© Copyright Chris Martin and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

© Copyright Chris Martin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

I have been coaching an online client on her Business English writing skills recently and we’ve now turned to presentation skills. During our discussion, she asked me if we could go over some expressions she could use to steer her audience through her presentation.

These expressions are collectively known as “signposts”. They give structure to your presentation and inform your audience of what to expect keeping them engaged at all times. After all, you don’t want an inattentive audience looking at their phones, answering emails or worst still, asleep!

The following expressions provide a framework that you can use for your next presentation. Let’s explore.

Can everyone see? Well, good morning ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming.
Before we start I’d like to introduce myself. My name is…..and I am the….(position) of…..(company)
I am here today to talk about….

I’m going to look at three main areas.
First, I’ll talk about …..
Then I’ll cover ….
And finally …….

My presentation will take around 10 minutes. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them at the end of my talk.

Main presentation
First of all, I’d like to look at …

Any questions so far?

Secondly, …..
I must emphasize that ….
The question is ….

Explaining images, graphs or data
I’d like you to look at….You will see from this chart that…..
As you can see from the graph,…
The figures show that…..

Basic signposts
If I can side-track/digress for a moment ….
As I mentioned earlier ….
I’ll come back to that in a moment …
Now let’s move on to the question of ……..
I’d now like to turn to
Let me expand on this point…
Let me elaborate on that ….
Let’s recap on those last points

This brings me to my last point, which is ….
As you know,…
In general,…
On the other hand,…

In conclusion, let me briefly go through the main points again. First I talked about….., then I described ….., and finally I ….

Right, I think that’s everything. Let me finish by thanking you very much for your attention. And now, if there are any questions, I’ll be happy to try and answer them.

Dealing with questions
Could you be a little more specific?
Can I just check what you’re asking?

You’ve raised an important point there. Could I ask what your own view is?
Anyone like to comment on that?
Jane, this is your area. Would you like to make a comment?

We only have a few minutes left. Is there one last question?

Having this framework will help you structure your presentation and give you some simple expressions to use during your talk. Try it out and good luck!

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Ciao for now


Source: Business Builder, Teacher’s Resource Series Modules 7-9, Paul Emmerson (1999) Macmillan