Presentation: putting skills into action

  • Business Skills
  • Presentation Skills

Presentations - practical activities

giving a presentation


With this lesson plan, students practise giving a presentation in English by doing a lot of different speaking activities.

The lesson is the third of the three-part series of lessons about delivering presentations.  You will find the first part of the series here and the second part of the series here .


As a warm-up, students discuss questions related to presentation structures and tips for a good presentation. Then, they match halves to create phrases (e.g. bring up to date on the topic, be pushed for time ). After that, they read eight statements with the phrases (e.g. Sorry, I got carried away a little. ) used while giving a presentation, and decide if they might appear in the introduction, the main part of the presentation or in the conclusion. Students also explain the more specific purpose of each phrase (e.g. to do a recap, to move on to the next point ). Finally, they read six excerpts from a presentation and put them in the correct order . They also discuss how the excerpts could be improved . 


The last two exercises can be done in class or be assigned as homework. The teacher can also decide to do one of them in class and assign one as homework. Students do the two tasks using what they have learned about giving a presentation in the three part-series. In the first exercise, students prepare a short presentation based on the information they receive (e.g. a presentation for a team briefing, an annual report ). They do that using the phrases from the beginning of the lesson to structure the presentation . In the second activity, students prepare a short presentation based on a task they receive (e.g. a knowledge-sharing presentation, a company presentation ) and a general outline provided. The presentations can be based on something students are interested in, or something connected to their work. They use the phrases from the lesson for signposting. Finally, students give their presentations in front of the class.

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The link to the e-lesson plan is wrong. It goes to “how to nail your presentation class” =(

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Oh sorry! We’ve fixed that straightaway – thanks for letting us know. I promise that it wasn’t a poor attempt at an April Fools joke, just a human error 🙂

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This 3-part series was brilliant. So useful.

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What an amazing lesson, there’s not a single student that doesn’t appreciate all these useful expressions!

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Thank you! We’re happy to know you and your students find this lesson useful 🙂

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Where can I find the other two previous presentations? Thank you.

Hi! You can find the links in the LESSON OVERVIEW description.

Thanks. I was blind!

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ESL Worksheets for Teachers

Check out our selection of worksheets filed under function: giving a presentation. use the search filters on the left to refine your search..


Customised lessons

Worksheet type

giving a presentation esl

Upper-intermediate (B2-C1)

Students work with the theme of description in IELTS Listening Section 2 and Speaking Part 2. They define academic vocabulary related to describing courses of study and listen to an informative talk about a coding boot camp. After exploring useful expressions from the listening, they consider how to prepare for and practise delivering a Speaking Part 2 description of a course of study. There is also an optional extension activity with Speaking Part 3 questions that relate to the same topic.

This lesson is part of one unit in the IELTS preparation course plan which provides practice in listening/speaking, reading and writing for the IELTS exam. The full lesson plan takes a minimum of 60 minutes.

by Stephanie Hirschman.

giving a presentation esl

This video-based lesson uses the topic of eyeglass design to introduce a range of academic vocabulary relating to description, one of the major themes of the IELTS exam. 

This lesson is the first part of Unit 1 in the Linguahouse IELTS preparation course plan, which provides exam practice in listening/speaking, reading and writing. The full lesson plan takes a minimum of 60 minutes.

by Stephanie Hirschman is in no way affiliated with, authorized, maintained, sponsored or endorsed by TED Conferences LLC.

giving a presentation esl

This video-based lesson uses the topic of alternative ways to power vehicles to introduce a range of academic vocabulary and structures relating to comparison, one of the major themes of the IELTS exam. This lesson is the first part of Unit 2 in the IELTS preparation course plan, which provides exam practice in listening/speaking, reading and writing. The full lesson plan takes a minimum of 60 minutes.

giving a presentation esl

Advanced (C1-C2)

In this video-based lesson, students explore the origins of both well-known and unusual superstitions from around the world, while developing vocabulary and practising listening skills. Students examine discourse markers and activate these in one of two final activities: mini-presentations or a discussion. There is also an optional extension activity related to language for making predictions about the future. This lesson supports students who are preparing for IELTS and Cambridge exams.

