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Public speaking: chunking your language

Recently I’ve been reminded of an exercise from ‘Presenting in English’ by Mark Powell. An oldie but a goodie, this ‘chunking’ exercise illustrates to trainees how to incorporate effective pauses and place varying degrees of emphasis on keywords in presentations. This kind of exercises helps people be more successful in public speaking and raises their awareness of the power we have as pubic speakers to use words, pauses and emphasis consciously to persuade our audiences of our argument and generate interest in our products and services.

 

Basic text (slightly adapted from the original)

The world’s most popular drink is water. You probably knew that already. After all, it’s the basic requirement of life on earth. But did you know that the world’s second most popular drink is coke? And that the human race drinks six hundred million Cokes a day? Now, let me put that into some kind of perspective. It means that every week of every year people drink enough Coke to fill the Empire State Building.  In fact, if all the Coca-Cola ever consumed was poured over the Niagara Falls instead of water, it would take nearly two days to run dry. There’s almost nowhere on the planet from Miami to Malawi, where the word Coke isn’t instantly recognised. The brand name alone is worth thirty billion dollars. And that’s what makes Coke a global marketing phenomenon.

 

Chunked text (slightly adapted from the original)

The world’s most popular DRINK

is WATER.

You probably knew that ALREADY.

After all,

it’s the basic requirement of life on EARTH.

But did you KNOW

that the world’s SECOND        most popular drink

is COKE?

And that the human race drinks

six     hundred    million     Cokes a DAY?

Now, let me put that into some kind of PERSPECTIVE.

It means

that EVERY   WEEK

of EVERY YEAR

people drink enough COKE

to fill the Empire State Building.

In FACT,

if all the Coca-Cola ever CONSUMED

was poured over the Niagara FALLS

instead of WATER,

it would take     nearly     TWO     DAYS

to run DRY.

There’s almost nowhere on the planet

from MIAMI

to MALAWI,

where the word COKE

isn’t instantly RECOGNISED.

The brand name ALONE

is worth THIRTY     BILLION     DOLLARS.

And that’s what makes COKE

a GLOBAL  MARKETING     PHENOMENON.

 

My version of this book is..

Powell, M. (1996) Presenting in English: How to give successful presentations, Heinle ETL

But there is a newer version published by Cengage Learning Inc (2012)