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MED Magazine celebrates
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Language Interference
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Focus on Language

Word Formation
Word families,
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New word of the month
New words in journalism
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Top Tips for Business English
Teaching presentation skills:
Presentation Essentials 1
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 and setting up a 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

Allow 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 Preview the topic of presentations with a 10 minute discussion. For more about this, see the top tips article in this issue.
2 Go over the introduction with the students, and then ask them to read the presentation overview individually.
3 Organise students in pairs or groups and ask them to do activity 2 using the Macmillan English Dictionary.
4 Check the answers by each pair or group contributing their findings, and display the possible answers on the OHP or give as handouts.

Example answers

a to intend or hope to achieve something
b to make someone agree to do something by giving them reasons why they should
c chances of success
d the public image of an organization
e the process of attracting people’s attention to a product or service
f a large meeting where people who are interested in a particular subject come together to discuss ideas
g possible
h relating to large companies, or to a particular large company
i the place where an activity or event happens
j something such as a room or piece of equipment that is provided at a place for people to use
k happening during the night
l an amount of money that is paid or charged
m advantages
n to organize
o to give
p to carefully consider in order to make a judgment
q to use
r to express something in a definite or formal way
s to give particular importance or attention to something
t a short account of the most important facts or features

Activity 3

1 Students do the activity in pairs and each student compares answers with a partner.
2 To check the answers with the whole class, elicit word forms for the sentences. Write these up on the whiteboard or flipchart and underline the correct answer for each sentence.


a assessing b aimed/was aiming c persuade d stated
e emphasized f utilize g summary  


1 For activity 1 elicit business sectors that rely on presentations as an important business tool. Hotels are mentioned as one area with promotion as its presentation objective. Have students think of 2–3 example sectors and explain the purpose of a presentation for each business.
2 Start a discussion on tips for organising and practising a presentation. First, give students a few tips yourself such as: Do they use index cards for notes? Do they practise in front of a mirror, or with a family member, friend or colleague? Then ask them to form pairs and come up with more tips from their own experience.
3 Depending on your class time, have students look at the nouns profile and conference in MED. Discuss the meanings and examples of raise someone’s profile, a high profile and maintain/adopt a high profile. Elicit uses of conference on, in conference and conference call.
4 Based on activities 1 and 3 have students in pairs share their experience in giving presentations. Discuss with them which parts of a presentation they are more comfortable with for delivery and why.

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 the context of presentations.