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English Conversations with Cliff LMA004, LJILJANA w CLIFF #11.1

LJILJANA w CLIFF #11.1

Today we took a trial run through your presentation for Friday. In order to simulate what that's going to be like, I pulled out the timer as soon as we got on the phone and told you your ten minutes begins now. Three, two, one, go. And you went. You spoke for the entire ten minutes and you didn't search too hard for things to say. This was very impressive on its face, but it was even more so because I know how much of a planer you are and how much you prefer to have things mapped out ahead of time. You didn't have this prepared. You spoke extemporaneously for the entire ten minutes, and you did it quite competently. The only thing that stood out during the entire presentation as a note perhaps to be corrected was at one point you said “cream of the cream.” I knew exactly what you meant, so in terms of expressing yourself, you were successful, but it was a phrase that stuck halfway in between two other phrases that English speakers, or at least Americans, use to express that sentiment. One is French, which is “creme de la creme,” and that is the French translation of “cream of the cream.” Americans don't say it in English, funny enough, they only say it in French. If they are going to use English to express that sentiment, they say “cream of the crop.” But that's a very small nitpick inside of a full ten minute presentation, so if I'm going to correct one small idiomatic expression, I think it's safe to say that you were extraordinarily successful. The only other piece of advice I can give you was to slow down a bit. I noticed that your speed picked up dramatically as soon as you knew you were on the clock. You and I have been speaking for weeks now, and the way that you speak while being timed was different from the way that you speak when we just sit down in the mornings and have our conversations. I'm not going to tell you to pretend like we are having a conversation because it just isn't going to feel the same, and I know that. So the advice that I left you with was to speak too slowly. If you think you're speaking too slowly but you are in a position of pressure like the clock put you in, then you will almost certainly be speaking much faster than you think you are, and then you will be closer to your normal rate of speed when you and I talk in the mornings. That way you'll be able to give your full presentation and not worry about running through every last bit that you have to say and still have minutes on the clock.



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LJILJANA w CLIFF #11.1

Today we took a trial run through your presentation for Friday. In order to simulate what that's going to be like, I pulled out the timer as soon as we got on the phone and told you your ten minutes begins now. Three, two, one, go. And you went. You spoke for the entire ten minutes and you didn't search too hard for things to say. This was very impressive on its face, but it was even more so because I know how much of a planer you are and how much you prefer to have things mapped out ahead of time. You didn't have this prepared. You spoke extemporaneously for the entire ten minutes, and you did it quite competently. The only thing that stood out during the entire presentation as a note perhaps to be corrected was at one point you said “cream of the cream.” I knew exactly what you meant, so in terms of expressing yourself, you were successful, but it was a phrase that stuck halfway in between two other phrases that English speakers, or at least Americans, use to express that sentiment. One is French, which is “creme de la creme,” and that is the French translation of “cream of the cream.” Americans don't say it in English, funny enough, they only say it in French. If they are going to use English to express that sentiment, they say “cream of the crop.”  But that's a very small nitpick inside of a full ten minute presentation, so if I'm going to correct one small idiomatic expression, I think it's safe to say that you were extraordinarily successful. The only other piece of advice I can give you was to slow down a bit. I noticed that your speed picked up dramatically as soon as you knew you were on the clock. You and I have been speaking for weeks now, and the way that you speak while being timed was different from the way that you speak when we just sit down in the mornings and have our conversations. I'm not going to tell you to pretend like we are having a conversation because it just isn't going to feel the same, and I know that. So the advice that I left you with was to speak too slowly. If you think you're speaking too slowly but you are in a position of pressure like the clock put you in, then you will almost certainly be speaking much faster than you think you are, and then you will be closer to your normal rate of speed when you and I talk in the mornings. That way you'll be able to give your full presentation and not worry about running through every last bit that you have to say and still have minutes on the clock.

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