Academic Presentations

Presentations for academic English students. What is an academic presentation? How to give an academic presentation, what you need to include and important advice.

Giving a good academic presentation
  1. Think about the aim of your presentation and what you want to achieve.
  2. Concentrate on your audience - who they are and what they (want to) know.
  3. Choose the topic that interests you - involvement and motivation are key to confidence.
  4. Give your presentation a clear and logical organization so that everyone can follow.
  5. Present information visually– this adds interest to your talk and makes it easier to follow
  6. Practise giving your presentation until you are familiar with the key points; this way you may discover any potential problems and check the timing. Besides, practice will also make you feel more confident.


  1. Cope with nerves – breathe deeply; it calms you down and stops you from talking too quickly.
  2. Control your voice – speak clearly and try to sound interesting by changing intonation and rhythm.
  3. Watch your body language – try to give the impression that you are relaxed and confident.
  4. Maintain an eye contact with your audience – it keeps them interested in what you are saying. For this reason, you should not read.
  5. Provide visual information – but do not give too many facts at a time, give your audience enough time to take them in.
  6. Keep attention by asking questions which you are going to answer yourself.

Basic outline / structure

  1. Introduction - introduce the topic / some basic background / Thesis ( your stance or argument)
  2. Outline - provide basic bullet points on the key parts of the presentation
  3. Main body - divide the main body into sections
  4. Evaluation - always include evaluation. This can be a separate section or part of the main body.
  5. Conclusion - summarise key points, restate the thesis and make a recommendation / suggestion / prediction.
  6. Reference List - create one slide with all your sources
  7. Questions -  be prepared to answer questions


Basic Presentation Language

Signposting Language - key language phrases for presentation

click here

Advanced Presentation Language

Advanced Signposting Language - key language phrases for presentation

click here

What is an Academic Presentation?


Presentation Worksheet [Teacher]

What is an academic presentation? This lecture discusses the key ideas of giving a presentation including referencing, signposting, delivery and rehearsal. Teacher's notes and 2-page listening worksheet with answers. Great lesson to introduce students to giving an academic presentation. Example. Video [7:00]  Level ***** [B1/B2/C1]  / MEMBERSHIP


Create PPT slides people will remember - Duarte Inc [CEO]

Harvard Business Review: How to plan an informed presentation and what is needed to create really effective slides that keep an audience engaged. More HBR listening worksheets are [webpage]  Example Video [03:08] Level: ***** [B2/C1]  / MEMBERSHIP


A basic presentation for lower levels.

This is a video example of a 'basic' presentation on Domestic Violence using signposting language and a basic structure

Presentation Feedback form.


Feedback Form Download in a Word Doc - click here


Peer Feedback form

Good idea!! While the students perform their presentation, the other students can evaluate the presentation (with a basic criteria), write questions to ask at the end and/or give some constructive feedback on the positives / negatives of the presentation.

Peer Feedback Form Download in a Word Doc - click here


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