Questioning as a Presentation Skill

We find questions and answers fascinating and entertaining – politicians, reporters, celebrities and entrepreneurs are often successful based on their questioning skills – asking the right questions at the right time and also answering (or not) appropriately.

Although questions are usually verbal in nature, they can also be non-verbal.  Raising of the eyebrows could, for example, be asking, “Are you sure?” facial expressions can ask all sorts of subtle questions at different times and in different contexts.
Being an effective presenter has a lot to do with how questions are asked.  Once the purpose of the question has been established you should ask yourself a number of questions:

  • What type of question should be asked.
  • Is the question appropriate to the person/group?
  • Is this the right time to ask the question?
  • How do I expect the respondent will reply?


When actually asking questions – especially in more formal settings some of the mechanics to take into account include:
Although the following list is not exhaustive it outlines the main reasons questions are asked in common situations.

  • To Obtain Information:

The primary function of a question is to gain information – ‘What time is it?’

  • To help maintain control of a conversation

While you are asking questions you are in control of the conversation, assertive people are more likely to take control of conversations attempting to gain the information they need through questioning.

  • Express an interest in the other person

Questioning allows us to find out more about the respondent, this can be useful when attempting to build rapport and show empathy or to simply get to know the other person better.

  • To clarify a point

Questions are commonly used in communication to clarify something that the speaker has said.  Questions used as clarification are essential in reducing misunderstanding and therefore more effective communication.

  • To explore the personality and or difficulties the other person may have

Questions are used to explore the feelings, beliefs, opinions, ideas and attitudes of the person being questioned.  They can also be used to better understand problems that another person maybe experiencing – like in the example of a doctor trying to diagnose a patient.

  • To test knowledge

Questions are used in all sorts of quiz, test and exam situations to ascertain the knowledge of the respondent.  ‘What is the capital of France?’ for example.

  • To encourage further thought

Questions may be used to encourage people think about something more deeply.  Questions can be worded in such a way as to get the person to think about a topic in a new way.  ‘Why do you think Paris is the capital of France?”

  • In group situations

Questioning in group situations can be very useful for a number of reasons, to include all members of the group, to encourage more discussion of a point, to keep attention by asking questions without advance warning.  These examples can be easily related to a classroom of school children.
Most importantly remember that “It is not over till it’s over, goes the saying. And it is not over till you’ve successfully handled whatever questions may come up during or after your presentation”.

Article on BM English Speaking Institute

BM English Speaking Institute is the best English speaking Institute catering to people who are very good in their work and want to develop their English and Communication Skills. Also, enhance their confidence, public speaking, presentations, business English, email drafting and group discussion skills.

BM English Speaking Institute has been established in February 2004 by a 20 years experienced Dale Carnegie trainer Mr. Piyush Bhatia and currently it has a dedicated team of more than 15 professional trainers. BM has become the best English speaking classes in Mumbai as it has by now trained over 1,50,000  professionals in English Communication Skills

BM English Speaking Institute being the best English classes in Mumbai  has a pool of well-qualified and Professional trainers with minimum four years of training experience that assures result oriented course content to achieve fluency in English and also develops public speaking, presentation, confidence and other skills.

Some of the activities in BM includes Video Recording of Public Speaking twice a month, Audio-video training sessions and Personal attention to 8 people per batch. BM has non-stop 1 hour batches starting morning 7 am to evening 9 pm with 80 practice sessions, each of 30 minutes. It also offers with daily, Saturday/Sunday, flexible batch timings.

Our Advanced English Speaking Course covers all topics in one course – Grammar, Fluency, Public Speaking, GDs, Presentations, Attitude Development, Business English, Vocabulary, Interview Training and Email Drafting. The courses also includes extremely useful Course Material, Audio CD and Grammar book included in course cost

All training centers are situated right opposite the station. A choice of 4 locations in Thane, Andheri, Kandivali and Dadar have been provided. Participants’ performance is evaluated every 15 days. More than 10,000 people have completed our course

BM English Speaking Institute has been successful in becoming the best English speaking classes also offers flexible payment options by Cash , Cheque , Credit Card / Debit Card or Installments.

BM English Speaking Institute also organizes special training sessions conducted by Senior visiting faculties on Vision, Time & Money Management, Motivation and Personality Development. It also comes out with workshops on Business English, Presentation skills, Personality development, Interview skills and Grooming.  It also has tie-ups with leading companies like Cafe Coffee Day, Sparsh Call Center, Pantaloons, for job placements.

Modulate your Voice to create Impact!

