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Key Phrases for Making a Business Presentation

This outline provides a guide to giving a business presentation in English. Each section begins with the presentation section concerned, then the language formulas appropriate to giving a presentation. Finally, each section has important points to keep in mind during the presentation.

Opening Statements

First of all, I'd like to thank you all for coming here today.
My name is X and I am the (your position) at (your company).

Points to Remember

Try to make eye contact with everyone you are speaking to if possible. You can also smile at individual members of the audience to put them at their ease.

I'd briefly like to take you through today's presentation.
First, we're going to ...
After that, we'll be taking a look at ...
Once we've identified our challenges we will be able to ...
Finally, I'll outline what ...

Points to Remember

Make sure to indicate each point on your presentation as you introduce each topic. This can be done with a slide (Power Point) presentation, or by pointing to each point on the display device you are using.

Asking for Questions

Please feel free to interrupt me with any questions you may have during the presentation.
I'd like to ask you to keep any questions you may have for the end of the presentation.

Points to Remember

You can also request the participants to leave questions to the end of the presentation. However, it is important to let participants know that you are willing to answer any questions they may have.

Presenting the Current Situation

I'd like to begin by outlining our present situation.
As you know ...
You may not know that ...

Points to Remember

'As you know' or 'You may not know that' are polite ways of informing those who don't know without offending those who do know certain facts.

Moving Forward

Let's take a look at some of the implications of this.
Taking into consideration what we have said about X, we can see that Y ...
The main reason for these actions is ...
We have to keep in mind that ... when we consider ...
As a result of X, Y will ...

Points to Remember

As you continue through the presentation, often remind the listeners of the relationship between the current subject and what has been said before during the presentation.

Using Visual Aids

As you can see from this graph representing ...
If you could just take a look at ...
Looking at X we can see that ...

Points to Remember

Use visual aids to emphasize your main points in a conversation. Fewer visual aids that are meaningful leave a stronger impression than using a lot of visual aids that might also

Mentioning Problems

Obviously, this has led to some problems with ...
Unfortunately, this means that ...
As a direct result of X, we are having problems with Y...
This also causes ...

Points to Remember

Always provide examples of evidence to prove your point.

Always provide examples of evidence to prove your point.

Listing Options

There are a number of alternatives in this case. We can ...
If we had ... , we would ...
Had we ... , we could have ... Do we need to X or Y?
I think we can clearly see that we can either ... or ...
We have been considering ...
What if we ...

Points to Remember

Use the second conditional form to consider present options and the third conditional for considering different outcomes based on past actions. Use hypothetical questions as a way of introducing considerations into the presentation.

Proposing a Solution

The solution to X is ...
I suggest we ...
Based on ... the answer is to ...
If we keep in mind that ... , Y is the best solution to our problem.

Points to Remember

When providing your solutions to various problems, remember to refer to the evidence that you have previously presented. Try to make your solution a clear answer to what has been discussed during the presentation.

So, how does this all relate to X?
How long will this take to implement?
How much is this all going to cost?

Points to Remember

Use questions to introduce concerns that you know the listeners will have. Answer these questions clearly and efficiently.

Summarizing

We've discussed many points today. Let me quickly summarize the principal points:
I'd like to quickly go over the main points of today's topic:
Before we end, let me briefly recap what we have discussed here today.

Points to Remember

It is important to repeat the main points of your presentation quickly. This recap should be brief and, if possible, using different vocabulary than that used during the presentation. Make sure to focus only on the most important areas of the presentation.

Finishing the Presentation

Thank you all very much for taking the time to listen to this presentation. Now, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

I think that's about it. I'd like to thank you all for coming in today. Do you have any questions?

Points to Remember

Make sure to thank everybody and leave the discussion open for further questions from participants.

By Kenneth Beare, About.com Guide