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Top Tips for Business English
Teaching presentation skills:
Presentation Essentials 2
Activities  Teacher's notes

Top Tips for Business English
Teaching presentation skills
by Rosemary Richey

Teacher's notes

> Main article
> Activities

Aim of activities and language level

To build vocabulary related to organising an effective presentation.
The activities are aimed at students at upper intermediate to advanced levels. They are appropriate for one-to-one or group lessons.

Time and materials

Plan for about 60 minutes for the activities. The time you'll need will depend on the size of your class, and if it's set up as pair or group work, or as a one-to-one practice. Students need copies of the Macmillan English Dictionary (MED). Teachers will need at least a flipchart or whiteboard, and ideally an OHP/OHTs.


Activities 1 and 2

1 Review the stages of a presentation with a 10 minute discussion. For more about this, see the top tips article in this issue and the last issue of MED Magazine.
2 Go over the introduction with the students, and then ask them to read the true and false sentences talking about presentations individually.
3 Organise students in pairs or groups and ask them to do activity 2 using the MED.
4 Check the answers by each pair or group contributing their findings, and then give out handouts with the answers.

Answers for activity 1

a T   b F   c T   d T   e F   f T   g T   h F   i F

Example answers for activity 2

a part of a country's economic or business activity
b a plan to do something
c to agree on a purchase or contract
d to give the main ideas without giving the details
e simple, clear and easy to understand
f clear to almost anyone
g to start discussing a subject
h information you discover after doing research
i detailed study of something in order to discover new facts
j a report containing all the latest information
k a way of talking that is boring because your voice does not change in loudness or become higher or lower
l listening to or watching carefully
m to trust someone or something/depend on
n to record something in writing, or to provide evidence in writing

Activities 3 and 4

1 Students do the activities in pairs and each student compares answers with a different partner.
2 To check the answers with the whole class, elicit word forms for the sentences. Put up an OHT with the correct answers.

Example answers to activity 3

a attentive (adj), attentively (adv), attention (n)
b to document (v), document (n), documentation (n)
c intention (n), intentional (adj), unintentional (adj), intentionally (adv), unintentionally (adv)
d obvious (adj), obviously (adv), obviousness (n)
e to rely on (v), reliable (adj), reliability (n), unreliable (adj), reliance (n), reliably (adv), reliant (adj)
f research (n), to research (v), researcher (n)
g transparent (adj), transparently (adv), transparency (n)

Answers to activity 4

a transparent e intention
b findings/research f sector
c unreliable g make a deal with
d attentively h documented


1 In this worksheet, engineering is mentioned as one of the business sectors that relies on presentations for project management and for presenting research data. Have students think of 2-3 other example sectors with similar aims for presentations, such as fields within science or medicine.
2 Review the steps for finishing up a presentation. Have students come up with a particular list of points for presentations in technical fields. What is the best way to present figures or data? What kind of visual aids would be suitable for describing a progress report on an engineering project? Should the presentation be a lecture style? Why or why not?
3 For this set of lexis, you can get your students to explore many interesting collocations in the dictionary. Here are a couple of examples to give students more dictionary work practice. For each example students write sample sentences and compare with a partner.
to pay attention    undivided/full attention    attention span
attentive   to attend to    hold/keep sy's attention
to carry out research    to undertake research   
to do research

Hints and tips

1 Check the answers to the activities yourself in MED with both the CD and the dictionary.
2 Practise with as many realistic examples from the students' experience as necessary for them to understand the language used in a presentation context.