By Stephanie Hirschman

giving a presentation esl

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Students briefly discuss their own experiences of presentations before identifying types of diagrams often used in presentations and their functions. They listen to a business presentation and identify and practise a range of functional language for structuring presentations. The lesson includes vocabulary development and a presentation activity which can be extended to include preparation of slides with visual aids. Students should prepare and practise their presentation as homework and deliver it in another lesson. The materials also include an optional extension activity relating to what can go wrong with a presentation.

giving a presentation esl

 This breaking news lesson covers New Zealand's declaration of victory over COVID-19. Students watch a short video of the press conference and develop their listening comprehension, speaking and intonation skills as they discuss the country's handling of the virus and the effects on the economy.

giving a presentation esl

Students watch a video presentation of the history and significance of the innovative London Underground map. The worksheet focuses on discussion and vocabulary work, as well as delivering a presentation in English.

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  • Speaking exams
  • Typical speaking tasks

Oral presentation

Giving an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam can be quite scary, but we're here to help you. Watch two students giving presentations and then read the tips carefully. Which tips do they follow? Which ones don’t they follow?


Watch the video of two students doing an oral presentation as part of a speaking exam. Then read the tips below.

Melissa: Hi, everyone! Today I would like to talk about how to become the most popular teen in school.

Firstly, I think getting good academic results is the first factor to make you become popular since, having a good academic result, your teacher will award you in front of your schoolmates. Then, your schoolmates will know who you are and maybe they would like to get to know you because they want to learn something good from you.

Secondly, I think participating in school clubs and student unions can help to make you become popular, since after participating in these school clubs or student union, people will know who you are and it can help you to make friends all around the school, no matter senior forms or junior forms.

In conclusion, I think to become the most popular teen in school we need to have good academic results and also participate in school clubs and student union. Thank you!

Kelvin: Good evening, everyone! So, today I want to talk about whether the sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.

As we all know, cigarettes are not good for our health, not only oneself but also other people around. Moreover, many people die of lung cancer every year because of smoking cigarettes.

But, should the government make it illegal? I don’t think so, because Hong Kong is a place where people can enjoy lots of freedom and if the government banned the sale of cigarettes, many people would disagree with this and stand up to fight for their freedom.

Moreover, Hong Kong is a free market. If there's such a huge government intervention, I think it’s not good for Hong Kong’s economy.

So, if the government wants people to stop smoking cigarettes, what should it do? I think the government can use other administrative ways to do so, for example education and increasing the tax on cigarettes. Also, the government can ban the smokers smoking in public areas. So, this is the end of my presentation. Thank you.

It’s not easy to give a good oral presentation but these tips will help you. Here are our top tips for oral presentations.

  • Use the planning time to prepare what you’re going to say. 
  • If you are allowed to have a note card, write short notes in point form.
  • Use more formal language.
  • Use short, simple sentences to express your ideas clearly.
  • Pause from time to time and don’t speak too quickly. This allows the listener to understand your ideas. Include a short pause after each idea.
  • Speak clearly and at the right volume.
  • Have your notes ready in case you forget anything.
  • Practise your presentation. If possible record yourself and listen to your presentation. If you can’t record yourself, ask a friend to listen to you. Does your friend understand you?
  • Make your opinions very clear. Use expressions to give your opinion .
  • Look at the people who are listening to you.
  • Write out the whole presentation and learn every word by heart. 
  • Write out the whole presentation and read it aloud.
  • Use very informal language.
  • Only look at your note card. It’s important to look up at your listeners when you are speaking.

Useful language for presentations

Explain what your presentation is about at the beginning:

I’m going to talk about ... I’d like to talk about ... The main focus of this presentation is ...

Use these expressions to order your ideas:

First of all, ... Firstly, ... Then, ... Secondly, ... Next, ... Finally, ... Lastly, ... To sum up, ... In conclusion, ...

Use these expressions to add more ideas from the same point of view:

In addition, ... What’s more, ... Also, ... Added to this, ...

To introduce the opposite point of view you can use these words and expressions:

However, ... On the other hand, ... Then again, ...

Example presentation topics

  • Violent computer games should be banned.
  • The sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.
  • Homework should be limited to just two nights a week.
  • Should school students be required to wear a school uniform?
  • How to become the most popular teen in school.
  • Dogs should be banned from cities.

Check your language: ordering - parts of a presentation

Check your understanding: grouping - useful phrases, worksheets and downloads.

