Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

06 Ending a Presentation

访问量:
SCRIPTS

Meeting A - Formal Meeting

Chris: Using all of the information that Ms. Graff has just presented as a starting point, my product development team has been trying to enhance our product to include more of customer’s desired features. Our specific proposals were described in detail in the memo that was circulated last week, so I see no reason to cover them in depth at this point in time. However, we do need to open a dialogue about which changes we’re going to implement, and a timeline for doing so. So, as our presentation concludes, I want to repeat the key points. First, our market share is showing a downward trend. Second, our marketing campaign isn’t appropriate for our target audience. Third, many key features are missing from our product. Our recommendations are to revamp our marketing campaign and redesign our product. We are facing some serious problems, and we need your input in order to deal with them as quickly as possible. Without further ado, I’d like to open the floor for discussion. Shawn will be our moderator.

Meeting B - Informal Meeting

Chris: Our product development team has been busy trying to synthesize all the data that Hannah has just presented in order to create a better product for our customers. We sent out a memo last week that described our specific ideas, and based on all the signatures on the routing slip, it looks like most of you have already seen it, so I won’t repeat everything. In a minute, we’re going to ask you to help us brainstorm even more ideas. Before you get your creative juices flowing, let’s just briefly recap the main points of this presentation. Our market share has taken a beating and we’re missing the mark with our marketing and our product. To tackle these problems, we recommend creating a better marketing campaign and creating a new version of our product. We’re asking for your best ideas during the discussion. Shawn, will you take the helm?

GLOSSARY

Meeting A - Formal Meeting

starting point – the place where someone begins something; the information that one uses to begin something
* When Haydn was trying to decide which university to go to, his starting point was that it had to have a good physics program and a swim team.

proposal – one’s suggestion or idea about what should be done, how, and when
* When the research scientist wanted to build a new laboratory on campus, she had to submit a proposal to the university president for his approval.

memo / memorandum – a short written message in business, usually to share information in an office
* The top of a memo usually lists the name of the person it’s going to, the name of the person who wrote it, the date, and the subject.

to circulate – to move from one place to another; to pass from one person to another so that information is shared
* Lots of funny jokes circulate through email as friends send them to each other.

in depth – in detail; with a lot of detail
* Dr. Ringold plans to read the report in depth before making a decision at tomorrow’s meeting.

at this point in time – now; right now; at this moment; at the present time
* At this point in time, we still don’t know how many people were killed by the storm.

to open a dialogue – to begin to talk about something; to start a discussion
* Martin Luther King Jr. opened a dialogue in the United States about the relationship between the different races in this country.

to implement – to put something into action; to take a plan or idea and to make it happen
* The bank is going to implement its new policies beginning in March.

timeline – a plan showing when someone will do something over a period of time
* This timeline shows that they’ll begin building the hospital next week, but it won’t be finished for almost three years.

key point – main idea; most important idea
* The key points in the president’s speech was that we’ll be closing down one of the offices by the end of the year and we’ll have new management.

trend – something that changes in one direction over time; a general way that something is changing or developing over time
* There is an upward trend in the price of new homes in this area.

to face – to deal with; to confront; to have to address
* Mr. DeFazio faces problems at home and at work: his wife wants a divorce and his boss isn’t satisfied with his work.

input – one’s ideas, opinions, and suggestions about something, especially a project or idea
* Mariah’s input on the report was very helpful because she helped us make the writing more direct and easier to understand.

to deal with – to handle; to manage; to answer; to address
* How can we deal with the high prices of gasoline?

without further ado – without any more delay; without waiting any longer
* You have all heard about our exciting new product. Now, without further ado, here is the item that will change the way companies do business.

to open the floor – to allow anyone in the room to speak; to invite comments from other people
* When the president opened the floor for discussion during the meeting last week, all of the employees began talking at the same time.

moderator – a person who guides a discussion and decides who may speak
* Without a good moderator, many meetings become discussions between only two or three people instead of the whole group.

