Microphone over the Abstract blurred photo of conference hall or seminar room background

According to Ron Segura, president of Segura & Associates, more and more customers now expect their cleaning contractors to make presentations.

“It starts when they present their proposal, usually in front of key stakeholders in a conference room,” he says, “and continues as needed as long as they service the facility.”

This can cause complications for those cleaning contractors that speak English as a second language, or are not fluent in English.

Segura says this is what these contractors need to know:

•    In a globalized world, English is now the language of business. “English is required for global collaboration and global work,” says Harvard Business School Associate Professor, Tsedal Neely.

•    There are ways to make presentations clearly and comfortably, even when someone is not confident in their English.

To do so, Segura offers the following three tips:

Over-learn your presentation. 
“Too many contractors put too much time on the PowerPoint slides and not enough time in the rehearsal," says Segura. "Practice your presentation three or more times aloud until you are comfortable with how you present it.”

Your accent does not matter.
“Everyone in the U.S. has an accent," he says. "Most of us can tell immediately if someone is from Texas, Alabama, or New York. But we ignore it after a couple of minutes. If you have an accent, just realize your audience will be listening to your words, not your accent, in about two minutes.”

Slow down and pause.
People that speak English as a second language often get the most nervous and make the most mistakes when they talk too fast. Slow down. Speak slowly and carefully. Also, feel free to pause occasionally. This allows you to catch your breath and get a sip of water. Also, pausing before a critical point make that point more powerful. Every famous speaker is aware of the power of the pause.