Speaking and Listening Exam – The Conclusion
March 26, 2018
Your Speaking and Listening Exam – The Conclusion
In this blog we focus on what you should say to achieve 5+ in the Conclusion of your presentation.
Briefly summarise your case/stance, then outline outstanding issues regarding your topic; you could use this section to prompt your examiner into asking questions you’ve prepared answers for – 1 minute approx.
NB Remember, you cannot walk in and read a pre-prepared script word for word; even if you could, your tone and delivery would lack spontaneity – i.e. you’d lose marks!
A standard conclusion (one around the 4-5 mark) will do the former, i.e. summarise your point of view and outline some outstanding issues. Doing this will demonstrate the planning, preparation, and structure that have gone into your presentation – all of which are desirable.
However, if you intend to access the higher grades, you should shoot for something that sets your presentation apart. The examiner has spent the last three minutes or so listening intently to your presentation, possibly making notes on it to help them generate your feedback and questions to ask you during your discussion. Do they really need a summary repeating what you’ve said?
For the more ambitious route, here are some examples of approaches you could take.
1. Outline your stance on Brexit: If you adopt the ‘Leave’ stance, outline your vision of what post-Brexit Britain will be like. Sell it to your listener through persuasive language; channel your inner Martin Luther King; failing that, Nigel Farage!
2. Speak for or against the motion, 'Homework should be banned.’ If you speak for, outline your alternative solution, if any, to homework. Explore the benefits of this for students.
3. Talk about your favourite band/singer: Explore the meaning of your favourite song by this band/singer – why is it your favourite and how have the music/lyrics inspired you? Where do you see this band/singer going next in their career? If you could have them duet with any other band/singer, who would they be and why? etc.
Whatever you plan to say, ensure it transitions smoothly from the last point of your Main Body. Use discourse markers (e.g. overall, to conclude etc.) to inform the examiner that you are finishing your presentation.
Remember that your conclusion is likely to prompt the examiner’s first question during your discussion (assuming there is one). Anticipate questions that are likely to stem from your conclusion and practise answering these.
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