Key Words and Phrases For Any Presentation – Talking in Public

Key Words and Phrases For Any Presentation

Key WordsWe all know that words have power – we need them to work for us when we are making a speech or presentation.

How often have you been in an audience and felt a different reaction to others that have attended the same function? Its in the words and how we react to them (obviously).

There are some key words and phrases that I have talked about briefly in other posts – today I am going to focus on a few that can be either helpful or harmful to your speech – the same words/phrases used to strengthen your presentation or weaken its effect, or worse still, have your audience not remember the points you want.


The words –



What happens when we hear these words is that we remember the important message as what is said after them. For example “I enjoy travel but I like being home”. Whilst we have an impression of the first part of the sentence, what our mind tells us is the important part is the information after “but”. So you could turn it around to say “I like being home but I enjoy travel”. It leaves a different impression doesn’t it? Exactly the same words, just using the connector word “but” to give us the result we want from the sentence.

Try a few sentences for yourself and write down your immediate reactions. It will help when you are writing your speech or presentation to keep these reactions and sentence structure in mind.

What else should you be mindful of when using common words and phrases?

Trigger words, most commonly in questions, can help you to engage your audience. There are favourites, of course – who, why, what, when, where, how.

  • Why is this?
  • Who wants this?
  • How does this happen?
  • When will this occur?
  • Where is the reasoning behind this argument?
  • What can we do?


You can also ask the audience to take ownership of the information you are presenting. Using the question which begins

  • “Did you know” or
  • “Do you realize”

engages them individually with the information you are providing.

By thinking about these key words and phrases when you are preparing your presentation, you will maintain some control over the audience engagement during your presentation as well as providing a platform for them to react to your information in the way you would prefer.


In the next post I am going to answer some queries that I have received lately about thinking on your feet.