Modulation makes meaning. A change in frequency in speaking tone provides the listener with a signal that something is happening. Voice modulation means the fine-tuning of the pitch or tone of voice that helps the audience clearly hear and understand the lecture, presentation, and speech delivered by a speaker. Modulating your voice means moving the pitch up and down. A downwards pitch adds authority to a sentence i.e. unquestioning acceptance. An upwards pitch adds interest to a sentence. It questions and provokes engagement and response.  If the voice is not modulated and the pitch kept same in the entire statement then it will sound odd at its best  and at worst dull, boring or confusing.

For e.g. :-

I was just wondering…whether you would like…maybe to come today?

Some tips you can follow :-

  • Listen to the TV presenter introducing a program or reading the news. Notice how their voice goes up and down very deliberately. They know very well what they are doing.
  • Notice also how the TV presenter moves their head and their in time with the modulation. Their body is often positioned by a table or even off-camera. They have to use just their voice and their head to convey meaning.
  • The most important three speech organs of a human being are lips, jaws and tongue. You have to exercise these three speech organs like other parts of your body. Reading loudly can help you discover the variety, power, ability as well as faults of your vocal organs. Such a regular practice will certainly help you correct and improve your voice modulation.
  • You can at times record your speech on a device, and listen to it later for any flaws. Besides, whenever you attend a meeting, event, lecture, or seminar, you should mark carefully how effective speakers vary the pitch of their voice to match the thoughts, ideas, and feelings they convey. Also, consult a dictionary not only for the meaning of a word but also for the pronunciation of the word.
  • Always convey your message with the variation in the pitch and tempo. Never deliver your speech in a monotone as it will not only bore but also send your audience to sleep.
  • Speak normally at about 125 to 150 words per minute. Check your speed and try to bring it within this range.
  • Pronounce words properly, putting stresses at the right syllables.
  • Speak loud enough so that everyone in the audience can hear you clearly.
  • Pause for a moment in between sentences to control your speed and approach better.
  • Avoid vocalized pauses and nasalization such as ‘er’, ‘ah’, ‘unh’, ‘umm’, etc.
  • Take care that you do not repeatedly use such phrases as ‘you see’, ‘I mean’, ‘What I meant,’ ‘Understand?, ‘Have you understood,’ ‘Clear?’, ‘Is it clear?’, ‘Was it clear?’, etc.
  • Avoid lazy lip movements always try to maintain a balance while speaking or delivering your lecture.

Top 10 Qualities of an Effective Trainer

An effective trainer being a facilitator is one of the most valuable assets to an organization where he belongs, as he creates value to it by providing Invaluable training and development programs – encouraging all learners and contributing to the group learning process effectively and efficiently.


An effective trainer is one who holds strong knowledge and experience in the related field. He is well informed about the topics that he needs to deliver in the class or sessions. He knows how to balance the knowledge with good teaching and presentation skills.

Beneficial teaching

His way of teaching with his particular methodologies, being designed, is so beneficial to the students that they can not only develop themselves in terms of what they need, but also can lead themselves to a level from where they can find their own ways for professional growth and development.


He shows respect for everyone and listens to the learners effectively, so that he can advise, inspire, motivate them towards learning and applying the concepts in real life situations successfully.


An effective trainer possesses relevant qualifications and required skills and capacity to train the learners in an effective and efficient manner.

Quality training

It is his quality of teaching that causes professional credibility and helps learners gain confidence in them being convinced with the methods he adopts and the way he gives lectures.


Be honest with the group you are presenting to. If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it. You can always respond with: “I’m not sure but I will check into it”. You gain the respect of the audience and establish yourself as a human being, not some kind of hero. Always, however make sure that you DO check into it and that you get back to the individual who asked the question.

Purposeful training

Have a purpose for your presentation. Share your expectations with your audience. Divide any presentation into segments and establish criteria for each segment that you attain with the group you are presenting. Ensure that the subordinate goals are reached by the audience before leaving a section to move on to the next.


A unique way of giving examples and presenting case studies while implementing particular strategies to make the students understand the whole course module successfully creates great interest in students to attend the lectures regularly, while his art of articulation motivates them to be more desirable of gaining more knowledge and understanding and insight.

Designing course curriculum

He is capable enough for designing the course curriculum or manual successfully. He gets the students completed the specific designed courses through is valuable lectures and training methods.

Motivates the participants

An effective trainer not only raises learners’ spirits to share their experiences encouraging their contribution to the group learning process, but also validates their experiences acknowledging their feelings stem from their own perspectives.