Meeting B - Informal Meeting

to synthesize – to understand information from many different sources; to put together and understand a lot of information
* Ms. O’Conner is very good at synthesizing complex information and explaining it to other people.

routing slip – a small piece of paper with the names of everyone in an office that people sign to show that they have read a document, then they pass the
document and routing slip to the next person on the list
* Please don’t forget to add the new employee’s name to the office routing slips.

in a minute – soon; very soon; in a little while
* Could you please turn on the TV? My favorite show is going to start in a minute.

to brainstorm – to make a long list of ideas, usually in a group with other people
* Jim, Phil, and Hal are in the other room brainstorming names for their band.

to get (one’s) creative juices flowing – to begin thinking creatively
* Some people like to get their creative juices flowing by listening to music while they work.

to recap – to review; to summarize
* At the end of the presentation, don’t forget to recap your main ideas to help people remember them.

to take a beating – to be hurt; to be damaged; to be defeated; to lose a lot of money
* Their house took a beating during last week’s storm.

to miss the mark – to not be effective; to do the wrong thing for a specific purpose; to fail to reach a certain point or level
* The company missed the mark when it tried to sell rap music CDs to people over 80 years old.

to tackle – to fight against something; to work on something with a lot of effort
* Let’s tackle the mess in this house one room at a time.

to take the helm – to lead something; to run a meeting
* When Ms. Hagstrom took the helm last year, the company began making more money.

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to ESLPod.com's “Business Meetings" course: lesson six. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational
Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In the fifth lesson of “Business Meetings,” we learned business vocabulary for giving presentations and talking about visuals at formal and informal business meetings. In this sixth lesson, we're going to learn how to end a presentation.

Let's listen to Chris as he ends his presentation at the formal meeting.

[start of formal meeting script]

Chris: Using all of the information that Ms. Graff has just presented as a starting point, my product development team has been trying to enhance our product to include more of customer’s desired features. Our specific proposals were described in detail in the memo that was circulated last week, so I see no reason to cover them in depth at this point in time. However, we do need to open a dialogue about which changes we’re going to implement, and a timeline for doing so. So, as our presentation concludes, I want to repeat the key points. First, our market share is showing a downward trend. Second, our marketing campaign isn’t appropriate for our target audience. Third, many key features are missing from our product. Our recommendations are to revamp our marketing campaign and redesign our product. We are facing some serious problems, and we need your input in order to deal with them as quickly as possible. Without further ado, I’d like to open the floor for discussion. Shawn will be our moderator.

[end of formal meeting script]

Chris begins by saying that he’s going to use all the information that Hannah (Ms. Graff) has presented as a starting point. A “starting point” is the place where someone begins something, or the information that one uses to begin something. If you want to lose 20 pounds (you want to go on a diet), your starting point may be how much you weigh right now. Chris's starting point is Ms. Graff’s, or Hannah's, information, meaning that he's going to continue from where her information ended.

Chris says that his product development team (the people who work on improving and making new products for the company) has been trying to enhance (enhance), or improve, the product to include more of the features, or product characteristics, that customers are looking for. He says that his specific proposals were described in detail in a memo. A “proposal” (proposal) is one’s suggestion or idea about what, how, and when something should be done. For example, when a nonprofit organization (a hospital or a school, for example) asks for money from businesses, it usually has to write a proposal to explain how the money will be spent. A “proposal” is usually a written plan about what you want
to do – what you are suggesting.

Chris's proposal is about how the product should be improved, or enhanced. A “memo” (memo), which is short for “memorandum” (memorandum), is a short written message in a company or a business, usually to share information in an office. A memo is usually written on a piece of paper. The top of a memo usually has at least four lines, with the name of the person who wrote it, the name of the person or people it was written for (the people who should read the memo), the date, and the subject of the memo (the topic of the memo).

Chris’s memo was about the team’s proposals, or ideas for improving the product. He said that the memo circulated last week. To “circulate” (circulate) means to move from one place to another, or to pass from one person to another so that the information is shared (everyone gets to see the information). To say that the memo circulated last week means it was sent to many people at the office last week.

