Presentations - Advice on Cultural Differences

Level: Intermediate

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: General

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

 

Presentations cultural differences (language of advice) 
 

Decide if each piece of advice below is: 
a)

 

Probably a good idea in all countries 

b)

 

Usually a good idea in my country, but maybe not such a good idea in some others 

c)

 

Not usually a good idea in my country, but probably a good idea in some others 

d)

 

Not a good idea in any country 

 
You should start the presentation at the set time, even if some people still haven’t 
arrived 
 
If someone comes in late, my suggestion is to stop your presentation until they have sat 
down 
 
You should leave at least half an hour at the end of the presentation free because there 
will be lots of questions 
 
I recommend telling people to keep all questions until the end because otherwise you 
will never finish your presentation 
 
It’s best to make eye contact with the audience as you speak to them 
 
It’s generally a good idea to pause after each section and check if everybody understood 
 
I would advise you to tell as many jokes as possible to keep people interested 
 
If there is silence from the audience, I would suggest asking them if everything is okay 
 
When you want to show you are really getting serious, my advice would be to take off 
your jacket and roll up your shirt sleeves 
 
If I were you, I’d finish at the set time even if there are still questions from the audience 
 
If I was in your place, I’d watch people’s body language carefully and be worried if 
people cross their arms 
 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2007 

 

Whatever you do, smile all the time 
 
If you need to drink water during a presentation, make sure you pour it into a glass and 
don’t drink it out of the plastic bottle 
 
You’d better wear bright colours to get everyone’s attention. 
 
If it was me I’d sit on the edge of a desk to show your “relaxed but attentive” attitude. 
 
If I were in your position, I’d chat with people as they come into the room before your 
presentation starts. 
 
You ought to spend a lot of time preparing the visuals for your presentation. 
 
If someone in the audience closes their eyes when they are listening, you should assume 
that they are asleep. 
 
Have you thought about asking particular people to ask you a question? That’s what I 
would do if to get the Q and A session started. 
 
Why don’t you give the presenter a round of applause when they finish the 
presentation? In my opinion, it’s the most polite thing to do. 
 
You could try writing all measurements in metres and feet so that everyone in the 
audience can understand. 
 
Make sure you aim your talk at the most important person in the room. 
 
One idea is to write your presentation out in full and then just read it out to your 
audience 
 

In pairs or small groups, take turns telling people which option you chose and why for 
one of the sentences above. The other people should guess which sentence you are 
talking about and discuss if they agree and why. 
 
Find language of advice in the sentences above (e.g. “You should…”) 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2007 

 

Presentations cultural differences (language of advice) 
Worksheet 2- Problem Solving (Water and waste disposal industry) 

Take turns giving advice for each problem situation below. Each person must use a 
different phrase from above to start their sentences. 
 
When everybody who has an idea has spoken, each person can give one vote for any idea 
apart from not your own. The person who gets most votes is the winner and can score 
one point. If there is a draw, each person can give one more piece of advice for the same 
problem, then vote on the new ideas. 

Your children say they don’t like the taste 
of the tap water in your area 

 

Your household water bill is too high 

 

Crows, cats or foxes keep on breaking open 
your rubbish bags and scattering rubbish 
on your lawn 

You get lots of condensation (water) on the 
inside of your windows during the winter 

 

Your electricity bill is too high. 

 

There is a hose pipe ban because of an 
especially hot summer and the plants in 
your garden are dying 

You keep on getting mould in your 
bathroom 

 

Water keeps on leaking from your fridge 

 

About once a month the local sewage pipes 
get blocked and sewage floods your 
garden. 

The local council have reduced the number 
of rubbish collection days to once a week, 
so the rubbish smells before it is collected. 

You want to be as green as you can. 
 

The local residents have started a 
campaign to stop your company building a 
waste incinerator in their area 

Your local council doesn’t collect garden 
waste. 
 

The drain in the kitchen sink is blocked. 
 

There is a false story in today’s newspaper 
about fluorine in the tap water being 
dangerous. 

Your local beach is very polluted 
 

All the fish have died in a local lake 
 

The river near your house floods almost 
every year 
 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2007 

 

Your factory is producing too much 
pollution 
 

The drains in your house smell 
 

Because the local water is very hard you 
keep on getting hard white stuff on the 
inside of your kettle 

 

 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2007