What are Vowels and their Sounds

A vowel is classified as a speech sound produced by a comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction.

The letters A, E, I, O, and U are called vowels. The other letters in the alphabet are called consonants.

A vowel sound (but not necessarily a vowel in the actual spelling) will be present in a syllable.

The letter Y can be a vowel (as in the words “cry”, “sky”, “fly” or “why”), or it can be a consonant (as in “yellow”, “yacht”, “yam” or “yesterday”).

These five or six letters stand for about 20 vowel sounds in most English accents.[1] This important fact helps to explain why pronunciation can be difficult for both native speakers and learners of English.

  • The rest of the letters of the alphabet are consonants:

B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y (sometimes), and Z

When a vowel sounds like its name, this is called a long sound. A vowel letter can also have short sounds. Whether a vowel has a long sound, a short sound, or remains silent, depends on its position in a word and the letters around it. Click on the following vowel letters to hear their long and short sounds.

a pronounced in the alphabet as ay (as in the word mate)

e pronounced in the alphabet as ee (as in the word edict)
i pronounced in the alphabet as ei (as in the word life)
o pronounced in the alpbabet as oh (as in the word only)
u pronounced in the alphabet as yu (as in the word union)

y pronounced in the alphabet as why is usually considered to be a consonant (as in yet). But it also is used as a vowel (as in merry), and then functions as a letter i.

The vowel a may be pronounced:

1. a as in apple (short a)
2. a as in father (long a)
3. ay as in mate (peculiarly English a)
4. as a schwa*.

5. “e” as in many.

6. “aw” as in mall.
7. “o” as in alter.

8. “eh” as in Mary.


The vowel e may be pronounced:

1. e as in get (short e)
2. e as in beta ["bay-ta"] (long e)
3. ee as in edict (peculiarly English e)
4. as a schwa*.

5. “uh” as in mercy.

6. or it may be silent as in life.


The vowel i may be pronounced:
1. i as in pit (short i)
2. i as in machine (long i)
3. ei as in life (peculiarly English i)
4. as a schwa”


The vowel o may be pronounced:
1. o as in font (short o)
2. oh as in only (long o)
3. “uh” as in some.

4. as a schwa*


The vowel u may be pronounced:
1. u as in full (short u)
2. u as in brute (long u)
3. yu as in union (peculiarly English u)
4. “uh” as in cup

Know the Perfect Handshake!

Firmness of handshake is not the reliable indicator of firmness of character that many believe it to be. Firm handshakes tend to be those of confident people, especially those who have spent some time in business, and who realise that most people in business consider a firm handshake to be a good thing. A proper handshake should last from 3 to 6 seconds, be equally balanced meaning each persons hand is vertically side by side, thumbs must be locked around each others upper hand and fingers have a firm grip.

There are many types of handshakes you will come across every day, here are a few:

Hand Hug: The hand hug is perceived as being warm, friendly,  trustworthy and honest, and sometimes this handshake is reciprocated creating a pile of 4 hands.  However, this type of handshake is only done genuinely with people who share close bonds, as similar to hugs, this handshake is seen as an invasion of intimacy when done by people who have just met.

Dominator: Someone who likes to shake hands while their hand is on top and their palm is facing the ground. This handshake may come handy in certain situations like letting your boss feel powerful by ‘submitting’ to his dominance, or if you are apologizing about something, letting someone have their palm on top will make them feel in control of the situation.

Cold and Clammy: This handshake is where the person shaking your hand has a cold sweaty hand. This handshake can be found in nervous people with weak characters or a lack of energy used by passive or apathetic people.

Crusher: The overly aggressive personality handshake displays  confidence and power.  This is the handshake that makes your knuckles grind each other when shaking, and leaves your hand in numbing pain afterwards so that you dread the moment you have to shake their hand goodbye again.

Queens Fingertips:  This is quite common in male-female encounters.  As women need more personal space than men, they will stretch out their hand from a distance allowing the other person to barely grasp the two or three fingers without a good grip of the hand.  It is also used by individuals who feel superior to the other person, e.g: The Queen, therefore stretching out their hands with their palms downwards (a sign of authority/superiority) and only allowing a hold of the fingers.

Keep Back:  Another type of handshake used by aggressive types.  The main purpose of this handshake is to keep you at a distance and away from the persons personal space as they may feel threatened.

Yank and Pull:  This handshake is considered a power play, as it’s when a person decides to grab your arm and pull you in close towards them and inside their territory/personal space.


What are Pronouns?

Neha has to study in order for Neha to get the job that Neha wants.