Since everyone has seen the memo, Chris says that he sees no reason to cover his proposals in depth at this time. He says he sees no reason, meaning it is not necessary for him to cover, or to discuss, his proposals in depth. To cover something “in depth” (depth) means to discuss it with a lot of detail. You probably read the newspaper very quickly, but if you see an article (a story) that interests you, you may read it in depth (read the entire thing very closely). Chris says that he doesn’t want to cover his proposals in depth at this point in time. The expression “at this point in time” means now, or right now, at this moment. At this point in time, for example, we are about one-third of the way through the vocabulary explanations for the formal meeting; that’s where we are right now. So, Chris is saying right now, I don’t want to talk about the memo in depth because people have, or should have, already read the memo.

Chris says that we do, however, need to open a dialogue. To “open a dialogue” (dialogue – sometimes spelled dialog) is to begin to talk about something, or to start a discussion. For example, in recent years, countries have begun to open a dialogue about global climate change. Chris wants to open a dialogue, or start a conversation, about which changes the company is going to implement. To “implement” (implement) means to do something, to put something into action, to take a plan or an idea and actually do it, to make it happen; that’s to implement. We usually talk about implementing plans or strategies. In this case, Chris wants people to talk about implementing changes, or beginning to make those changes. He also wants to talk about a timeline for doing so. A “timeline” (timeline) is a plan showing when someone will do something over a period of time – a week, a month, a year. At ESLPod.com, for example, we have a timeline for making a certain number of podcasts each week. Chris is talking about a timeline, or plan, that will tell us when each change will be made.

Next Chris says that as the presentation concludes, or ends, he wants to repeat the key points. A “key (key) point” is a main idea, or one of the most important ideas. The key points of this “Business Meetings” course is that English speakers use different vocabulary for formal and informal meetings. For Chris, the key points are the main ideas that his team has been trying to communicate through the presentation. In a U.S. business setting, when you are presenting in English to U.S. business people, it is usually very important to repeat your key points as you’re ending a presentation, because this helps the audience (the people listening to your presentation) remember what you have said.

Chris’s first key point is that the market share is showing a downward trend. “Downward” (downward) means going down or descending (becoming smaller – becoming less). A “trend” (trend) is something that changes in one direction over time; it goes up or it goes down. It’s a general way that something is changing or developing over time. In this case Chris is talking about a downward trend, meaning that the market share for Vision Corp. is falling, or becoming less over time. Last year was more than this year, and next year will be less than this year; that’s a downward trend. You can also talk about an “upward (upward) trend” if something is going up. For example, there may be an upward trend in the price of a house. The price of houses is going up over time; that would be an upward trend. Chris’s second key point is that the marketing campaign isn’t appropriate for their target audience, and his third key point is that many important features, or characteristics, are missing, or are absent (are not there) in their current product.

Chris’s recommendations are to revamp, or improve, the marketing campaign and to redesign, or to design again (to plan and make again) their product. Chris says that the company is facing some serious problems. The verb “to face” (face) here means to deal with (to confront, to have to do something about, to address). Parents often face difficulties with their children; they are causing problems, for example. They have to do something about it; they have to deal with it.

Vision Corporation is facing problems with its product. Chris says that he wants and needs everyone’s input. “Input” (input) is someone’s ideas, opinions, or suggestions about something, especially something related to a project or an idea. Companies are often looking for input from their customers (information, ideas) that will help them make their product better. Chris wants the people at the meeting to give their input, or ideas and suggestions, in order to deal with the problems as quickly as possible. To “deal (deal) with” something means to handle, manage, maybe answer or address something. Some people think that the best way to deal with family members who they don’t like is to move away from them (to go to a different city). That’s one way of “dealing with,” or trying to solve the problem. When Chris says that he wants people’s input in order to deal with the problems as quickly as possible, he means that he wants people (the people at the meeting) to give their ideas for how the problems can be fixed, or
solved, as quickly as possible (as soon as possible).