Do you think these tips will help you in your next speaking exam? Remember to tell us how well you do in future speaking exams!  

giving a presentation esl

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20 Presentation Tips for Your ESL Students

Helping learners to give presentations is an excellent way to encourage fluency. For some of your students, the ability to give a good presentation in English may be mandatory for their jobs. Here are twenty tips to help ensure a successful presentation, from beginning to end. Who knows? You may find them useful too.

  • Allow plenty of time for preparation.
  • Answer the all-important question-words: why? who? where? when? how? and what?.
  • Structure your presentation into introduction, body, conclusion and questions.
  • Write notes based on keywords.
  • Rehearse your presentation several times and modify it as necessary.
  • Select the right equipment for the job.
  • Use your equipment effectively.
  • Make use of clear, powerful visual aids that do not overload your audience.
  • Use clear, simple language, avoiding jargon.
  • Use active verbs and concrete facts.
  • Explain the structure of your presentation at the beginning so that your listeners know what to expect.
  • Link each section of your presentation.
  • Signpost your presentation from beginning to end so that your listeners know where they are.
  • Overcome your nerves.
  • Establish audience rapport.
  • Be aware of your body language.
  • Understand cultural differences.
  • Maintain interest by varying the speed, volume and pitch of your voice.
  • Deal with listeners’ questions politely.
  • Respond to your audience positively.

These tips are condensed from  Presentations in English .

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ESL Lesson Plans

Business English Lesson plan- Giving a Presentation (ESA Framework)

Presentations - Teaching Business English lesson plan

Type of Lesson: Integrated skills (Listening integrated to speaking, pronunciation and vocabulary using authentic material. Theme: giving presentations)

Aims: To identify the characteristics of a good and bad presentation To introduce vocabulary related to presentations To review sentence stress and intonation patterns for effective presentations.

Outcome: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to give a sales presentation about their companies’ new product.

Read: 5 Great Activities to Use with Your Business English Students!

Read: How to Conduct a Needs Analysis for Your Business English Class

Assumptions: Students have a wide range of vocabulary related to the business field. They are able to articulate full sentences using complex and compound sentences. They are aware of how important intonation is when delivering a message. They are able to differentiate intonation patterns. They will already know many adjectives that are used to describe the product they sell at their company, as they will have used them in their own language while performing sales pitches. They have prior experience in giving presentations in their own language and have given presentations in previous ESL classes. They are familiar with the structure of a presentation: introduction, overview, state points, state results and conclusions, summarize, and close.

– Save $100 with the TESOL Diploma and Teaching Business English Specialist Package! –

Students background information: Students are to give a sales presentation about their companies’ new product at a business conference. They are well established sales people in Japan and this will be their first time presenting their product in an overseas environment.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions: Students may not be able to recall some ‘great speakers’. In this case, the teacher will suggest people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, etc. They may have difficulty using proper intonation in certain phrases; this will be solved by demonstration and drilling. They may also have problems with some pronunciation in the intonation exercise. The teacher will be around to assist students with their individual needs.

Aids/Materials: YouTube video “Enhancing Your Presentation Skills”; a vocabulary presentation worksheet; stress and intonation worksheet; Steve Jobs iphone 2007 presentation YouTube Time: approx. 150 minutes

ENGAGE – Business English Lesson Plan

– Learn to create Business English lesson plans online! –

Aim: to introduce the topic of giving presentations and to outline skills and characteristics that lead to a good presentation. Techniques used: questionnaire; discussion; brainstorming Skills: speaking and listening Interactive Pattern: SS Time: 10 minutes

Aids/Materials: handouts with questions/board

Put students into pairs and have them discuss the following questions:

1.                  What are the characteristics of a great speech/presentation? 2.                  Who are the greatest speakers that you can think of? 3.                  Who do you need to give presentations to as a part of your job? What are they about?

Once students have finished discussing in pairs, have an entire class feedback and have students brainstorm the characteristics of a great speech are.  (Examples of ideas that will be elicited: eye contact, clear voice, positive body language, etc.).

STUDY – Business English Lesson Plan

20-hour Teaching Business English Course Only $199!

Step 1: introduce words and phrases related to giving presentations Techniques: Gap-filling Skills: Reading and speaking Interactive Patterns: T-S; SS Time: 5-10 minutes

Aids/Materials: Vocabulary: Presentation Language worksheet.

