In this tutorial, you’ll learn
- How to greet the examiner
- How to make the best impression that you can before you commence the exam.
This will help you in your IELTS because
- You’ll make a good first impression
- You’ll set the tone for a comfortable, confident speaking test
First impressions count. The objective of this lesson is to help you to make the best first impression that you can. We want to help you to make a good start and set the tone for the IELTS speaking test.
What happens before the exam when the examiner greets you, introduces him or herself and generally makes you feel more comfortable is vital to setting the tone of the speaking exam.
Here are some pointers to help you feel more comfortable when you’re starting the exam:
- The way that you greet the examiner is very important. Make sure that you smile when you greet him. The greeting should fit the time of day so you should say “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “good evening” as appropriate.
- Wait until you are offered a seat before sitting down. Some students may be tempted to stand beside the chair and ask the question “Please can I sit”.
- In this context “can” is not the correct word to use. “Can” is a word of authority. The correct phrase is “Please may I sit”.
When you are offered a seat, don’t forget to say thank you.
- When the examiner asks your name, as he will do, don’t say my name is. Fluent English speakers would use a contraction when answering such a question. So, the correct answer is “My name’s ………”
He will then ask questions such as “Are you comfortable?” “Can we commence the Speaking test?”. Make sure that you answer these questions in a polite way and in full.
- This prelude to the exam is all about getting comfortable and making the first impression on the examiner. It gives the examiner time to get to know you a little better, finding out whether you work or study, and what your interests are.
- Following the introduction, the examiner will introduce a topic which may include sports, television, hobbies or the weather. These are general questions which require general answers. Make sure that you answer correctly in complete sentences.
- Don’t speak too fast. This makes it more difficult for the examiner to understand you. Speaking slowly allows you more time to think and you are less likely to make mistakes.
- Speed in speech suggests to the examiner that you are nervous. If you are running your words together you will become far more difficult to understand. Make use of pauses. It makes your speech easier to understand and will help you to gather your thoughts.
- Make sure that you allow the examiner to finish the question before you jump in with the answer.
To recap. We start with a greeting and a natural smile. An artificial smile will impress no-one. If the examiner asks your name answer him.
Don’t get nervous if he fails to ask you what your name is. He can check your name on your identity document.
When the examiner asks for your identity document don’t hang it in front of his face or hand it to him silently. The correct response to the question “May I see your identity document” should be “With pleasure sir” or something similarly polite.
First impressions count. This is a good time to set the tone of the rest of the test. You should use the time to make yourself comfortable and to impress the examiner with your good manners and friendly disposition. Try not to be nervous. Nerves are not helpful when you are trying to pass a speaking test as it will affect your speech.
The introduction forms no part of the test, but it does set you up to do well if it is handled properly. Use it to relax and to set the tone for the rest of the test and you lay a foundation to success.
Be polite and don’t ask the examiner questions. That’s his job. So, if he asks how you are don’t respond by asking how he is. Simply say “I’m fine thank you Sir”
When you walk into the exam room look confident. Hold your head up high. Sit up straight. Don’t slouch and watch your body language.
Confidence and a well-managed, polite introduction will help you to make the best impression. This will, in turn, set you up for a better IELTS Speaking test result.
You can download or listen to the audio version here: