Business English Lesson plan- Giving a Presentation (ESA Framework)

Presentations - Teaching Business English lesson planLevel of the class: High Intermediate

Type of Lesson: Integrated skills (Listening integrated to speaking, pronunciation and vocabulary using authentic material. Theme: giving presentations)

To identify the characteristics of a good and bad presentation
To introduce vocabulary related to presentations
To review sentence stress and intonation patterns for effective presentations.

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to give a sales presentation about their companies’ new product.

Read: 5 Great Activities to Use with Your Business English Students!

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Students have a wide range of vocabulary related to the business field. They are able to articulate full sentences using complex and compound sentences. They are aware of how important intonation is when delivering a message. They are able to differentiate intonation patterns.
They will already know many adjectives that are used to describe the product they sell at their company, as they will have used them in their own language while performing sales pitches.
They have prior experience in giving presentations in their own language and have given presentations in previous ESL classes.
They are familiar with the structure of a presentation: introduction, overview, state points, state results and conclusions, summarize, and close.

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Students background information:
Students are to give a sales presentation about their companies’ new product at a business conference. They are well established sales people in Japan and this will be their first time presenting their product in an overseas environment.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions:
Students may not be able to recall some ‘great speakers’. In this case, the teacher will suggest people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, etc.
They may have difficulty using proper intonation in certain phrases; this will be solved by demonstration and drilling.
They may also have problems with some pronunciation in the intonation exercise. The teacher will be around to assist students with their individual needs.

Aids/Materials: YouTube video “Enhancing Your Presentation Skills”; a vocabulary presentation worksheet; stress and intonation worksheet; Steve Jobs iphone 2007 presentation YouTube
Time: approx. 150 minutes

ENGAGE – Business English Lesson Plan

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Aim: to introduce the topic of giving presentations and to outline skills and characteristics that lead to a good presentation.
Techniques used: questionnaire; discussion; brainstorming
Skills: speaking and listening
Interactive Pattern: SS
Time: 10 minutes

Aids/Materials: handouts with questions/board

Put students into pairs and have them discuss the following questions:

1.                  What are the characteristics of a great speech/presentation?
2.                  Who are the greatest speakers that you can think of?
3.                  Who do you need to give presentations to as a part of your job? What are they about?

Once students have finished discussing in pairs, have an entire class feedback and have students brainstorm the characteristics of a great speech are.  (Examples of ideas that will be elicited: eye contact, clear voice, positive body language, etc.).

STUDY – Business English Lesson Plan

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Step 1: introduce words and phrases related to giving presentations
Techniques: Gap-filling
Skills: Reading and speaking
Interactive Patterns: T-S; SS
Time: 5-10 minutes

Aids/Materials: Vocabulary: Presentation Language worksheet.

Students will be given a ‘Vocabulary: Presentation Language’ worksheet that uses words and phrases suitable for presentations. They are to work in pairs in order to fill in the blanks of the passage. After students have completed this activity, the teacher will take it up as a whole class and discuss any vocabulary words they were unsure of.

Vocabulary: Presentation Language

Complete the following presentation excerpts using the words below.

after that                     finally                          illustrate                                  outline
to start with                 then                             describe                                   specifically
purpose                        sum up                         thank                                       tell you

Good morning, everybody. I hope you are all doing well today and I’d like to _______ you all for being here. Today I am here to __________ about our latest product, and more _________ about how it works and what it does. I’d also like to __________ the products’ features and __________ inform you about where you can get it and how. ____________, I’d like to briefly __________ our current marketing policy in Canada. ________, I’ll __________ some of the problems we have encountered in our market share. ___________, I’ll ________ our progress this year and continue on with our main _______ for being here; the product.

Answer Key:
thank, tell you, specifically, illustrate, finally, to start with, describe, then, outline, after that, sum up, purpose

Step 2: To identify how important intonation is in delivering a sound presentation
Techniques: Elicitation
Skills: Listening and speaking
Interactive Patterns: T-S
Time: 5 minutes
Aids/Materials: Vocabulary: Presentation Language worksheet

The teacher will read the excerpt twice. T will ask the students to listen carefully and identify the differences. The first time, T will read it using proper sentence stress (stressing content words: nouns, main verbs, adjectives, adverbs), intonation and tone of voice. The second time, T will read it in a monotone voice. Then T will elicit the difference and which one is more effective and why:
T: “Which speech was more effective?”
S: “The first one”
T: “Why?”
S: (Possible answers) “You used expression, your voice changed, you sounded enthusiastic. In the second reading, your sounded dull, boring.”

