Functional Language for Presentations

Michael C Durrant
Apr 01, 2024By Michael C Durrant
man standing in front of people sitting beside table with laptop computers

Having to give a presentation or talk can be stressful at the best of times. But it's nothing that careful preparation cannot take care of! Just as what you will talk about is important, how you start your presentation will also have an impact. In this Business Skills blog post, we will explore invaluable phrases that will help you introduce yourself and your talk in a way that helps you connect with the audience and set the stage for the rest of your well-structured, professional presentation.

Presentation Introductions

Welcoming Guests and Attendees

This allows you to establish a connection with your audience and creates a warm & positive atmosphere

- "Good morning/afternoon/evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining me today"

-  "Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to be here today"

- "Welcome everyone to today's presentation. I'm delighted to see you all here"

- "It's a pleasure to welcome you all to this presentation/talk/discuss on [topic]"


Introducing Yourself

- "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is [your name] and I am [your position or role]" - e.g.: Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Laura Smith, Head of Operations in our London office

- "I'd like to begin by introducing myself. My name is [your name] and I am [your position or role]" - e.g.: I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Pete Dennis and I am the Lead Developer here at Software For You

- "First, a little about myself. I am [your name], and I am responsible for [role] at [company/organisation]" - e.g.: First, a little about myself. I’m Stuart Biggins and I am responsible for Product Development and Testing at TechBytes

- "First, a few words about myself. I am [your name] and I've been working in [industry] / as [role] for [time]" - e.g.: First, a few words about myself. I am Alina Smiths, Project Lead at Outreach Corp

Introducing Your Presentation Topic

This helps the audience have a clear understanding of what to expert

- "Today, I will be discussing [presentation topic]" - e.g.: Today, I will be discussing effective communication strategies in the workplace. 

- "The focus of my presentation today is on [presentation topic]" - e.g.: The focus of my presentation today is on the importance of teamwork in achieving company goals

- "By the end of today's session, you will know a little more about [presentation topic / key objective of your presentation]" - e.g.: By the end of today's session, you will know a little more about the fundamentals of project management and how to apply them in your work

- "The purpose of this presentation is to [presentation aim and topic]" - e.g.: The purpose of this presentation is to explore the impact of globalisation on international business practices

- "In today's presentation, I am going to share with you some [presentation key features]" - e.g.: In today's presentation, I am going to share with you some essential marketing techniques for small businesses to thrive in a competitive market


Introducing Presentation Structure* (Have your presentation agenda slide on the screen)

This gives the audience a clear roadmap to follow as you progress through your presentation

- "Before we dive into the details, let me provide you with a summary of today's key points.." - e.g.: Before we dive into the details, let me provide you a summary of today's key points. We'll explore the importance of effective time management, discuss strategies for enhancing productivity, and conclude with tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance

- "Before we begin, I would like to give you a brief outline of today's key talking points. First, we will look at….[point 1], followed by [point 2,3,4, etc]. Lastly, I will finish with [last point]" - e.g.: "Before we begin, I would like to give you a brief outline of today's key talking points. First, we will look at the challenges facing our industry, followed by potential solutions to address them. Next, we'll discuss the implementation plan, and finally, I will finish with a call to action for all stakeholders

- "Just a word or two about the structure of today's presentation. First, I will …, then move on to … and finally I will close with …" - e.g.: Just a word or two about the structure of today's presentation. First, I will introduce the current market trends, then move on to our company's response to these trends, and finally, I will close with our future projections and strategies for growth

- "Before diving into the specifics, let me offer a brief outline of the main objectives of this presentation.  First ..., next ..., then           ... and lastly ..." - e.g.: Before diving into the specifics, let me offer a brief outline of the main objectives of this presentation. First, we'll examine the need for innovation in our product line, next, we'll discuss the market research findings, then we'll explore potential new markets, and lastly, we'll outline our proposed action plan.

Question Policy and Any Rules

By setting out your policies and rules before jumping into your presentation, you are in charge of managing the flow of your presentation and are unlikely to have to deal with anything unexpected.

- "Please do not hesitate to interrupt me if you have any questions or if something isn’t quite clear"

- "If anybody has any questions, please feel free to ask as I go through the presentation"

- "If anybody has any questions, I would like to ask you to save them until the end of the presentation. We will have a short  Q & A (Question & Answer) session then"

- "If you have questions, please kindly wait until the end of the presentation. We’ll have ten minutes for an open discussion then"

Handsome businessman presenting health reports on white board with laser pointer

Moving Through Your Presentation

Next up, we are going to look at some useful phrases for moving through your presentation

Starting The Main Part Of Your Presentation

You've made your introductions to the attendees, given them a little background about yourself and laid out the structure of your presentation. What's next? Jumping into the first part of your presentation.

