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Free EFL Lesson Plan: Corporate English – How To Give a Good Presentation

Photo copyright - Victor1558 - Creative Commons License
Photo copyright – Victor1558 – Creative Commons License

I used to teach EFL/ESL and Business Skills to corporate students in Thailand. Much of the time, I had to create my own lesson plans as I discovered what problems each group of students had. Creating a lesson plan on Giving Good Business Presentations was very important, as most of my corporate students weren’t very good at giving presentations, both in English and in their own language.

If you have the same problem with business or EFL/ESL students, follow this free lesson plan on Giving Good Business Presentations. You can also adapt it to simply Giving Good Presentations, and use it to improve your EFL/ESL students’ presentation skills.

Expected Learning Outcome – EFL/ESL students will be able to give a short presentation with confidence, using the principles discussed in class.

Materials and Resources – Whiteboard markers, whiteboard, 3 x 5 cards with presentation topics written on them

Teaching Procedures

Step One:

Ask your students what they think constitutes a good business presentation, and write on the board the comments they make. You should get things like:

1. Presenter should stand up straight.
2. Presenter should make good eye contact with audience.
3. Presenter should have a well-moderated tone so it’s easy to hear him/her
4. Presenter should have a strong beginning to his presentation.
5. A good presentation must have an introduction, a body, a conclusion, and ask for questions.
6. A presentation should be easy to understand and interesting.

For an excellent presentation handbook, if you need to brush up on presentation skills yourself, you can get Oral Presentation Skills, a 20 page printable booklet for free. http://people.engr.ncsu.edu/txie/publications/oral_presentation_skills.pdf

Step Two:

Go over presentation skills your students have mentioned and add anything important they have not mentioned. If you use a handout, now is the time to give it to your students. I use one that has a list of tips for presentations, which includes most of the tips the students mention.

Step Three:

Now that your students are familiar with good presentation skills, this is the time they are going to give their first presentations. Before the class, you should have used the 3 x 5 cards and write a different presentation topic on each card.

I use topics like ‘Elephants’, ‘My Favorite Food’, ‘My Last Vacation’, ‘My Favorite Movie’, anything that’s likely to get them talking. Fold the cards in half so the topic is not visible, and put the cards in a container or can so that each student can easily reach in and take out a card without being able to see what the topics are.

Ask the first student to take a card. Ask the student to come up to the front of the room and, using the subject on the card, give a very short presentation. Remind them that the presentation should have an introduction, a body, a conclusion and they should ask the audience if there are any questions. At this point, I usually give the student 20-30 seconds to get their thoughts organized and then ask them to start.

Most students will be nervous, but stress to them they must give a presentation of at least one minute and should try hard not to have long pauses. By the time the second or third student is standing, the room usually gets a bit more relaxed. Give a very short critique, after each student has finished speaking, but try to give them more positive feedback than negative, as this boosts their self-confidence for the next class on presentations. Repeat this until every student has had a turn to give a short presentation.

Step Four:

Going through giving a good business presentation tips and having each student give a short presentation should take at least an hour. If you have large classes and only an hour’s class, you’ll have to make sure the students who don’t get to talk have a chance during your next class.

Evaluation/Assessment:

1. students’ understanding of vocabulary and material in class, 2. behavior and attention in class, 3. how well they can give a short business presentation.

This free lesson plan is an excellent introduction to How To Give A Good Business Presentation. In my second class, I would ask each EFL/ESL business student to bring a short corporate report and prepare a 3-5 minute presentation in front of the class.

During this class, I critiqued each student but so did the other students, so we often had a lively discussion about what it means to be able to give a good presentation.