Presentations – Survival Language

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In modern English, Presentations tend to be much less formal than they were even twenty years ago. Most audience these days prefer a relatively informal approach. However, there is a certain structure to the opening of a Presentation that you should observe.

I got the language for today’s lesson from an excellent book by Mark Powell called “Presenting in English “.


If you get your facts wrong.

  • I am terribly sorry. What I meant to say was this.
  • Sorry. What I meant is this.

If you have been going too fast and your audience is having trouble keeping up with you.

  • Let me just recap on that.
  • I want to recap briefly on what I have been saying.

If you have forgotten to make a point.

  • Sorry, I should just mention one other thing.
  • If I can just go back to the previous point, there is something else that I forgot to mention.

If you have been too complicated and want to simplify what you said.

  • So, basically, what I am saying is this.
  • So, basically, the point I am trying to get across is this.

If you realize that what you are saying makes no sense.

  • Sorry, perhaps I did not make that quite clear.
  • Let me rephrase that to make it quite clear.

If you cannot remember the term in English.

  • Sorry, what is the word I am looking for?
  • Sorry, my mind has gone blank. How do you say ‘escargot’ in English?

If you are short of time.

  • So just to give you the main points.
  • As we are short of time, this is just a quick summary of the main points.

exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

1 Comment


Mar 3, 2011, 6:07 pm

Thank you so much! your lessons are really helpful and interesting! I regret not having your lesson sooner, but now it is ok. I’ll try my best to improve my English!

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