How to give an oral presentation in French

How to give an oral presentation in French

by Lingoda Team
November 18, 2016

Eventually in life, the time will come when you will have to present in front of a group. If you are giving a speech in a foreign language like after learning French, it can be very challenging since it often adds extra insecurity to the mix. We will give you some tips on how to give an oral presentation in French:

Preparation is key. In order to succeed in your presentation, know your topic well. You will be the expert in the classroom and realizing this will boost your self-confidence and keep your nerves under control.
Remember to use technology to your advantage, visual aids (maps, photos, film clips, graphs, diagrams, and charts) can enhance a presentation, but don’t rely completely on them since it might be distracting for your audience.

Pay attention to your posture, stand straight and don’t rock back and forth on your heels, or do anything that might distract from your content. Speak in a clear, audible voice, loud enough to be clearly heard in the back row.  Never, ever mumble and be confident about your research and content.

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Tips to give an oral presentation in French

  1. Structure and order. France is not an exception. Let the audience know at the start how your presentation will be structured. A brief outline will prepare them for what you are about to say.
  2. It’s not what you say but how you say it. This may sound like a cliché, but it’s a general rule for life. Understand that you will probably be nervous, accept it and move on. Deep breaths will help control the speed of your speech and will give the impression that you are more confident in what you are saying. Avoid having spicy food or caffeine drinks right before and make sure your breathing pattern is normal.
  3. Talk! don’t read. Nobody enjoys seeing a speaker burying his or her face in a script, reading stiffly from a piece of paper. Try to talk from notes, or, if you use a written-out text, try to look down at it only occasionally. In a speech, it is crucial to be able to transmit the ideas and concepts that you have been preparing and working for so hard, so don’t worry too much about the words.
  4. Make eye contact with people seated in all parts of the room, another fundamental aspect of public speaking. Don’t be afraid of using your hands to emphasize your ideas. Sharing space with the audience can also communicate your interest in sharing your results with them, so don’t be afraid of moving around the stage to help you reach out to every corner of the room, and also cover up any nervousness you may be experiencing.
  5. Don’t be afraid of questions and interruptions. Actually, this is one of the best things that can happen, because it shows that someone in the audience has engaged with what you’re saying, and, if you have the time to offer a brief response, it can actually lead to genuine progress on the point you were making. Plus, two-way conversation is always a tension-reducer.
  6. Always try to make an impact with your audience. Something that they’ll remember. Finishing strong can be a good way to achieve that. Always be sure to have a compelling conclusion to your presentation in which you highlight and summarize the points you made to your audience.

Useful vocabulary for presenting in French

Introduction

 pour commencer to start with
 la premiere constatation qui s’impose, c’est que the first thing to be noted is that
 Tout d´abord to start with
 Premièrement Firstly

Expressing opinion

 Positive   NeutralNegative
 je crois que/je pense que I think/ believe that à mon avis / quant à moi / selon moiin my opinionje suis contre I am against
 il vaut mieux it is better to alors quewhereas ne… ni… ni neither… nor
 il faut bien reconnaître que it must be recognised that autrement ditin other wordsMoi non plusMe neither
 Je dirais que I would say that Sans oublierwithout forgetting Je ne suis pas d´accordI disagree
 Moi aussi me too Je comprends ce que vous dites mais I understand what you are saying although/butEn revancheon the contrary
 Je suis d´accord I agree je soutiens donc queI maintain thatJe dois avouer que I must admit
 Tout à fait absolutely Cela dit / par contreHowever/but En ce qui me concerne As far as I am concerned

Other expressions

 il est donc question de it is a matter of
 en outre furthermore / moreover
 en ce qui concerne as far as … is concerned
 bien que je puisse comprendre que although I can understand that
 cela va sans dire que it goes without saying that
 cependant nevertheless
 considérons let’s consider
 Prenons en compte let´s take Into account
 d’après moi according to me
 d’une part, d’autre part/d´un côté, d´un autre côté on one hand, on the other hand
 pas forcément la faute de not necessarily the fault of
 il serait absurde de dire que it would be absurd to say that
 il semble que les avantages l’emportent sur les inconvénients it seems that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages

Ending Phrases

 Pour conclure/pour finir to conclude
 Au final finally
 Je finirais cette présentation (en disant que)/ par I would finish this presentation (by saying that)/by
 je voudrais souligner que I’d like to underline that
 tout bien considéré all things considered
 enfin finally, at last
 grâce à thanks to
 avant de conclure before concluding
 à la fin in the end

Learn French with Lingoda

You are looking for topic ideas for your French presentation? Extend your vocabulary with Lingoda! With us, you can learn French from fully qualified teachers, who will provide you with a well-rounded education, focusing not just on speech, but on reading, writing and listening as well.

With that said, one of the key benefits of learning through Lingoda is that all of our teachers are native speakers. This means that as a French language student, you will get to hear authentic French, as it is really spoken around the world, which will prove to be beneficial when the time comes to give presentations of your own.

Lingoda’s courses offer learners complete flexibility and students can schedule as many or as few classes as they like, depending on their goals and lifestyle. The majority of classes take place in virtual classrooms, with a small number of students, although private one-to-one lessons are also available.

All of our courses are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which is widely considered to be the gold standard of language frameworks. As students progress, they can also earn official French certificates, which enjoy recognition from institutions worldwide.

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