Nicole-Capodieci_112x131_acf_cropped-1Hi, I am Nicole Capodieci, the new Principal at Langports Sydney. Today, I would like to talk about public speaking, when mastered is one of the most useful skills a person can have (and if you can do it in a second language, so much the better).

At Langports we LOVE to assign students oral presentations, especially in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes, so most international students will probably have to do a few while they’re studying here.

While it’s a challenge, it’s also a huge boost for your confidence and communication skills.

This cheat-sheet is here to help you get through oral presentations, not just with your nerves intact, but with the highest score, too!

Choose wisely

  • If you have a choice, choose a subject/angle that actually interests you.
  • Tell your audience something they don’t already know. When preparing your speech, consider the must know, should know and could know.


Know your P-A-L

  • Purpose

    Know what your purpose is in giving your presentation. Is it to inform, persuade and/or entertain? Tailor your presentation to your purpose.

  • Audience

    Who is your audience? What age group are they in, where do they live, what attitude do they have?

  • Logistics

    These are the things that have to be organized. You should know how much time you have to speak, what time of day it will be and how the room will be set up.

 Create user friendly notes

  • Limit your slides as much as possible and try not to include large chunks of text.
  • Use bulleted points instead of sentences
  • Use large easy to read font
  • Choose a type that easy to read and a large font.
  • Only use the top 2/3 of the page to avoid looking down
  • Highlight only a few important parts to make them stand out
  • Use great visual aids but don’t make slides unnecessarily decorative
  • Use compatible presentation software

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Practice out loud

  • Say it differently each time and choose your best rehearsed version
  • Being prepared will also boost our confidence
  • Practice staying on time
  • Practice the speech on a native speaker


Channel your adrenaline into enthusiasm

  • Stage fright is a negative term for excitement. No coach tells the team to be calm. Instead, control the physical symptoms of stage fright by breathing from your diaphragm and using positive visualization.


Good to know

  • You should have high quality and concise notes
  • It’s ok to have notes to refer to but DO NOT read a speech from a piece of paper
  • Have roving eye contact
  • Smile (from time to time)
  • Stand/sit up straight
  • Keep a bottle of water handy in case your throat gets dry


 Deliver with passion

  • It is amazing how catchy enthusiasm is. If your voice is expressive and your gestures animated, you will appear to be confident and passionate.
  • Finish with a strong, clear statement
  • Start with a story that illustrates your topic
  • Give you presentation a clear beginning, middle, and end


Think ahead to all possible questions

  • The question and answer part of the presentation may be more important than the actual presentation – particularly the questions that might throw you.
  • Remember to paraphrase the questions before answering them and take into account the motivation of the questioner.
  • When answering the questions, look at all audience members – they may have had the same questions.
  • Treat all questions and questioners with respect.

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Remember: There is no such thing as a boring presentations, there are only boring executions.

Good luck with your presentations!

Nicole Capodieci

Principal – Sydney Campus

Related topics: If you want to read more about English tips, please see the following links