few said they relied on advertising…
Let’s move on to the conclusions.The first one is that it’s very important that salespeople on the floor know about our products. Another is that after-sales service is critical. People who experience good after-sales service are more likely to recommend a brand.And finally, advertising – it’s expensive, so we need to make sure we’re getting results.
For this, Tan uses the future tense ‘I’m going to…’. He could also have said ‘I will…’
And instead of ‘look at’ he could have used other words:
After introducing the topic, what does Tan do next?
After that, there’ll be time for questions and discussion.
The structure of his talk is:
Introduction, then part 1, survey questions; part 2, survey results; part 3 survey conclusions.
There’s one more sequencing signal in his introduction. Did you hear it?
So sequencing words are very useful – they tell your audience how many parts are in your talk – and they can signal when you are moving from one topic to the next one. Sequencing words are words like firstly, secondly, thirdly, then, next, finally, after that, following that, and later on. Another type of signal can be used to show you are moving from one part of your talk to another.
Here are three that Tan uses – practise them with him.
Turning to the results…
Let’s move on to the conclusions.
Now we add intonation and stress.
Stress occurs in words, and sentences. In words – one syllable is stressed. The wrong stress makes it hard to understand. So:
Conclusion, not conclusion
Products, not products.
Even more important in speaking, is to stress the important words in a sentence. This helps the meaning of what you are saying – it gives emphasis.
So Tan says Let’s move on to the conclusions, stressing ‘conclusions’ because it’s the key word in this sentence. The other words stressed are the key words for understanding.
Let’s listen to Tan once more, noting the pauses, intonation, word and sentence stress.
First, Tan says ‘most people decided what to buy at the showroom’.
Because more people decided at the showroom than at home, we can say ‘most’, ‘the majority’, or ‘over half’.
To describe people deciding at home, which is less than fifty percent, we could say ‘a minority’ or ‘less than half’.
Looking at the reasons for decisions, we are comparing four groups of people. We can use descriptive words such as ‘many’, ‘some’, ‘ a few’.
And we can say ‘the greatest number’ or ‘the highest percentage’.
The greatest number of people went by the salesperson’s recommendation.
We could say ‘only a few’ relied on advertising.
And we can use words like approximately, about, nearly, over and under.
Approximately one third
About a quarter
Over a quarter
Under a third.
Finally, let’s look at Tan’s conclusions.
He says ‘the first one’, (pause)
Notice also how Tan uses adjectives to make his points. You shouldn’t use the same words all the time.
What are the adjectives?
They are important, critical and expensive.
So, to summarise:
State your topic.
Outline the structure of your presentation.
Use signalling and sequencing words.
Pay attention to intonation and stress.
Use descriptive words and adjectives, not just numbers.
And in conclusion, that’s all today on The Business of English.
Episodes of The Business of English
- The Business of English E15: Until Next Time
- The Business of English E14: A Formal Speech
- The Business of English E13: We Might Have a Deal
- The Business of English E12: Negotiating
- The Business of English E11: Can I Help You?
- The Business of English E10: Wrapping It Up
- The Business of English E09: A Customer Survey
- The Business of English E08: Graphs and Trends
- The Business of English E07: A Report on Progress
- The Business of English E06: What are the options?
- The Business of English E05: Hear!Hear!
- The Business of English E04: Any Other Business
- The Business of English E03: Getting Aquainted
- The Business of English E02: Why don’t you join us?
- The Business of English E01: Pleased to meet you
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