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 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



Signposting Language

key language phrases for presentation

Click here


Presentation Speaking Criteria

This is a basic criteria to assess presentation speaking skills. It has three key criteria: Language accuracy & language range,  fluency & pronunciation, and  presentation & engagement.  Example / Level: ***** [B1/B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP


Presentation Phrases Sheet: a range of standard English phrases 

Suitable phrases to use for greeting, structuring, examples, transitions summarising and concluding.

Free Download


What is an Academic Presentation?



Presentation Worksheet

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] / MP3  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


Improve your PowerPoint Slides


Improve your Presentation PowerPoint Slides

These are PPT slides from the above video or go here. It’s a great way to explain how to present effective slides by using the correct fonts, focusing on key points and using animation to help audience engagement. The slides can be adapted to sort your style and method of teaching. Video [12:00]  Level ***** [B1/B2/C1]  / TEACHER 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.

 A basic feedback form to give students after they have done a presentation to help them identify areas for improvement. 


Presentation Feedback Form

A teacher feedback form to access the students’ ability on key areas of delivery, presentation, slides, questions and extra comments. The form is in a word document so you can adapt it to meet your specific criteria.


Presentation Criteria

A basic criteria that can be used to access and grade a students’s presentation – full criteria in paid version (below).


Presentation Speaking Criteria

This is a basic criteria to assess & grade presentation speaking skills. It has three key criteria: Language accuracy & language range,  fluency & pronunciation, and  presentation & engagement.  Example / Level: ***** [B1/B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP

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-to-peer Feedback Form

Three separate peer-to-peer feedback forms. Presentation skills (tick box), positives & negatives, and questions. Give these forms to the other students to complete while they watch a peer’s presentation.



Describing Graphs and Charts

Describing graphs – the basics

This lesson begins labelling the key features of a graph and naming different graph / chart types. It then provides a practice to see if students can describe a range of different lines (peak, plummet, etc..). This is followed by a fun activity where in pairs students describe and plot the lines on four graphsExample. Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  TEACHER MEMBERSHIP 


Describing graphs / presentation – analysis and evaluation (lesson below)

This lesson begins with describing basic graphs and suggesting what they could represent. It then provides the language necessary for describing, analysing and evaluating with a guided practice. This is followed by students researching and analysing graphs/charts/tables from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and giving a short presentation on their findings. Example. Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  TEACHER MEMBERSHIP 


More digital resources and lessons



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