Improve your Presentations in English with Steve Jobs

Most of my students already do great presentations in their own language, so I usually teach them key phrases and expressions so they can do the same in English. However, I’ve seen my students benefit a lot from watching real presentations like this one. Let’s watch this timeless Steve Jobs’ presentation: Why is it so memorable? What are the phases and expressions I could also use in my next presentation?

Steve Jobs’ 2007 presentation for the very first iPhone is definitely an unforgettable pitch. It is considered Jobs’ best presentation ever, and here are some speaking techniques and also expressions to help you deliver a better presentation.

Jobs begins his presentation by reviewing the “revolutionary” products Apple has introduced before. He says: “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. And Apple has been – well, first of all, one’s very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career” He goes on to describe the 1984 launch of the Macintosh as an event that “changed the entire computer industry.” The same goes for the introduction of the first iPod in 2001, a product that he says “changed the entire music industry.”

The theme
During the whole presentation Jobs states how important this presentation is, because “we have reinvented the phone”. The presentation is based on this idea and everything is constructed around it.

The teaser
A teaser is a strategy for attracting the audience’s attention. Jobs teases the audience by saying: “Today, we are introducing three revolutionary products. The first one is a wide-screen iPod with touch controls. The second one is a revolutionary new mobile phone. And the third one is a breakthrough Internet communications device.” He repeats the three devices several times then says, “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device…today Apple is going to reinvent the phone!”

So, what’s the takeaway?

  • Bring in something unexpected in your presentations. He could have chosen to just say: “I’m here today to show you the new iPhone” But instead, he chooses to build up tension and intrigue, connecting the new product with something the audience will easily relate to.
  • Jobs also uses the wonderful formula: one slide, one key point. For example, when he introduced the “three revolutionary products” in the description, he didn’t show one slide with three devices. Instead, he talks about each feature (a widescreen iPod, a mobile phone, and an Internet communicator), in one separate slide for each.
  • Finally, Jobs makes the slides highly visual. No bullet points or data, just images. Very memorable!

Five Key Expressions you Can Use on your Next Presentation:

  1. To build anticipation and express how excited you are: This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two-and-a-half years.
  2. Giving some background information: So, before we get into it, let me talk about a category of things.
  3. Rhetorical questions: So what do you do? Well, how do you solve this? Now, how are we gonna communicate this? Isn’t that great?
  4. To catch your audience’s attention: Now, let me show you something else.
  5. To close your presentation, go back to the main theme and round up the idea: I think that if you have a chance to get your hand on it, you’ll agree, we have reinvented the phone.

Improve your Presentations in English with Steve Jobs.jpg

I hope these are helpful thoughts. If you’re still struggling with your English for presentations, do let me know in the comments below. What are other areas you struggle with? What have you found helpful in order to improve?

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Where does Real Motivation Come From?

Where does real motivation come from-

As a teacher, I have seen students who are definitely engaged and full of positive feelings towards learning. It’s not surprising that those are the students who succeed and the ones who get the most out of every lesson I teach.
Dear student, this message is for you:
Remember how badly you wanted to learn how to drive when you finally had the age for it? I bet nobody had to motivate you or try to convince you that you had to learn. Your motivation came from within. Also, if you were in the middle of the jungle and had to sleep in a tent, you’d definitely learn how to put it up, because your safety would depend on it.
My point is that if you don’t find the real value in what you are learning, you are more likely to give up. Even if you have a great teacher and a great course there is a responsibility that comes with learning. And you need to know that so you can take charge of your own learning.
Motivation is simply the ability of the student to see the value of what they’re learning.
So, ask yourself: What am I going to get out of this course/ class/ English programme? How is my life going to change when I speak English fluently? How will it be beneficial for me? And most importantly: What are my priorities?
As teachers, our job is to help our students to know those answers and to reassure them that the outcome is worth the effort. Let’s go on and don’t give up.

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How Long Will it Take For Me to Learn English?

How Long Will it Take For Me to Learn English-Everyone knows that practice makes perfect.

My goal in life is having my students achieve that perfection in English. The way they get there is what intrigues me: What’s the best way? How to keep them engaged throughout the whole process? I want them to improve faster and make it easier. But unfortunately I haven’t yet found that shortcut, that shorter road to learning. Apparently, learning English takes time. Continue reading

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3 Amazing YouTube Channels to Learn English

No.09I know you are always interested in improving your English. So, have you tried learning English on YouTube? Sounds too informal?  YouTube isn’t just about cats and silly videos anymore! Actually, there are thousands of free YouTube videos to help you improve your English.
So, here’s a list of 3 amazing YouTube channels to improve your English:

James the teacher offers great lessons the fast and crazy way, but if you watch, you will learn!
BBC Learnign English. This one has great grammar, drama, news, study, pronunciation, vocabulary, music, interviews, and much more!
The Daily English Show. This is the world’s first and only daily online English language show. Very nice!

I love variety, so here’s one more that don’t necessarily teach you English but will be a lot of fun and of course good practice, too! Check out Tommy Edison’s Channel. Tommy has been blind since birth and in his channel he answers the most common questions about being blind. Soooo interesting!!! Check it out!

I hope these are helpful and add some variety to your English Language learning. Let’s keep practicing!!!

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Dear teacher: This is the question you’re NOT asking your students.

This is the question you're NOT asking your students.Recently I was watching a video from one of my favorite authors. The video introduced a unique way to think about a problem and how to solve it. It was basically about how we approach problem-solving and how we need to look at a problem differently by asking ourselves a different question. This means we stand from a different perspective that will allow us to look at the problem more deeply.