Chris ends his formal presentation by saying, “Without further ado, I’d like to open the floor for discussion.” The phrase “without further (further) ado (ado)” means without any more delay, or without waiting any longer. It’s a formal expression that you normally only hear at a formal presentation: “Without further ado, let me introduce the next speaker,” or presenter. That means I’m going to do it right now. When Chris uses this phrase, it tells everyone that he is ending his presentation and it’s time to start something else – in this case, to open the floor for discussion. The expression “to open the floor” means to allow anyone in the room to speak, or to invite comments from other people. Chris is asking people to begin talking to each other, participating in a discussion. At universities, for example, the professors, or teachers, often speak for an hour and then open for the floor for questions from the students.

Finally, Chris says that Shawn will be the moderator of the discussion (moderator). The “moderator” is a person who guides, or leads a discussion and decides who is going to speak next. A moderator is helpful when you have a big group because he or she can prevent, or stop, people from speaking at the same
time, and they can make sure that everyone has an opportunity to speak if they want to.

Before we go and listen to the discussion, which is the topic of our next lesson, let’s listen to Chris ending his part of the formal presentation again, this time
when he’s speaking a little bit more quickly.

[start of formal meeting script]

Chris: Using all of the information that Ms. Graff has just presented as a starting point, my product development team has been trying to enhance our product to include more of customer’s desired features. Our specific proposals were described in detail in the memo that was circulated last week, so I see no reason to cover them in depth at this point in time. However, we do need to open a dialogue about which changes we’re going to implement, and a timeline for doing so. So, as our presentation concludes, I want to repeat the key points. First, our market share is showing a downward trend. Second, our marketing campaign isn’t appropriate for our target audience. Third, many key features are missing from our product. Our recommendations are to revamp our marketing campaign and redesign our product. We are facing some serious problems, and we need your input in order to deal with them as quickly as possible. Without further ado, I’d like to open the floor for discussion. Shawn will be our moderator.

[end of formal meeting script]

Now that you understand the formal meeting pretty well, let’s listen to how Chris ends the presentation and prepares for a – the discussion at an informal meeting.

[start of informal meeting script]

Chris: Our product development team has been busy trying to synthesize all the data that Hannah has just presented in order to create a better product for our customers. We sent out a memo last week that described our specific ideas, and based on all the signatures on the routing slip, it looks like most of you have already seen it, so I won’t repeat everything. In a minute, we’re going to ask you to help us brainstorm even more ideas. Before you get your creative juices flowing, let’s just briefly recap the main points of this presentation. Our market share has taken a beating and we’re missing the mark with our marketing and our product. To tackle these problems, we recommend creating a better marketing campaign and creating a new version of our product. We’re asking for your best ideas during the discussion. Shawn, will you take the helm?

[end of informal meeting script]

In the informal meeting, Chris begins by saying that the product development team has been busy trying to synthesize all of Hannah’s data. To “synthesize” (synthesize) means to understand a lot of information, usually from many different places, or sources. Scientists are good at synthesizing a lot of data, or information, from their experiments. Chris is saying that Hannah has presented a lot of information and that the team has been trying to understand it all and decide how to use the information to improve the product.

Chris says the team sent out, or circulated, a memo last week that described the team’s specific ideas. He says that based on all the signatures on the routing slip, it looks like most people have already seen it. A “routing (routing) slip (slip)” is a small piece of paper with the names of, for example, everyone in your department, or in your office at work. You put that slip onto a piece of paper (you staple it or clip it on), and then you give it to one of the people on the list. That person looks at it (reads it), and then signs their name on the slip, and then gives it to the next person on the routing slip. Many companies use routing slips to make sure that everyone has read important magazine articles or other company information. That way, they don’t have to make a lot of copies of the document, because they know that everyone will see the same copy. It’s also a way for the company to check (to make sure) that everyone has looked at the document. Chris sent his memo with a routing slip, and as people read the memo last week, they signed next to their names on the piece of paper (on the routing slip), so he knows that almost everyone has already read the memo.