Read: How to Use the Communicative Approach

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ACTIVATE – Business English Lesson Plan

Aim: Practice intonation patterns
Techniques: reading aloud
Skills: speaking and pronunciation
Interactive Patterns: SS
Time: 10 minutes

Aids/Materials: “Good and Bad Stress and Intonation” from

The teacher will hand out the worksheet “Good and Bad Stress and Intonation”. Students will work in partners to practice saying the sixteen sentences with both good and bad intonation. The back of the worksheet provides helpful tips in how to express the sentences in the best and worst ways possible. Once students have finished practicing with a partner, they will go over each sentence as a whole class. The teacher will correct them where necessary

STUDY – Business English Lesson Plan

Step 1: Aim: to identify characteristics of effective presentations.
Technique: note-taking, listen for main ideas
Skills: listening and speaking
Interactive patterns: S and SS
Time: 10-15 minutes
Aids/Materials: YouTube video “Enhancing Your Presentation Skills- Killer Presentations” by Doug Jeffries. (about 7:18 minutes)


The teacher will play the video twice to ensure students have a full understanding of the content. Students are responsible for noting at least five presentation skills that Doug Jeffries mentions in the video (Making your audience comfortable, establishing eye contact, ‘power of the pause’, body language/gestures, effective content). They will then go over and discuss the importance of each point as a whole class. For example:

T: “Why is establishing eye contact important when giving a presentation?”
S: “It engages the viewer and allows them to know that you are speaking directly to them”

Step 2: Preparing for giving a presentation- Identifying words and adjectives that describe products.
Techniques: note-taking; listening for details, discussion
Skills: Listening and speaking
Interactive Patterns: T-S; SS
Time: 50 minutes
Handout – Steve Jobs’ iphone 2007 launch presentation –

The teacher will now ask students if they know who Steve Jobs was and what he was responsible for.

T will tell the students that they will now watch a presentation by Steve Jobs and they have to discuss the following questions:

–          Can you identify any of the presentation skills described by Doug Jeffries in Steve Jobs’ video?

–          What makes Steve Jobs’ iphone 2007 launch presentation effective? (Possible answers: visuals, timing of speech accompanied by visuals, clear voice, confidence, knowledge of product).

–          How does he keep the audience engaged? (Possible answers: movement, gestures, tone/pitch, humour, repetition (“re-invent, revolutionary”)

T will ask students to take a closer look at Steve Jobs’ presentation. T will direct them to identify any words they think made his presentation effective; words he repeated, words that they think helped to describe/promote his product. Students should pick out certain adjectives such as revolutionary, life-changing, re-invent, magic, etc. T will write students’ answers on the board and then ask them to think of other vocabulary words they could use to sell a product, focusing on a product that the company they work for sells. “If you were to sell your company’s new product in a presentation like Steve Jobs’, what type of words would you use to engage the audience and make them want to buy your product? Come up with as many adjectives as you can to promote your product.” Students will compile an individual list. Once they have finished their lists, they will discuss their adjectives together as a class. T will write their ideas on the board, adding to the list that we compiled from Steve Jobs’ presentation and give the students time to copy any of the adjectives that they wish to use for their presentations into their notes.

ACTIVATE – Business English Lesson Plan

Aim: Students will create a presentation with the assistance of ICT tools (PowerPoint/Camtasia) to sell a product to their classmates using appropriate vocabulary and body language.
Techniques: collaborative writing and discussion
Skills: Speaking, listening, reading and writing
Aids/Materials: computers with Camtasia program and Microsoft PowerPoint
Interactive Pattern: SSS
Time: approx. 50 min.

For the final stage of the lesson, T will tell students that they are going to create a presentation, much like the one they viewed in the Steve Jobs video, using ICT tools (Camtasia or Powerpoint) to sell a product of their choice. The product must be something they are fully aware of as they will not have much time to research.

T will briefly go over the main stages of a presentation. Students’ presentation must  follow this format: introduction, overview, state point, state results, summarize, and close.

Other points to remember to use in their presentations are:
-use of vocabulary (adjectives and phrases) to describe the product
-body language, gestures and intonation
-synchronization of their speech with the slideshow presentation

After each student presents, the rest of the class will give them feedback regarding their presentation (both good and bad) and what they need to work on for a real life sales presentation scenario.

Adapted from lesson plan by 120-hour TEFL certificate graduate.

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