1. When we’re presenting, it can feel unnatural to say the same words over and over again. But it is noticed that repetition really works. It really helps clarify and consolidate the key points. So, try to use repetition. If you can get over the unnatural feeling, it’s an easy technique and it actually makes presenting in English less difficult as you don’t have to find different words for the same things.
2. You can repeat a phrase or a slogan like a mantra. Sometimes it’s this mantra that everyone remembers long after the presentation is over. Classical orators used this technique and one of the most famous examples is the Martin Luther King speech where he used the “I have a dream” mantra. People even call it the “I have a dream” speech. Mantra has to be precise, to the point and memorable. When you get the mantra right, everybody remembers it.
3. Remember the Rule of Three. It’s so easy. Good presentations often have lists with three different words, three identical words, three phrases or three sentences. Most experts attribute the Rule of Three to Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric in which he referred to “three types of speeches” and “three forms of proof”. Pythagoras said three was the “perfect number”. Lists of three have a sense of completeness and research shows that listeners wait for and expect the third item in a list. It’s a fairly simple but highly effective technique.
4. Use rhetorical questions as they create expectation and a feeling of dialogue. They are also a useful tool outlining and signposting the structure. You should use grammatically correct questions though if you are presenting in another language. It’s no good asking a question if the audience don’t understand it or because you asked something too complex.
5. Give real life examples or examples that everybody knows. This really speaks to the audience as they remember things when they relate them to themselves, events or people. Examples bring things to life. It’s all about creating associations.
6. A number of effective techniques we use today go right back to the classical writers on rhetoric. Take contrast, for example – if you compare one thing to another, you are making a contrast. “We are bigger than our competitors” is an example. Another contrast technique is to use words that are opposites. Kennedy did it in that famous speech, “symbolizing an end not a beginning” and “United, there is little we can do … Divided, there is little we can do”. He used “not … but” in the same speech too. “We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom”. From a language point of view, these are really not complicated techniques for non-native speakers to use.