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  1. Newbie
    English Teacher
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      • English
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      • United States
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      • Argentina

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    Preparing a Student to Give a Business Presentation in English

    I will be starting with a new private student who I havenīt met yet, and has only communicated with me up to this point through email.

    She and I will be meeting in order for her to prepare herself to give a presentation/training in English for (what seems to be a very complicated) electronic system that stores information for oil drilling (or something to that effect)...

    The good thing is that I donīt have to familiarize myself with the system or the technical language (as she has told me that that she is fairly comfortable with the terminology). However, my future student has expressed that, although she can listen to and comprehend English well enough, her biggest concern is being able to improve her overall fluency, speaking abilities, and to be able to answer questions that her trainees might ask her in English in a comprehensible, accurate way. I can only presume that she has at least an (upper)intermediate level of English, since sheīll be presenting in the language, though I am not sure.

    Other than the aforementioned information, I am in the dark. I am scrambling like mad to prepare for our first class together (in a vacuum!). She seems to be a no-nonsense person (based on her emails), and I know that our time together will be limited until she finally has to give her training. Therefore, I have to make every class count (including the first one).

    Does anyone have any ideas about how to help students prepare for speeches/presentations? Activities for improving fluency? Tips for the first class or in general for this situation? I apologize that my descriptions are very vague, but(as usual) I really donīt know what Iīm getting myself into!

    Many thanks for reading.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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      • British English
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      • Laos

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    Re: Preparing a Student to Give a Business Presentation in English

    I would say that getting to know something about her area will be important- she may be familiar with the terminology but it helps to know a reasonable amount yourself too- enough to have a passing understanding. Otherwise, specialist language can become a complete blur.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    Retired English Teacher
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    Re: Preparing a Student to Give a Business Presentation in English

    When I had students who wanted this sort of thing, I used to get them to deliver snippets of their presentation, which I would record. I would then play back chunks, sentences, words as appropriate, and work on stress and intonation problems.

    This sounds very tedious, but it was what some of my students needed and wanted.

    Of course this is useful only if their lexis/grammar is reasonably accurate, though even then it is vital to work on stress and intonation. Many a presentation by a non-native speaker is ruined by problems in these areas, even though it might read well.

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