20 Presentation Tips for Your ESL Students

By Joe Essberger

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.

  1. Allow plenty of time for preparation.
  2. Answer the all-important question-words: why? who? where? when? how? and what?.
  3. Structure your presentation into introduction, body, conclusion and questions.
  4. Write notes based on keywords.
  5. Rehearse your presentation several times and modify it as necessary.
  6. Select the right equipment for the job.
  7. Use your equipment effectively.
  8. Make use of clear, powerful visual aids that do not overload your audience.
  9. Use clear, simple language, avoiding jargon.
  10. Use active verbs and concrete facts.
  11. Explain the structure of your presentation at the beginning so that your listeners know what to expect.
  12. Link each section of your presentation.
  13. Signpost your presentation from beginning to end so that your listeners know where they are.
  14. Overcome your nerves.
  15. Establish audience rapport.
  16. Be aware of your body language.
  17. Understand cultural differences.
  18. Maintain interest by varying the speed, volume and pitch of your voice.
  19. Deal with listeners’ questions politely.
  20. Respond to your audience positively.
Written by Joe Essberger for TEFL.net September 2004
Joe Essberger is founder of TEFL.net and EnglishClub and has taught EFL in Europe and Asia.

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