Describe a seminar or a speech that you have attended

IELTS Cue Card Topic Question Part 2 Speaking Test

Describe a seminar or a speech that you have attended.

You should say:
  • What kind of seminar/speech was it?
  • Where was the seminar/speech held and who was the speaker?
  • Was it helpful for you in some way?

IELTS Speaking | A seminar or speech you attended

About six months ago I attended a seminar held by a company here in the university. The purpose of the seminar was to present and discuss the opportunities for postgraduate study in Australia.

This was something I had been considering for a while so I decided to go, with a friend of mine, and find out more about what was on offer and what would be involved if I did finally decide to study my master’s degree in Australia. The seminar was held in an auditorium here at the university, on a Thursday evening, and lasted for around two hours in total.

The main speaker was a representative of an educational agency which deals with students who want to follow postgraduate courses in Australia. She outlined the various steps required to be approved and also some discussed some of the academic areas which were popular for foreign students and she also presented some information about long term career opportunities in Australia and the highly skilled jobs for which there was a shortage of candidates at the moment.

I found the seminar extremely interesting because it actually answered many of the questions I had at the back of mind and addressed several points I had been considering previously, so all in all it was very informative and helpful.

In fact, now I’m almost certain that Australia is where I want to pursue my postgraduate course in the future – that’ll be in two years from now, so it gives me time to organize everything.

That’s really what set me on the road to doing IELTS this year, because obviously that is one of the requirements for acceptance in almost all universities in Australia.

Possible follow up questions

Why do people get nervous when they speak in public?

Quite possibly because it’s something they don’t do very often, or it might even be the first time they are doing it. It’s one of those things that the more you do the better at doing it you become – but the first couple of times can be nerve-racking if you’re not used to standing up and talking in front of people.

However, if you do it regularly, it’s surprising just how quickly you can begin to feel comfortable speaking in public in front of people you don’t know. Like anything really, practice makes perfect, and you soon learn lots of little tricks and things to help you deal with any nerves, or unforeseen circumstances.

How can they improve their public speaking skills?

So, one of the easiest ways to become better at speaking in public is to practice. Now, clearly it’s not that easy to find a large group of people to speak to whenever you want to practice, but there are still a lot of things you can do to improve your performance, without needing an audience.

For example, it’s important to be able to look at your audience when speaking so practicing reading your notes while speaking and moving your head from one side of the room to the other so you can make eye contact with audience members while speaking is a simple technique to practice until it becomes natural.

Another tip would be to record yourself speaking – this can be very effective because most people have no idea what they really sound like when they speak. So it’s a good way to evaluate and analyse yourself in private and try and improve anything you don’t like about the way you speak.

Along the same lines, you could video yourself delivering one of your speeches to get a better idea of how an audience sees you. And then, obviously you need to actually speak to groups of people as if you were delivering a real speech. Even asking a couple of friends to sit and critique your performance can help you become better, more polished, and feel more comfortable and confident when speaking in public.

IELTS Speaking Tips

  • Never memorize a sample answer. Use them for ideas, expressions, phrases, etc. but IELTS examiners are trained to identify memorized speech - so don't do it!
  • Always try to think of at least one example and some reasons before you begin speaking - it's much easier and it only takes a second or two

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