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.
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.
Tips that can make the difference
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
|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|
|je crois que/je pense que||I think/ believe that||à mon avis / quant à moi / selon moi||in my opinion||je suis contre||I am against|
|il vaut mieux||it is better to||alors que||whereas||ne… ni… ni||neither… nor|
|il faut bien reconnaître que||it must be recognised that||autrement dit||in other words||Moi non plus||Me neither|
|Je dirais que||I would say that||Sans oublier||without forgetting||Je ne suis pas d´accord||I disagree|
|Moi aussi||me too||Je comprends ce que vous dites mais||I understand what you are saying although/but||En revanche||on the contrary|
|Je suis d´accord||I agree||je soutiens donc que||I maintain that||Je dois avouer que||I must admit|
|Tout à fait||absolutely||Cela dit / par contre||However/but||En ce qui me concerne||As far as I am concerned|
|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|
|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|
|Pour conclure/pour finir||to conclude|
|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
With Lingoda’s online language school, 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 an 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.