When we engage in an oral presentation especially if the purpose is to persuade and convince your audience, we have to make it a point to impress them from start to finish. One of the important elements that should be considered is the use of words and language in a presentation.
The Power of Words
Words can be so powerful it can build or destroy good relationships and can transform or change viewpoints. In the technical aspect of communication whether oral or written, the choice of words reflects the individual’s personality. Especially in an oral presentation, the words you use should be related to the topic.
You must also consider choosing your words according to the kind of audience you will have. An effective presenter should be conversational and has a good amount of vocabulary. If you have a poor command of the spoken language for your speech, you will not acquire attention and interest from your audience. Moreover, they will have a difficulty comprehending your message.
In a persuasive presentation, the use of assertive language is helpful. Being assertive in speaking emphasizes clarity and conviction.
Simplicity is Key
According to the experts in oral presentation, for your audience to understand you well and get the message across, the words you choose should be simple but clear and easy to comprehend. The use of simple sentences but with complete thoughts will make you communicate better than choosing complex words and expressions.
Even if you are speaking before a group of highly educated audience, you need not show off to them by using difficult words in your construction. Remember, the audience does not verbally express their comments and remarks about your delivery.
It is not all the time that when you use difficult words in speaking, you are already regarded as someone impressive. To others you may create a certain impression, but to some people, they might mistake you for a show off. So, you would rather be off on a safe mode by just being yourself in speaking and that includes using words within the common understanding of everyone present in your speech. As a presenter, your ultimate goal in terms of word and language choice is being able to convey what you mean.
Here are a few examples of some difficult or complex words or terms with their corresponding simpler expressions on the right portion.
- Ascertain find out
- Comprised made up of
- Institute begin
- Procure get
- Render give
- Restrict limit
- Retain keep
What Words to Avoid
You want to impress your audience with your presentation, right? Well, apart from the difficult and complex words you should not use, also refrain from the use of jargon. The term is used to describe the use of words and language spoken and understood only within the organization.
For example, if your company is an IT-related organization, the employees speak technical jargons only understood by the workers within the office. If your presentation topic is about, you might want to refrain from the use of medical terms. In some instances when there is a need to use jargons, just make sure that you follow it up with a simple explanation, using words in layman’s term.
Offensive language and obscene expressions should also be avoided in your presentation. If you want to create an impression and keep a nice reputation, watch your words. Be careful, too, in the use of slang and informal expressions especially when reacting to a comment or question. Some examples of this are “betcha”, “gotcha”, “Oh my God!”, and “yeah”. You would rather smile and keep your personal comments to yourself than be too frank about certain things.
Vague expressions are weak and unsure. Words like “I think”, “I believe”, “I guess”, “Maybe”, “Try”, and other weak words and phrases with similar meaning do not put strength in your thoughts. These terms lessen a speaker’s credibility and conviction of what was said.
Apart from choosing your words carefully, also avoid being lengthy in your speech. The tendency with being too wordy is that you will bore your listeners in the long run. Knowing how to choose your words is a mark of a true professional. So, just be simple, be direct, and be yourself and your audience will like you.