Students who have a good understanding of basic vocabulary and grammar structures in English are ready to present to audiences. Intermediate to advanced level students will benefit from learning how to give speeches and presentations. This skill is important especially in the business world in which a presentation can also be simply stating your opinion on a certain topic.
Prepare your students for giving presentations by teaching them the vocabulary
necessary to smoothly start and finish their presentations as well as how to
move forward during it. Giving opinions and assessments are also part of making
presentations. Teach your students vocabulary related to this topic as well.
This list of vocabulary and sentences for making presentations will help
your students give more seamless presentations:
-Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is. . ., and we will be talking about. . .today.
-Thank you for having me today. I’d like to get started by
saying that. . .
-If you have any questions, please feel free to raise
your hand during the presentation and ask.
-We will have a time for
questions at the end of the presentation.
-Let’s move on to the next
-The next point is that. . .
-Moreover / However / In contrast (to) / Additionally (and other transition words and phrases)
I believe that. . .
I disagree because. . .
I think you’re right.
I don't think that's correct / right.
I agree with. . .
I respectfully disagree.
I disagree in part because. . .
We will talk about that shortly.
From (date) to (date), we experienced / saw a rise (fall) in. . .
Increasing / decreasing / rose or fell sharply (and other words to describe graphs)
First / second / last / finally / in conclusion
Thank you for your time, and have a good day.
This concludes my presentation.
Talking about students’ families is just one of many topic ideas for
presentations. Topics for ESL students should not generate anxiety in your
students. Choosing a topic with which they are familiar and for which they do
not have to do much research is especially appropriate for intermediate or
low-advanced level students. Family is something almost all students are
familiar with in the upper level classes. They may learn some new family member
vocabulary as they put together their presentations. Encourage your students to
use words related to family throughout their presentations. Give students a page
or time limit to keep their speeches manageable.
Have students pick one custom from their countries they want the class to
know more about. They may need to do some research to know more about the
background and history of the custom. This aspect of this topic makes it more
appropriate for more advanced students. Tell students to provide a picture or a
PowerPoint presentation (provided your classroom is equipped for them) to
provide a visual reference for students in the audience. They might also dress
up or do a demonstration of the custom.
Provide hypothetical line or bar graphs or pie charts to your students.
Split the class up into a few groups, each with a different graph or chart. The
job of each group is to describe the trend on the graph, provide background
information for why the trend is what it is, and to give ideas to improve the
trend, if necessary. They might also provide ideas to build on the current
success of the company. Each person in the group can address a different aspect
of the trend. This gives students a taste of what presenting as part of a team
in a business environment might be like.
Many students will naturally be nervous about giving presentations.
Topics for ESL students that speak to what they already know or are easy to
research help them concentrate on learning the essential vocabulary of giving a
presentation. Giving a presentation is also about style and knowing the customs
of the country in which the presenter is speaking. Students have to think about
not reading from their note cards, injecting humor into their presentations,
keeping to a time limit, providing relevant visuals, and other behaviors that do
not necessarily involve learning vocabulary and grammar. Vocabulary and grammar
are also integral to giving a presentation, however. So, choosing topics for
your students that let them focus on mastering vocabulary and grammar when
making a presentation will help them become more effective presenters. Finally,
students should practice giving presentations more than once to their classmates
and to native English speakers. As they gain confidence, bring in a small
audience of native English speakers to the classroom and have students prepare a
presentation for them. This may be more appropriate for business English
learners and more advanced students.