Continuing this series on WordPress.  I hope readers find these useful. Feel free to use as you wish.

Tip 38


* “What your shape is?” should be “what is your shape?”. Order of words is important and in English tends to run differently to the way it happens with language usage in some other parts of the world.

* “You forgot what l say” should have been ” you forgot what I said.”

* “It is no your turn” should have been ” it is not your turn”. This was one of the occasions when you did not add the necessary consonant to, the end of the word.

* “Please come to stand up ” should have been “please come and stand up”. It can be easy to substitute words and in this case “to” slipped into where “and” should have been placed in your speech.

Tip 39


As a presenter, particularly if you have been given preparation time, know your subject. If you don’t know your subject, then it will become patently clear to the audience that your knowledge is stretched. Restlessness, figitiness , looking uncomfortable, visible sweating and other visible manifestations will become giveaways. Eye blinking and throat clearing might become part of the reaction all too visible to the listening group.

‘Subject stretch’ will bring out uncharacteristic ‘ahs’, ‘ums’, ‘you knows’ and so on in an altogether uncharacteristic manner.

There is a lot to be said for being prepared


I hope people may be finding these useful.

Tip 36


* “Andrew fix him up”: Should be “Andrew, please fix it up.”

* “You staying back for five minutes.”: Should be “You will be staying back for five minutes.”

* “Tell something about what you learned.”: Should be “Tell me (or us) something about what you have learned.”

* “Today the last one.” : Should be “Today is the last one.”

* “Are you talking something about your story?” You should have said “Are you talking about your story?”( The word ‘something’ was not needed.

* “Please come to sit on the floor” should be “Please come and sit on the floor.”

Tip 37


* The shape is “rhombus ” not “rhombos” -pronunciation.

* “Depth” not “depf” -pronunciation and substitution of “f” for “th” in word usage.

* “You like this song?” should be “Do you like this song?”. Always use “do” as an upfront word when asking a question of this nature.

* “Carbor box” should have been “cardboard box”.

* “Pu your hands up” is “put your hands up”. Always use “please” when asking this of children because that is modeling the manners we want of them.

* “Look at here” should be “Look up here”. Again the use “please” at the front of a request is important.


Please read and consider. Always happy to know what people think of the points offered.


Tip 34



More things to watch:

* ” One group, two group” should be “one group, two groups”.

* “How many groups are need?” should be “How many groups do we need”

* “You can do it” (statement) should be “Can you do it?” (question) when asking children if they are up to a particular challenge.

* “Do amount” should be “Do the amount” …. of work.

* “I am looking for people who is working.” Should be “I am looking for people who are working.”

* “Finish?”. Should be “Have you finished” or “I have finished”.

Tip 35


* “You are not supposed … yell at people”. Should be “You are not supposed to yell at people”.

* “Who are in the reading?” Should be “Who is in the reading corner?”

* “Sam, get your pencil.”Should have been “Sam, please get your pencils.”

* “Run”not “ran” in spelling; “spoon” not “spun”; “bad” not “bed”; “fed” not “fad”. You tend to confuse vowels, when speaking, mixing “a” and “e” particularly.

* “Tell me one sentence … “: Should be “Tell me in one sentence”.

* “Story might have problem” : Should be “You might (may) have a problem with your story.


Tip 32


In a role with the Charles Darwin University I was working with a number of International Students. Most were undertaking one year Graduate Diplomas in Education. Part of my role was to observe them in classroom teaching situations, advising on teaching methodologies and voice usage. Some of the points I made with members of the group overtime are included below. They tend to be points of pronunciation and speech application that needed a little attention. I’m I am including these points as they build up over time to become a statement of things to watch that I could share.

Tip 33

Some things to watch:

* Your pronunciation and use of ‘sh’ – you tend to go to ‘s’ with words.

* The need to be aware of the fact that some words (ie ‘sugar’ are said as ‘shugar’ although they are spelled without that sound (sh) being emphasised.

* Similarly with ‘cl’ ie ‘in the next class’, not ‘in the next cass’.

* Similarly with ‘th’ ie ‘thirty centimeters’ not ‘tirty centimetres’.

* Sometimes you miss plurals, ie ‘use your coloured pencils’ not ‘use your coloured pencil’.

* “How many we need?” should be “How many do we need?”

This column was published in edited form in the ‘NT Suns’ on August 2 2017. 

Note:  Unedited columns are published in my blog.



Playing in the outdoors was something members of older generations took for granted when they were children. In more recent years there has been a foreclosure on what was once unregulated freedom. Safety and security issues have raised concerns about the wisdom of young people being allowed ‘old fashioned’ freedoms of play.

The upshot, is that many young people prefer to sit and play games on screens, rather than being in the outdoors letting off steam in a running, playing manner. There are hundreds of pieces of research that have been done, all pointing toward the fact that a lack of physical action and activity is depriving children of an energy outlet in play.

It is true that many children are now playing less than used to be the case. There are of course, a growing number of play centres in cities that attract young people, but they are often at distance from where people live. It also costs a lot to patronise these centres, meaning they are beyond the means of many families.

From time to time, walking or bike riding to school are promoted as one off family days. Children walk or ride with parents or others to school. Normally the majority are dropped off and picked up by parents and carers. Even on these special walk and ride days, most children (and many bikes) are collected after school.

School and public playgrounds used to be fun places for children. However, they have been impacted by occupational health and safety (OH&S) requirements that have taken many of the fun elements out of playgrounds. Roller slides used to be powerful drawcards for children but after an accident or two, OH&S decreed that rollers had to go and be replaced by a flat plastic or metal sheet down which children slid. Fun evaporated. ‘Stranger Danger’ awareness and the possibility of needle stick injuries have also discouraged parents from allowing children access to public playgrounds without supervision.

More and more families are living in high rise apartments. Limited playing space naturally encourages sedentary activity.

For whatever reason, physical activity and letting off steam in play situations seems to be diminishing. This is an unfortunate trend and not one helpful to the development of young people. It makes play opportunities at school all the more important.


Tip 30


On time of presenting. Some keynote presenters go on and on and ON! Those who are in the listening audience are too polite to say what they think about the length of the presentation. Having to endure prestressed for anywhere up to two hours one occasion is far, far too long.

My belief is that no initial presentation should go beyond 25 minutes. Used time beyond that for audience engagements through questions and other interactive response and sharing opportunities. The outcomes will be positive, the messages will stick and the audience will be satisfied.

Tip 31


I come from an era when those who were trained as teachers, had to model correct speech to students. This included pronunciation, enunciation, word choice and usage and overall clarity. Part of our training was that speech imperfections (ie ‘rabbits sun wing awound wochs’) had to be overcome before graduation. For those with speech and speaking challenges, corrective and elocution sessions were offered. They were free and compulsory. It was deemed that teachers who were to teach students, had to example correct speech and speaking.

How I wish this was still the case. 




Tip 28

Facial muscles are important because to use them can ‘make your face live’, providing animation and life through talk. An expressionless face can be taken by those listening as meaning the speaker is not really interested in what she or he is saying. Speech is helped by a ‘living face’ and pleasant expression.

Tip 29

Most of the time, conference and audience pictures are simply of people sitting and listening. Is there a chance that conference ‘action’ pictures might show people engaged more interactively in participative opportunities offered by presenters?

Maybe a weakness of presenters and their presentations is the fact they go on and on and on. Interactivity between presenter and the audience can add to the dynamics of the presentation.