 A pronoun is a word that takes the place of or refers to a noun. You may recall that a noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. To cut down on repetitiveness, I can change my original sentence to:Neha has to study in order for her to get the job that she wants.

In this sentence, the word ‘Neha’ is a noun, and the words ‘her’ and ‘she’ are pronouns that replace that noun. There are several different types of pronouns. One type of pronoun is a personal pronoun that takes the place of a particular person or thing. In this lesson, we’ll focus on two categories of personal pronouns.

There four types of pronoun

1. Personal Pronoun

2. Possessive Pronoun

3. Reflexive Pronoun

4. Demonstrative Pronoun


Personal Pronouns

Personal pronoun describes a particular person or thing or group.

Personal pronoun describes the person speaking (I, me, we, us), the person spoken to (you), or the person or thing spoken about (he, she, it, they, him, her, them).


He helps poor.

The pronoun “he” in above sentence describes a person who helps poor.


She is intelligent

They are playing chess.

He sent me a letter.

It is raining.

We love our country.

The teacher appreciated them.

I met him yesterday.

He gave her a gift.

Did you go to home?


Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Pronoun indicates close possession or ownership or relationship of a thing/person to another thing/person.

e.g. yours, mine, his,  hers, ours, theirs, hers,


This book is mine.

The pronoun “mine” describes the relationship between book and a person (me) who possesses this book or who is the owner of this book.


That car is hers.

Your book is old. Mine is new.

The pen on the table is mine.

The smallest cup is yours.

The voice is hers.

The car is ours not theirs.

I have lost my camera. May I use yours?

They received your letter. Did you received theirs.


Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronoun describes noun when subject’s action affects the subject itself.

e.g himself, yourself, herself, ourselves, themselves, itself  are reflexive pronouns.

Reflexive pronouns always act as objects not subjects, and they require an interaction between the subject and an object.


I looked at myself in the mirror.

You should think about yourself.

They prepared themselves for completion.

She pleases herself by think that she will win the prize.

He bought a car for himself.

He locked himself in the room.

He who loves only himself is a selfish.


Demonstrative Pronouns.

Demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that points to a thing or things.

e.g. this, that, these, those, none, neither

These pronouns point to thing or things in short distance/time or long distance/time.

Short distance or time: This, these.

Long distance or time: That, those.

Demonstrative pronouns “this and that” are used for singular thing while “these or those” are used for plural things.



This is black.

That is heavy.

Can you see these?

Those look attractive.

What is a Proverb?

A proverb is a simple and concrete saying and is popularly defined as short expressions, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience.

Few examples are:-

A good mind possesses a kingdom.

  • Meaning: Material assets are fleeting, but intellectual assets will basically stay with you for the rest of your life. Therefore, intellectual assets are much more worth than material ones.

Advisers run no risks.

  • Meaning: It is easy to give advice, but hard to act.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

  • You don’t lose anything by enlightening others.


Proverbs are wise sayings in a language based on the practical experiences of different kinds. They can mostly be used independently to explain a situation in very few words.
Here are some common proverbs used in English which you can also use in your day to day talks to cut the long talk short and still convey it with same conviction.


1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder – Our love for the loved ones grows more with the distance.
The two brothers deeply wish to meet as they haven’t seen each other since 10 years. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

2. Accidents will happen in the best regulated families – Unforeseen can happen with anybody.
You need to be extremely cautious with electricity – The accidents will happen in the best regulated families.

3. Actions speak louder than words – What people do shows more about them than what they just say.
Hearing about her friend’s illness, she directly reached the hospital with a cheque of 50,000 /-. Her concern was evident – after all, actions speak louder than words.

4. Appearances are deceptive – Internal truth of a person is usually different from what is visible outside.
You should not believe strangers immediately. Appearances can be deceptive.

5. Never judge by appearances – Don’t use looks as the criteria to assess someone.
I saw the CEO of a big blue chip company hanging out with his friends at a local market in casual attire. Its true that you can’t judge someone by their appearance.

6. An apple a day keeps the doctor away – An apple eaten everyday keeps you in good health.
My father has always stayed in a good health with his habit of eating an apple everyday. For him, An apple a day keeps the doctor away has worked well.

7. Art is long, life is short. – Life is too short to learn all the art in this world.
She always complained of getting bored. I advised her to learn some music or painting. After all, Art is long, life is short.

8. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours – If you help me, I’ll help you.
America is pushing the Indian government for FDI in retail. Indian government will get the foreign currency while America gets a big market for its goods. The principle is simple – You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

9. Beauty is only skin deep – Never judge by appearance – A good looking woman may not necessarily be good by character.
My daughter-in-law is very beautiful but very cunning – Beauty is only skin deep.

