Spanish Past Tense Verbs – How to Conjugate the Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is used to describe actions and events that started in the past and that are still continuing in the present. Let’s take a look at how this tense is conjugated.

To Have (Present tense) plus Past Participle

Take a look at how this tense is used in the English language:

Mike has played well this season.

In this instance, the verb “has played” is conjugated in the present perfect tense. That’s because it illustrates an action or event that began in the past. But it also illustrates an action or event that is continuing in the present. In other words, “this season” is not over.

You will also find that this tense s used to express an action that has commenced in the past but does not refer to a specific or concrete time. To illustrate, let’s take another look at an example using this tense.

Roberto ha estudiado muy poco.

(Robert has studied very little. )

In the above phrase, the English verb “has studied” is in the present perfect to indicate that Robert studied in the past. But it is also implied that a specific and concrete time as to when this has occurred has not been determined. To increase your understanding of this tense, let’s take a look at the present tense forms of the verb “haber” which is used to form the present perfect tense:

Yo he (I have) nosotros hemos (we have)

tú has (you have) ellos han (they have)

él ha (he has) ellas han (they have)

Ella ha (she has) ustedes han (you have)

Usted ha (you have)

However, keep in mind that in addition to the verb “haber” conjugated in the present tense, you will also need to include the past participle of the target verb to form the present perfect in Spanish.

Presentation Skills – How Do You Reach Everyone in the Room?

Presentations or speeches can be a wonderful experience for the person talking at the front of the audience and for the audience as well. This is a technique usually used to get information to people and also to entertain people in some circumstances. There are many ways to do this such as Powerpoint, hand outs, or using writing boards which are the visual aspects of presentations. But let’s face it, most of the time it is talking and the audience listening to many words.

Because any group is composed of different types of people with some who listen well, others that are visual learners, some that talking puts to sleep, and others that just want to talk, different ways may be used to attempt to reach everyone.

If at all possible do not get behind a podium. This separates the speaker from the audience and gives a feel that the speaker is unreachable. In this scenario it is unspoken that the audience role is to listen only. It may be untrue but it is an unconscious feeling and interpretation.

Walk around a little. This makes the audience follow you and keeps their attention. At the same time eye contact with different members of the audience shows that you are engaged with them. Don’t linger too long on one person though, but it is OK to see if you can get a nod or a smile.

Bodies make a lot of expression so to use your hands is great. A cordless, hands free mike would be best for this. There are many places using these now and is a good investment. A good one even picks up a whisper.

The voice when speaking should change in tone and emphasis at time but there is no need to shout. It is much like a conversation though one sided mostly, but people listen to conversational tone better than feeling it is simply orders. It is also terrific to smile and tell some related stories. Stories people remember which gives a reference for the information given.

Presentations are meant to help people so give it in a manner that says exactly that.

Presentation Skills – Are You a Rock Or a Diamond?

There’s a story of a man, a poor farmer, who was fed up of his life working from dawn to dusk to only survive. He decided to sell his fields and went off to seek his fortune. He traveled the world for many years until finally, tired and defeated he returned home. He collapsed onto the ground and noticed for the first time some strange looking rocks, which turned out to be diamonds. The wealth he desired had always been his own back yard.

The point is that diamonds in their rough state do not look like diamonds at all. They first have to be cut and polished.

I have trained people in presentation skills for over 20 years and for the vast majority, just like the poor farmer, the huge advantage of being able to communicate powerfully and persuasively to groups of people, is not fully realised until they have learnt to present in an entirely different way. Learning to present your ideas and desires in a way that engages and motivates others can truly turn a rough looking rock into a diamond, in terms of the value your presentation creates and the impression you leave with your audience.

Some people are born to present. They can stand up and wow an audience with their confidence and personality. Being a good presenter is about being yourself, but ‘larger than life’. However, out of the thousands of people I have trained, I have only come across a handful of people who are natural presenters. Because presenting is such a scary experience, the vast majority of people seem to do the opposite and come over to their audience as a shadow of themself.

They adopt a strategy of self-preservation and consequently deliver their presentations in a way that minimizes the risk of damaging their credibility. Unfortunately, the chosen strategy is usually one that makes them come over to the audience as boring and lacking in personality and enthusiasm. This is why we see so many over-scripted, PowerPoint driven, detail laden presentations delivered with no energy and little passion. They hide the diamond from the audience and only show them the rock!

The good news is that anyone can learn to be an effective presenter. If your job involves motivating, persuading, inspiring or leading others, can you really afford not to invest the time and effort (usually about 2 days) to realise your full potential to communicate with groups of people? Out of all the personal skills, the ability to communicate effectively is by far the most powerful and provides the largest return on investment. Value is created by motivating others to do something differently. This cannot be done just with facts set out in an email or report. People need emotional input to fully engage and be motivated to change the way they do things. If you can stand up, talk and have a personality you can achieve all of this.

By realizing your potential as a presenter, you recoup your investment many times over. If you can inspire and enthuse others, you have created the ability to create value by promoting change. And once you are trained, it doesn’t cost you a penny!