- Do not forget to greet the examiners before you start
When you enter the room, you start by greeting the examiners: Bonjour Madame, Monsieur, Mesdames, Messieurs.
- Make eye contact
Eye contact is the most effective way of engaging your examiners.
- Use your voice
Use your voice to emphasise important points, and to show that you are questioning an issue. Do not forget to use the right French intonation as it is also part of your assessment.
- Be sure to give alternative points of view
As I said previously, reading articles will help you to expand your vocabulary and your knowledge of French current topics.
The main French newspapers are Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération.
Courrier International is also a very good newspaper which translates and publishes in French articles from international newspapers. It is a good way to weigh up the pros and cons of international issues.
The main news magazines are L’OBS, L’Express and Le Point.
- Check pace and time
You need to be sure that you speak at the right speed, that is, a little slower than everyday conversation. Do not be afraid of using short pauses where appropriate. Sometimes people speed up when they are nervous. Try to be aware of this and avoid speaking too quickly. It will be consequently easier to have a clear articulation and to avoid mistakes.
In addition to this, check timing carefully and pace your presentation to build up to your main points. Do not forget that your presentation will last for 10 minutes and it is wiser to speak more slowly for 10 minutes than quickly for 5 minutes by giving the impression that you have a train to take.
- Dealing with nerves
If you become anxious, breathe deeply and try to relax. If you go blank, try to remain calm, smile and keep going. It is quite likely nobody will notice.
Before the exam, if you can, practise in front of some friendly listeners.
At the very least, practise aloud to yourself, you will feel much more confident on the exam day.