Presentations - Advice on Cultural Differences - Answer Sheet

Level: Intermediate

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: General

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Presentations cultural differences Answer key 
You should start the presentation at the set time, even if some people still haven’t 
arrived- 

Depends on the country 

 
If someone comes in late, my suggestion is to stop your presentation until they have sat 
down- 

Depends on the country

 

 
You should leave at least half an hour at the end of the presentation free because there 
will be lots of questions- 

Depends on the country 

 
I recommend telling people to keep all questions until the end because otherwise you 
will never finish your presentation- 

Depends on the country

 

 
It’s best to make eye contact with the audience as you speak to them- 

Generally true, 

but amount and length of eye contact and who you should make eye contact with might 
vary by country

 

 
It’s generally a good idea to pause after each section and check if everybody understood- 

Generally not needed unless the people listening have difficulty understanding the 
language used or complicated ideas 

 
I would advise you to tell as many jokes as possible to keep people interested- 

Depends 

on the country and the topic. British presentations tend to have quite a few jokes. 

 
If there is silence from the audience, I would suggest asking them if everything is okay- 

Depends on the country. 

 
When you want to show you are really getting serious, my advice would be to take off 
your jacket and roll up your shirt sleeves- 

Can depend on the country. Not usually in a 

presentation, but in some countries taking off your jacket and rolling up your shirt 
sleeves shows that you are really getting down to business, but in other countries it 
would be understood that you are relaxing too much.

 

 
If I were you, I’d finish at the set time even if there are still questions from the 
audience- 

Depends on the country, but usually not possible.

 

 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2007 

 

If I was in your place, I’d watch people’s body language carefully and be worried if 
people cross their arms- 

True in any country. 

 
Whatever you do, smile all the time- 

How much you smile depends on the culture and 

the seriousness of the topic. 

 
If you need to drink water during a presentation, make sure you pour it into a glass and 
don’t drink it out of the plastic bottle- 

Generally a good idea for any country, but how 

rude drinking out of the bottle is depends on the country.

 

 
You’d better wear bright colours to get everyone’s attention.- 

Generally not suitable for a 

business presentation, but what colours are suitable for business clothes varies by 
country 

 
If it was me I’d sit on the edge of a desk to show your “relaxed but attentive” attitude.- 

Generally not a good idea, but possible in some countries in a more informal 
presentation. 

 
If I were in your position, I’d chat with people as they come into the room before your 
presentation starts.- 

Generally a good idea, but can depend on the country.

 

 
You ought to spend a lot of time preparing the visuals for your presentation.- 

How many 

and what kind of visuals are suitable for a presentation can vary by culture, but 
generally visuals are becoming more important nowadays 

 
If someone in the audience closes their eyes when they are listening, you should assume 
that they are asleep.- 

In some cultures it could just mean they are listening carefully

 

 
Have you thought about asking particular people to ask you a question? That’s what I 
would do to get the Q and A session started.- 

In some cultures this may embarrass the 

person who is picked on 

 
Why don’t you give the presenter a round of applause when they finish the 
presentation? In my opinion, it’s the most polite thing to do. 
 
You could try writing all measurements in metres and feet so that everyone in the 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2007 

 

audience can understand.- 

In a mixed audience this might be a good idea.

 

 
Make sure you aim your talk at the most important person in the room.- 

How much you 

should aim your attention at the most important person or spread it evenly around the 
room can depend on the culture 

 
One idea is to write your presentation out in full and then just read it out to your 
audience- 

This is always a bad idea, but in some countries people do still present like 

this sometimes

 

 
 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2007