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If English is Not Your First Language . . .

Suggestions for making sure your audience GETS IT!

First, and this goes for all speakers:

  1. Know your topic.

  2. Really know what you’ll be speaking about.

  3. You’ll never know everything, but know enough so you have “confidence in your competence” and the audience feels that self-assurance.

  4. Your nonverbal and verbal communication will reflect that “expertise” to your audience.

  5. This is like the recipe for a great cake.

  6. Specific ingredients are added in specific amounts at specific times and specific things are done. The results are a great presentation!

  7. Practicing is not optional!

  8. The rule of thumb is ‘One hour of preparation for every minute of presentation.’

  9. Be certain to practice “Sticky Spots” in your talk.

  10. There are usually a few parts of a presentation we get “stuck” on. They need extra practice or, if still awkward, should be changed so they don’t “stick.”

  11. Buzz words, etc.

  12. Every generation, occupation, and organization uses terms and words only its members understand. Don’t use them in your talk.

  13. Your audience is not impressed with words and phrases they don’t know. They feel stupid. No one likes that emotion, and you’ll quickly lose them.

  14. P-A-U-S-E

  15. Pausing shows self-assurance.

  16. A pause gives the audience time to digest what you’ve presented.

  17. Stop speaking when there is laughter otherwise you’ll be competing with that reaction.

Having English as a second language makes these almost mandatory.

  1. Practice pronouncing words clearly and distinctly.

  2. Record them and have someone you trust, listen along with you.

  3. Adjust as needed and practice some more.

  4. If using slides, use high quality, universally understood images.

  5. Sixty-five percent of us are visual learners.

  6. “Seeing” what you’re talking about will help the audience GET IT!

  7. Use one or two words of text with each image.

  8. Utilize a simple font and make it large.

  9. I usually recommend against using TEXT, but if English is not your first language, this will help viewers and listeners GET IT!

  10. S-L-O-W down your cadence!

  11. Most novice speakers, because of nervousness, deliver their presentation too quickly.

  12. ESL people need to be more aware than others about the need to slow down.

  13. Otherwise, folks are trying to figure out what you just stated, and miss what you’re now saying.

Put those suggestions into place when preparing, practicing and delivering your next presentation and I guarantee it will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


Write a Book!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and“NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!



  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  3. We are All Self-Employed!


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