Giving presentations: with focus on international audiences

Term Paper, 2010

14 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Presentations & public speaking
2.1 Creating your presentation
2.2 Using aids
2.3 Delivering your presentation

3. International Audiences
3.1 What works here doesn't always work there
3.2 Choose your language carefully
3.3 What to expect from your audience
3.4 Good advice, as always: be prepared

4. Competence in presenting and public speaking


1. Introduction

Presentations are ways of communicating ideas and information to a group. Presentation skills and public speaking skills are very useful in many aspects of work and life, may they be in business, sales and selling, training, teaching, lecturing and generally entertaining an audience. Developing the confidence and capability to give good presentations, and to stand up in front of an audience and speak well, are also extremely helpful competencies for self-development.

Even if the formats and purposes of presentations vary significantly, for example: oral (spoken), multimedia (using various media, visuals, audio, etc), PowerPoint presentations, short impromptu presentations, long planned presentations, educational or training sessions, lectures, or simply giving a talk on a subject to a group on a voluntary basis for pleasure, all successful presentations will generally use the essential techniques and structures explained here.

Aside from presentation, technique, confidence, experience and preparation are key factors. This paper will give you a good overview of key presentation and public speaking elements, aspects to consider while preparing and useful pointers for the final delivery. In the second part I will touch on the subject of speaking to an international audience while the final segment will touch on the importance of presentation and public speaking skills in today’s business world.

2. Presentations & public speaking

2.1 Creating your presentation

Reflect about your audience, your aims, their expectations, the surroundings, the facilities available, and what type of presentation you are going to give (lecture style, informative, participative, etc).

Is it your aim to inform, inspire, entertain, demonstrate and prove or perhaps to persuade?

Keeping these things in mind will help you ensure that your presentation or speech is going to achieve its purpose.

Clearly identify your subject and your purpose to yourself and then let the creative process take over. Gather all possible ideas for subject matter and how you could present it.

When you have all your ideas on paper, structure them into subject matter categories. Keep in mind that you would want to have a logical sequence that people will follow and you'll be comfortable with.

Essentially the structure of all good presentations is to:

"Tell'em what you're gonna tell'em. Tell'em. Then tell'em what you told'em." (George Bernard Shaw in Koegel, T., 2007).

When you have structured your presentation, it will have an opening, a middle with headed sections of subject matter, and a close, with opportunity for questions if relevant.

By all means try to avoid using jokes unless you are supremely confident. Jokes are high risk things at the best of times, especially at the beginning of a presentation.

There is a big difference between telling a joke and injecting enjoyment and humor into your talk. A joke creates pressure on the audience to laugh at a critical moment, that's why it's funny (when it works). A joke also has the potential to offend, and jokes are culturally very sensitive; different people like different jokes.

On the other hand, enjoyment and humor are much more general, they do not depend on creating tension or the expectation of a punch line. Enjoyment and humor can be injected in very many different ways, a few funny quotes for example. Other good examples are; a bit of audience participation; an amusing prop; an amusing picture or cartoon; an amusing story (not a joke).

Next you will incorporate your presentation method. This entails the equipment and materials you use, case studies, examples, quotations, analogies, questions and answers, individual and syndicate exercises, interesting statistics, and any kind of presentation aid you think will work.

Practice it in rough to get a feel for the timing. Amend and refine it. This practice is essential to build your competence and confidence, and also to practice the pace and timing. Presentations almost always take longer to deliver than you think the material will last.

Produce the presentation materials and organize the equipment, and ensure you are comfortable with your method of cribbing from notes, cards etc.

Practice it in its refined form. Amend and refine if necessary, and if possible have a final run-through in the real setting if it's strange to you.

Take nothing for granted. Check and double-check, and plan contingencies for anything that might go wrong. Plan and control the layout of the room as much as you are able to. Take care to position yourself and your equipment to the audience, so that it suits you and the situation.

2.2 Using aids

Keeping in mind that the average attention span of any regular listener apparently lays between five and ten minutes for any single unbroken subject, so utilize a variety of media and aids to maintain maximum interest.

The audience can be stimulated via several senses, not just audio and visual. Consider including content and activity which addresses the other senses such as touch, taste and smell.


Excerpt out of 14 pages


Giving presentations: with focus on international audiences
Cologne University of Applied Sciences  (Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften)
Cross Cultural Competence
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
527 KB
presentation, international, audience, cultur, difference
Quote paper
Jan-Patrick Stolpmann (Author), 2010, Giving presentations: with focus on international audiences, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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