Next, Chris says that in a minute, or very shortly, he’s going to ask people to help the team brainstorm even more ideas. The phrase “in a minute” means soon, or in a little while. If someone calls your name in another room, you might yell, or shout, “In a minute!” to let the person know that you will come to them as soon as you can, even though it may not be exactly one minute. That’s a common expression you may hear. To “brainstorm” (brainstorm) means to make a long list of ideas, usually in a group with other people. “Brainstorming” means that everyone tries to come up with an idea, and you don’t talk about the ideas right away; you write them all down, and then you talk about them. Brainstorming is a good way to get a lot of creative ideas, and then later people decide which ideas are good and which ideas are bad. So when Chris says, “In a minute, we’re going to ask you to help us brainstorm even more ideas,” he means that soon he’s going to ask the people in the room to be creative and to try to think of new ideas.

Chris then says, “Before you get your creative juices flowing, let’s just briefly recap the main points of the presentation.” To get one’s “creative juices (juices) flowing” means to begin to think creatively, to begin to think of new ideas. Some people get their creative juices flowing by playing games or reading a book. The word “juice” (juice) usually refers to something that is liquid, such as orange juice. To “flow” means to move, so getting your creative juices flowing means getting your ideas and being creative.

Chris means that he wants people to think creatively while they’re sharing ideas, but first he wants to recap the main points. To “recap” (recap) means to review or to summarize something. “Recap” is short for “recapitulate”: to review; to repeat; to summarize. As I said before, in an U.S. presentation it’s expected that you will recap, or repeat and review, your key points so that people in the audience, listening and watching, will remember them better. In your classes, when you were in school, your teacher probably recapped the main points of the
lesson before the class ended.

Chris says that the company’s market share has been taking a beating. To “beat” (beat) means to hit something hard, so to “take a beating” means to be hurt – someone else is hitting you; you’re being defeated or losing. You could be, in this case, losing a lot of money. The company is losing money; it’s taking a beating. A car, for example, takes a beating during an accident. You can invest money in the stock market, and if your stocks go down (if the price of the stocks that you bought go down), we would say you took a beating in the stock market – you lost; you were defeated. In this case, the company has taken a
beating, meaning it has been hurt because it has lost market share.

Chris says that the company is missing the mark with its marketing and its product. To “miss the mark” (mark) means not to be effective, to do the wrong thing, or to fail to reach a certain point or level. The company wants to sell its product, but its marketing is missing the mark – it’s not going where it should; they’re not reaching their target audience.

Chris says that to tackle the problems, the team recommends creating a better marketing campaign and a new version of the product. The verb “to tackle” (tackle) usually means to knock someone down. For example, in American football, one player will “tackle” another player – they will grab him and knock them down. Here, the idea of “to tackle” is related to fighting against something, or working on something with a lot of effort. A student can tackle her homework; that would mean to work hard to finish their homework. You can tackle a problem, which means to work to solve or fix a problem. To help the team tackle the problems of the company, Chris wants people to share their best ideas, or brainstorm, during the discussion. Finally, he asks Shawn to take the helm. “To take the helm” (helm) means to lead something, to run a meeting, to be in charge, to be in control. In this case, Shawn is going to lead the discussion by being the moderator. The moderator is the person that decides who’s going to speak next. The verb we use for that is “to call on.” “The moderator called on Ms. Graff to give an explanation,” he is asking her to speak.

Let’s listen to Chris one more time as he ends the presentation at an informal meeting, this time at regular speed.

[start of informal meeting script]

Chris: Our product development team has been busy trying to synthesize all the data that Hannah has just presented in order to create a better product for our customers. We sent out a memo last week that described our specific ideas, and based on all the signatures on the routing slip, it looks like most of you have already seen it, so I won’t repeat everything. In a minute, we’re going to ask you to help us brainstorm even more ideas. Before you get your creative juices flowing, let’s just briefly recap the main points of this presentation. Our market share has taken a beating and we’re missing the mark with our marketing and our product. To tackle these problems, we recommend creating a better marketing campaign and creating a new version of our product. We’re asking for your best ideas during the discussion. Shawn, will you take the helm?

[end of informal meeting script]

Now that we’ve gone through the formal and informal meetings, you should have a good idea of how to end presentations at business meetings. In our next lesson, number seven, we’re going to study the vocabulary for managing a discussion during a business meeting.

This course has been a production of the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Visit our web site at eslpod.com.

This course was produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2007.