One of my Italian clients, who I usually work with via videoconference, was here in Chicago this week. We met for a follow-up training session in the Chicago Loop. I gave him a few presents for his flight back to Italy. One was an English pronunciation book—a decision informed by our last two telephone coaching sessions—and the other, a personalized warm-up checklist. The goal of this checklist is to help him prepare for any critical presentation or meeting. I smiled when he asked me to send this checklist as a jpeg. He wants to include it behind-the-scenes in future powerpoint presentations.
Email it—done. Add it to his dedicated training site—done. And now, I’m going to share a general version of this global-English presentation-prep checklist with you. Go ahead, copy & paste or jpeg it.
Warm-up checklist points for presentation speech delivery
- Practice mouth movement/vowel enunciation in front of a mirror. Review my previous blog post to understand this better. Get a pretty snapshot view of this warm-up exercise by clicking here to sign up for a newsletter.
- Speak for one minute very slowly with exaggerated mouth movement.
- Speak for one minute from the diaphragm
- Stretch the final vowel sounds of the chunks of a sentence. (Chunks, a.k.a. thought groups)
- Voice the voiced consonants. (I’m going to be vague here. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive emails with more tips in more detail. Just click here to do this.)
- Over-articulate the word endings.
- Make sure to alternate the stressed and unstressed sounds at the word, phrasal, and sentence levels.
- Pay attention to vowel length. It’s critical for speech clarity in global English.
- Consider which words you want to bring the audience’s attention to in your message. Practice stressing them in isolation and in sentences.
- Concentrate on thought group stress. This is gold for delivering stellar presentations.
Routine practice is key for this type of training—i.e., modification of speech in real-time speaking—so ask yourself, What time will I set aside to practice?
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