Students will be given a ‘Vocabulary: Presentation Language’ worksheet that uses words and phrases suitable for presentations. They are to work in pairs in order to fill in the blanks of the passage. After students have completed this activity, the teacher will take it up as a whole class and discuss any vocabulary words they were unsure of.

Vocabulary: Presentation Language

Complete the following presentation excerpts using the words below.

after that                     finally                          illustrate                                  outline to start with                 then                             describe                                   specifically purpose                        sum up                         thank                                       tell you

Good morning, everybody. I hope you are all doing well today and I’d like to _______ you all for being here. Today I am here to __________ about our latest product, and more _________ about how it works and what it does. I’d also like to __________ the products’ features and __________ inform you about where you can get it and how. ____________, I’d like to briefly __________ our current marketing policy in Canada. ________, I’ll __________ some of the problems we have encountered in our market share. ___________, I’ll ________ our progress this year and continue on with our main _______ for being here; the product.

Answer Key: thank, tell you, specifically, illustrate, finally, to start with, describe, then, outline, after that, sum up, purpose

Step 2: To identify how important intonation is in delivering a sound presentation Techniques: Elicitation Skills: Listening and speaking Interactive Patterns: T-S Time: 5 minutes Aids/Materials: Vocabulary: Presentation Language worksheet

The teacher will read the excerpt twice. T will ask the students to listen carefully and identify the differences. The first time, T will read it using proper sentence stress (stressing content words: nouns, main verbs, adjectives, adverbs), intonation and tone of voice. The second time, T will read it in a monotone voice. Then T will elicit the difference and which one is more effective and why: T: “Which speech was more effective?” S: “The first one” T: “Why?” S: (Possible answers) “You used expression, your voice changed, you sounded enthusiastic. In the second reading, your sounded dull, boring.”

Read: How to Use the Communicative Approach

Read: How to Use Task-based Learning

ACTIVATE – Business English Lesson Plan

Aim: Practice intonation patterns Techniques: reading aloud Skills: speaking and pronunciation Interactive Patterns: SS Time: 10 minutes

Aids/Materials: “Good and Bad Stress and Intonation” from

The teacher will hand out the worksheet “Good and Bad Stress and Intonation”. Students will work in partners to practice saying the sixteen sentences with both good and bad intonation. The back of the worksheet provides helpful tips in how to express the sentences in the best and worst ways possible. Once students have finished practicing with a partner, they will go over each sentence as a whole class. The teacher will correct them where necessary

Step 1: Aim: to identify characteristics of effective presentations. Technique: note-taking, listen for main ideas Skills: listening and speaking Interactive patterns: S and SS Time: 10-15 minutes Aids/Materials: YouTube video “Enhancing Your Presentation Skills- Killer Presentations” by Doug Jeffries. (about 7:18 minutes)

The teacher will play the video twice to ensure students have a full understanding of the content. Students are responsible for noting at least five presentation skills that Doug Jeffries mentions in the video (Making your audience comfortable, establishing eye contact, ‘power of the pause’, body language/gestures, effective content). They will then go over and discuss the importance of each point as a whole class. For example:

T: “Why is establishing eye contact important when giving a presentation?” S: “It engages the viewer and allows them to know that you are speaking directly to them”

The teacher will now ask students if they know who Steve Jobs was and what he was responsible for.

T will tell the students that they will now watch a presentation by Steve Jobs and they have to discuss the following questions:

–          Can you identify any of the presentation skills described by Doug Jeffries in Steve Jobs’ video?

–          What makes Steve Jobs’ iphone 2007 launch presentation effective? (Possible answers: visuals, timing of speech accompanied by visuals, clear voice, confidence, knowledge of product).

–          How does he keep the audience engaged? (Possible answers: movement, gestures, tone/pitch, humour, repetition (“re-invent, revolutionary”)

T will ask students to take a closer look at Steve Jobs’ presentation. T will direct them to identify any words they think made his presentation effective; words he repeated, words that they think helped to describe/promote his product. Students should pick out certain adjectives such as revolutionary, life-changing, re-invent, magic, etc. T will write students’ answers on the board and then ask them to think of other vocabulary words they could use to sell a product, focusing on a product that the company they work for sells. “If you were to sell your company’s new product in a presentation like Steve Jobs’, what type of words would you use to engage the audience and make them want to buy your product? Come up with as many adjectives as you can to promote your product.” Students will compile an individual list. Once they have finished their lists, they will discuss their adjectives together as a class. T will write their ideas on the board, adding to the list that we compiled from Steve Jobs’ presentation and give the students time to copy any of the adjectives that they wish to use for their presentations into their notes.