- "Now that we have got the introductions out of the way, I'd like to begin by discussing..." - e.g.: Now that we have got the introductions out of the way, I'd like to begin by discussing effective communication strategies in the workplace

- "Without much further ado, let's get started" - e.g.: Without much further ado, let's get started with exploring the importance of effective time management

- "Now, let's kick things off by..." - e.g.: Now, let's kick things off by diving into the challenges our industry faces and potential solutions to address them

- "Now, let's jump straight into the topic of today's presentation: [topic of presentation]" - e.g.: Now, let's jump straight into the topic of today's presentation: the impact of globalisation on international business practices

- "So, what is [topic of presentation]?" - e.g.: So, what is the significance of teamwork in achieving company goals?

Moving On To The Next Point/Section

As you move through your slides or presentation sections, be sure to help your audience know you're moving on to a new point/section/etc. by using signposting language

- "Next up,...[next point/section]" - e.g.: Next up, let's explore strategies for enhancing productivity in the workplace

- "Following on from [previous point/section]" - e.g: Following on from our discussion on the current market trends, let's now look at how we can leverage those trends in our business strategy

- "Now, let's turn to [next point/section]" - e.g.: Now, let's turn to the potential new markets for our products

- "Leading on from [previous point/section],... " - e.g.: Leading on from our discussion of market research findings, let's explore the customer feedback analysis

- "Moving along,... [next point/section]" - e.g.: Moving along, let's now examine the proposed action plan for implementing the new strategies

Introducing Visual Aids

Any good presentation should have graphics to help illustrate the presenter's message. But don't just expect your audience to know what the image represents - draw their attention to your visual aids

- "As you can see from the [visual aid]" - e.g.: As you can see from the chart on the screen, effective communication has a positive impact of productivity and staff satisfaction

- "To help illustrate [the point you've just made], if we look at this [visual aid], we can see that..." - e.g.: To help illustrate the importance of teamwork, if we look at this graph, we can see that collaborative projects yield higher success rates

- "If you look at this [visual aid], you can see that..." - e.g.: If you look at this diagram, you can see that our sales have steadily increased over the past year

- "As an example of [your point], this [visual aid] perfectly shows that... " - e.g.: As an example of the market demand for our product, this bar graph perfectly shows that there's a growing interest among consumers

- "To illustrate/highlight [your point], I would like to draw your attention to [visual aid]..." - e.g.: To illustrate the impact of technological advancements, I would like to draw your attention to this infographic depicting the rise of online shopping trends

Recapping Your Main Points/Presentation

To make sure that your attendees take away the key points of your presentation, make sure to spend a few moments recapping your key points or message

- "As I pointed out earlier [recap earlier point]" - e.g.: As I pointed out earlier regarding the importance of effective communication...

- "As I mentioned in slide #/the section on... [recap earlier point]" - e.g.: As I mentioned in slide 3, during the section on market trends,...

- "Before we move to the Q & A, I’d like to recap the key points of my presentation today" - e.g.: Before we move to the Q & A, I’d like to recap the key points of my presentation today. We discussed the challenges facing our industry, potential solutions, and the implementation plan

"Before I finish, allow me to summarise the main takeaways from today's presentation;..." - e.g.: Before I finish, allow me to summarise the main takeaways from today's presentation; we explored strategies for enhancing productivity, the significance of teamwork, and the future projections for growth

So, that's it for today's presentation on [presentation topic]. To briefly summarise, the main points were… - e.g.: So, that's it for today's presentation on marketing strategies. To briefly summarise, the main points were the significance of social media engagement, the effectiveness of targeted advertising, and the importance of customer feedback loops”

Discussion / Q and A session

It's a good idea to allow a few moments at the end of your presentation for any questions the attendees might have. After all, you don't want people to leave your talk with more questions than answers. 

- "That's it from me today. Does anyone have any questions?"

- "I'd like to open the floor to questions, so please raise your hand if there's anything more you'd like to know"

- "We have a few minutes if anyone would like to discuss anything from today's presentation"

- "I hope you found the presentation informative; if there's anything I can clarify or elaborate on, please don't be afraid to ask"

White sheet with great job text on a gray background

With these handy phrases and sentences, you'll have no problem grabbing your audience's attention and keeping them engaged. Just remember to practise your presentation beforehand and you'll do great.