Technical Tips for Emails

An email is a form of non-verbal communication so feelings and expressions of verbal communication can be conveyed only through the use of right words and phrases. There are few tips that needs to be followed when you write an email:-

1.)   Subject: A well-chosen subject line is an important opportunity to inform and persuade your reader. If you don’t include a subject line, then your recipient should need in order to make your message a top priority just by seeing your name. That could come across as arrogant, or at the very least, thoughtless.

2.)    Proofread – Proofread your email before you hit the send icon. All-caps comes across as shouting, and no-caps makes you look like a lazy teenager. Regardless of your intention, people will respond accordingly. Spellings are equally important to be correct. Avoid writing these ways:-

-        “thx 4 ur help 2day ur gr8!″

-       u want ur prof r ur boss 2 think u cant spl? LOL ;-)

3.)   Avoid attachments – Rather than forcing you reader to download an attachment and open it in a separate program, you will probably get faster results if you just copy-paste the most important part of the document into the body of your message.

4.)   Examine the problem from every point of view – I know, I know, this is about as obvious as it gets. But you’d be surprised at the number of times customers call technical support and the guys at the other end just refuse to listen.

5.)   Try the solution out yourself – When you are typing a reply, don’t validate the solution because you tried it out in the past  or someone from your team explained it to you. Do it yourself, and see the result with your own eyes and confirm that it’s working before you hit that send button. Even the slightest missteps can, after all, turn a satisfied customer into an irate one.

6.)   Put yourself in their shoes – Every customer you speak to has a genuine problem. To them, the littlest of glitches could mean a critical issue that can cause bottlenecks. It is not okay for you to take them lightly just because the fix is already on the way.

7.)   Check for grammatical errors – While it’s impossible for you to make sure that every email is perfect you need to at least try. Make it a point to go through every reply at least once before sending it. If you don’t trust yourself to spot all the errors, trust in a tool like  the Spell check in MS Word that can point out all the errors.

Suitable Vocabularies of Emails

Unlike the other situations even emails require certain vocabularies to make the emails perfectly understandable. Some of the most important email vocabularies are:-

Common vocabularies of emails:-

to send a letter or an email

to send something by post/ mail

to email somebody

to get/ receive

to reply to

to check emails



to attach


to enclose


Email vocabularies

  • Attach – Please find the report attached/ As you can see from the attachment…
  • Best – All the best/ Best wishes/ Pass my best wishes on to John/ Best regards (In)
  • convenience – Please reply at your earliest convenience/ We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused/ Please let me know what dates are convenient for you
  • Dear – Dear Sir or Madam/ Dear Mr Case/ Dear Alex/ Dear Sirs
  • Forward – I look forward to hearing from you soon/ Please forward this to John
  • Hear – I look forward to hearing from you (soon)/ Hope to hear from you soon/ It was really nice to hear from you
  • Hi – Hi/ Hi John/ Say “Hi” to Steve from me/ Julie says “Hi”
  • In – In connection with/ In advance
  • Inform – We regret to inform you that…/ We would like to inform you that…/ If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me
  • Love – Love from/ Lots of love/ Send my love to John/ John sends his love
  • Mail – Snail mail/ I’ve sent you a hard copy in the mail
  • Note – This is just a quick note to say…/ Please note that…/ NB

Email collocations

  • Please – Please let me know if you have any questions/ If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time
  • Reference – With reference to…/ Your ref:/ Our ref:/ Reference number
  • Regards – Best regards/ Give my regards to John/ Regards
  • See – See you (soon/ then)/ It was a pleasure to see you again last week/ Hope to see you again soon
  • Sir – Dear Sir/ Dear Sir or Madam
  • Soon – I look forward to hearing from you soon/ See you soon/ Write soon
  • Sorry – Sorry it took me so long to get back to you/ Sorry not to reply sooner/ Sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote/ Sorry to write to you out of the blue
  • Text – Send a text/ Textspeak/ Text someone
  • Thanks/ Thank you – Thanks (again/ in advance)/ Thank you for your email/ quick reply/ getting back to me so quickly/ taking the time to see me yesterday
  • To – To whom it may concern/ I’m writing to you concerning…
  • Write – Write soon!/ Thanks for writing back so quickly/ I am writing to you in connection with…/ concerning…/ about…/ (in order) to…
  • Yours – Yours sincerely/ Yours faithfully/ Sincerely yours/ Yours

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