Aim: Students will create a presentation with the assistance of ICT tools (PowerPoint/Camtasia) to sell a product to their classmates using appropriate vocabulary and body language. Techniques: collaborative writing and discussion Skills: Speaking, listening, reading and writing Aids/Materials: computers with Camtasia program and Microsoft PowerPoint Interactive Pattern: SSS Time: approx. 50 min.

For the final stage of the lesson, T will tell students that they are going to create a presentation, much like the one they viewed in the Steve Jobs video, using ICT tools (Camtasia or Powerpoint) to sell a product of their choice. The product must be something they are fully aware of as they will not have much time to research.

T will briefly go over the main stages of a presentation. Students’ presentation must  follow this format: introduction, overview, state point, state results, summarize, and close.

Other points to remember to use in their presentations are: -use of vocabulary (adjectives and phrases) to describe the product -body language, gestures and intonation -synchronization of their speech with the slideshow presentation

After each student presents, the rest of the class will give them feedback regarding their presentation (both good and bad) and what they need to work on for a real life sales presentation scenario.

Adapted from lesson plan by 120-hour TEFL certificate graduate.

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Business Skills Bank: Giving Presentations

By Tim Bowen

This Business skills lesson plan by Tim Bowen presents common features of presentations and practises useful language for putting together and giving presentations.

Lesson length: 60-75 mins

Materials: Worksheets 1-5

Subsidiary aims: Listening (or reading) for specific information, discussion of what makes a good presentation.

Business Skills Bank: Giving presentations—Worksheets

Business skills bank: giving presentations—teacher's notes, presentations part 1, presentations part 2.

  • British English
  • Business / ESP
  • Intermediate
  • Lesson Plan / Teacher's Notes
  • Pre-Intermediate
  • Printable Worksheet
  • Up to 90 mins
  • Upper-Intermediate
  • Whole Class

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Presentation Lesson Plan How to give a good presentation

Presentation lesson plan for Business Engish

When giving a presentation it's important not to put your audience to sleep. There's also great value in sounding professional. Learning the skill of presenting well is not only useful for public speaking and giving formal presentations, but is also invaluable in conversations when wanting to clearly communicate your ideas and convince others that your ideas and proposals are worthwhile.

This lesson plan aims to teach students not only how to effectively use commonly used phrases and vocabulary, but also to put together a well structured, and thoroughly thought through and convincing presentation.. To this end, I have used two resources (a video and a text) which the students have to analyze and summarize. In the video, Nancy Duarte analyzes two outstanding speeches - 'I have a dream' by Martin Luther King, and Steve Jobs' iPhone launch. The text is a document produced by Newcastle University for their students on how to improve their communication and presentation skills.

Free Downloadable Lesson Plan

This business English lesson plan is suitable for upper-intermediate, advanced and proficiency level students ( B2, C1 and C2 ).

Language Focus

The goal of this lesson is to improve the ability of the students to give presentations, giving them appropriate tools to do so, i.e. an overall outline and strategy, vocabulary and phrases, and the opportunity to practise.

The lesson starts with the students giving their own ideas about what makes a good presentation. This is followed by a video from TED which carefully analyzes the structure of successful speeches. There is also a reading with pointers on how to improve your communication skills. The students need to use these resources to formulate a diagram that summarizes the points that they have found to be the most valuable.

The students then get a hand out of appropriate phrases and sentence starters to use during different parts of the presentation. They then get to choose a topic from a given list, prepare a presentation and then deliver it to the class.

Once the students have done this lesson,they can practise giving presentations during other lessons on any given topic.

For a list of useful phrases to use during a presentation without the full lesson plan, go to Giving a Presentation Vocabulary .

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Teaching ESL Presentation Skills: Preparation, Rehearsal and Feedback

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 English Discussion on  Presentations


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STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to Student B.)

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to Student A.)

giving a presentation esl

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