BEP 103e – Presentations: Describing Charts and Trends 1

This is the first of three Business English Pod episodes on charts and trends from our new eBook – Presenting for Success. Over these three shows, we’ll be learning language for dealing with visuals, describing trends, analyzing and comparing data, and making predictions. “Visuals” refers to any visual element of your presentation – charts, graphs, pictures and so on. A trend is the general direction – upward or downward – of some metric, that is measurement, such as price or revenue. For example, when we say, “The price of oil has risen 30% in the last three months,” that’s a trend.

In this lesson we’ll focus on the basics of how to deal with visuals in your presentation: That is, how to attract attention to them, how to emphasize the key parts, and how to relate points about different visuals as you move through your slides. A slide is just one picture in your PowerPoint presentation.

The listening comes from a presentation at the Central European head office of Ambient, an American mobile phone manufacturer. Ambient has regained market share after a couple of bad years and has now taken over the number two place behind market leader Sirus and just ahead of the third player, CallTell.

You’ll hear Pat, the new finance director in the Central Europe region, in the middle of a presentation to the sales team. As we join them, he is bringing up a slide on revenue trends among the top three players in the business.

As you listen, pay attention to the language that Pat uses to call attention to his points and to relate them to each other.

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BEP 62 – Persuasion 3: Satisfaction, Visualization and Action Steps

In the first two ESL lessons (BEP 59 & BEP 60) in this three-part series on persuasion, we saw how getting your audience’s attention and demonstrating a clear need were essential to the persuasive process. We learned that in the indirect method of persuasion you should demonstrate the problem before you offer a solution. This mirrors the psychological process of decision-making: First we feel a need, and then we look for a way to satisfy that need.

After you have established the need, you then describe the future benefits if your proposal is accepted. This is the visualization step: Talk about how accepting your proposal will have positive future outcomes or maybe how not accepting it will have negative outcomes. Finally, you need to make a concrete, specific call to action – what the audience can do right now to implement your proposal.

Let’s finish listening to Steve give his proposal to Swift management. See if you can identify the satisfaction, visualization and action steps in his speech.

Listening Questions

1. How long will it take Swift to get back the investment in air conditioning?
2. How much extra profit can Swift make per year by adopting Nick’s proposal?
3. What specific action does Steve ask his manager’s to take?

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BEP 60 – Persuasion 2: Establishing the Need

Welcome to the second in this three-part Business English Pod series on presenting your ideas presuasively.

Last time we heard a bad example and a good example of persuasion. Then we covered the first step of the Monroe Sequence: We learned that to be persuasive, you first need to get the audience’s attention by establishing the relevance of the topic. We also talked about how it’s extremely important to relate your proposal directly to your audience’s needs.

In today’s show, we will be continuing on that theme by looking in detail at the second step in the Monroe Sequence, the need step. This is where you demonstrate to the audience that there is a serious problem with the current situation. This prepares them psychologically to accept your solution.

Let’s continue listening to the good example of persuasion that we started last time. Remember, Steve has just gotten his audience’s attention by pointing out the amount of money that Swift loses every year due to turnover. He has also posed a problem: How can we reverse the trend and turn the situation around?

Listening Questions

1. What’s the highest temperature in the welding room?
2. What does Steve present first – the problem or the solution?
3. What kind of strategies does Steve use to paint a vivid picture of the need for his solution?

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BEP 59 – Persuasion 1: Getting Attention

Do you ever need to persuade or convince someone of your point of view? Do you need to win support for a proposal, or get backing for a project? Of course you do. Persuasion – convincing someone of something – is an essential part of almost everything we do, from informal discussions to formal negotiations. To be successful, you need to be persuasive. You need to get people to accept a different point view, to see things your way. How can you be more persuasive? In this three-part series, we’ll be giving you some answers.

Throughout the years, many talented speakers and researchers have been developing ways to persuade people effectively. One of the most widely used methods is Alan H. Monroe’s. In the mid-1930s, Monroe created a persuasive process called the “Monroe sequence” that has become a standard in business, media and politics. Once you know it, you’ll recognize it everywhere – in speeches, statements, proposals, advertisements. It’s popular because it is logical and effective.

So, over the next three Business English Pod episodes, we’ll be studying language and strategies for persuasion based on the Monroe Sequence.

The Monroe Sequence has five parts.
1) Get the audience’s attention
2) Establish a need
3) Satisfy that need
4) Visualize the future
5) Call for action

This lesson will focus on the first step, getting the audience’s attention.

The listening takes place at Swift, a bicycle manufacturer whose major market is the U.S. We’ll be listening to a good example and a bad example of persuasion. First let’s examine the bad example.

Listening Questions

Bad example
1. Whose needs does Franz focus on? That is, whose needs is he taking into consideration when he makes the proposal?
2. Why is Franz’s proposal so ineffective?

Good example
1) What does Steve do at the beginning of his presentation?
2) Whose needs does Steve focus on – the workers’ or the management’s?

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BEP 37 – Presentations: Question and Answer (2)

Today’s advanced Business English Podcast episode is the second in our a two-part series on question and answer, or Q&A, during a presentation in Englishpresentation in English.

The listening starts where we left off last time. Nick, the new European sales director at Harper-Tolland Steel, is answering questions after his English presentation.

Nick has proposed to retrain key sales staff at Harper-Tolland in order to boost sales after a disappointing new product launch. Where we left off, Cindy, the regional sales manager for Germany, is asking Nick how they will measure the success of the new training program.

As you listen, pay attention to how Nick and Nick’s boss, Max, deal with questions and manage the Q&A session.

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