I think one of the typical problems a teacher has is actually why our students don’t get the breakthrough they are expecting or why some of them don’t seem to be motivated in class and therefore seem far away from their goals.

So I tried to ask myself a different question and then it came to me.

I have never, ever, asked my students what they LIKE to do in class, I’ve never asked them -directly – what motivates them.

It may sound silly but I go to class, having prepared before, I give my best energy, carefully select the materials and focus on the outcome, and I somehow get an idea of my students’ level of satisfaction by the look on their faces. Although it is actually embarrassing to admit this, I also have to say that I don’t remember any teacher asking ME what I liked to do in class. I don’t know why!

I mean, how can we raise our students’ level of motivation if we never make them part of the process? How do we expect them to partner with us in the success of the English language program we’re providing?

Asking this question may require a higher level of commitment. I may need to change the program, I may need to talk to the program director or to Human Resources department in order to make some changes to the original plan, it may mean getting uncomfortable. But I think it will be worth it, don’t you? Have you ever asked this question to your students?

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This is Why One-to-One Lessons are the Best Option for You

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one-to-one lessons

Learning English implies a degree of determination. Many systems and methodologies offer to be flexible in schedule and content, but you still need to show up to class and you still need to do your part. Learning doesn’t just happen by accident. It can also be difficult knowing which kind of course to choose. Is it better to go to an institute and receiving group lessons? What about getting private lessons?

I have been teaching private lessons for about 15 years and I have seen how advantageous the private teaching system can be.

One of the objections that students have about taking private lessons is pricing. Private lessons are often more expensive than group classes if you look at a monthly fee. However, I think that we’re talking about value for money because private lessons can offer you better results for your investment.

Here are some of the many benefits:

  1. The teacher can focus on your very unique abilities, your strengths, and the areas you specifically need to work on.
  2. As a result of having your tutor focus on your strengths and unique style of learning, your English may improve faster than if you study in a group.
  3. You can participate in the choosing of lesson topics and subjects with your teacher, and study things that YOU find interesting.
  4. If you need English for a specific job or situation at work (Exam, presentation, Job Interview) your private teacher can focus on that area alone.
  5. You can ask the teacher for as much correction and explanations as you want without worrying about the other students in the class.
  6. You can go at your own pace – if it’s too fast or complicated, you can slow down! And if it is too easy, you can always have your teacher make the class for challenging.
  7. You can bring your own materials into class, like emails, projects you need to present, work documents and manuals. Your teacher can prepare tailor-made lessons for you using these materials.
  8. There are often fewer distractions in class, and private lessons are often more intensive. This makes the learning process faster and more effective.
  9. The rate of absenteeism is lower. How many times you’ve invested in a system that didn’t work for you? Most of methods and systems to learn English do work, but failing to consistently do it is what prevents the student from achieving goals. Since your private teacher goes to your office or home, you will be less likely to lose classes and therefore it will be more effective.

However, there is one disadvantage of having only private lessons, which is that you don’t get the chance to speak and practice your English with other people, and there is no group interaction. I thought about this when I realized some students would get used to speaking English only with their teacher, but not outside the class. On this recent post, I describe what I did to help my students overcome that challenge.

But in the end, whatever you decide to choose, make sure you make that decision now; it will be one of the best investments for your career and your future.

Looking for a great system of private lessons? Get more info here

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Here’s 3 Things You can Do to Better Prepare for the TOEFL Test

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Succeeding in TOEFL depends on several factors, including the preparation, practice and commitment, among others. In addition learn certain techniques for solving the exam tasks, it is important that the answers you give during the test (especially for the section Speaking & Writing) are rich in content. Many times we speak fluently but our arguments are too weak or maybe the ideas exposed have no substance.

To prepare better, be consistent and work on these points:

Practice making mind maps before writing. Focus on the subject and then explore content options such as: advantages and disadvantages, arguments for and against, the issue from another angle, etc. A mind map will help you organize your ideas. Read here a good article on mind-mapping.

In this example, this “brainstorming” on a mind map shows us how to organize ideas in order to give structure to our writing.

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Practice the Speaking section by recording your answers. Something that many students find difficult is the speech in the Speaking Section. It is a 45-second speech that is developed based on a certain topic. Sometimes it is difficult to complete a response that has consistency and is accurate to finish within the time limit. Practice developing the theme and record your speech giving yourself no more than 45 seconds. But before you try this, you must have the arguments to support your answer. And there’s the detail, you need to be consistent with your arguments. Follow this short process:

  1. Consider a topic that you can discuss. Here’s a list of speaking themes you can choose from.
  2. Prepare three points you want to develop on the subject (details or reasons for your answer).
  3. Record your answer, listen and evaluate how well it sounds.
  4. Record yourself again (on the same subject) and see if it sounds better.

Be filled with interesting content. If you can’t give strong arguments in your writing and speaking it’s probably because you lack information or the ability to see things from different angles. This can be fixed by having input of interesting and valuable content, such as podcasts on science and technology, podcasts about business, marketing and leadership or some podcasts on education. Listen to them while driving, while you work or perhaps while waiting for an appointment.

Finally, I recommend you enjoy all this practice, learning is interesting and once you’re committed and adopt these habits as part of your preparation, everything becomes easier.

Looking for a good TOEFL preparation? If you need to get outstanding results in the TOEFL exam, and prefer private and tailor-made classes, request more information here.

TOEFL prep

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