Presentations- Surveying the Audience

Level: Advanced

Topic: Profession, work or study

Grammar Topic: Discourse

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Surveying the audience in presentations
What are the criteria for a good use of surveying the audience in presentations?

Compare with the list below
Criteria

It’s easy for the audience to answer the question (without thinking for two long)

Everyone can answer

It isn’t too personal to answer

Answering the question hooks the audience

Other people’s answers hook the audience, e.g. people looking around to see if other
people have their hands up and/ or reacting to how many people do so

The result is surprising/ interesting

The presenter learns something useful, e.g. something which will affect the content of
the presentation or their approach to presenting that information. 

Think of questions you could ask the people in this class which would match those criteria.
Possible topics

Ambitions/ Goals

Arts and media

Childhood

Computers/ Technology

Favourites/ Likes and dislikes/ Tastes

Friends and family

Health and fitness

Hobbies/ Interests

Knowledge/ General knowledge/ Guessing statistics

Meaning/ Origins of your name

Near future

Opinions

Possessions

Recent past

Recognising a picture of something

Routines/ Habits

Things they have/ haven’t heard of

Travel

Unusual experiences

Work/ Studies/ Volunteering

What phrases could you use to do these things?
Asking the survey questions

Persuading people to answer

Reacting to the response

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Compare with the phrases below
Asking the question
How many people here…?
Please raise your hand if…
Let’s have a show of hands to see who…

Persuading people to answer
I’m sure there must be more people than that. 
Don’t be shy.
Most people didn’t raise their hands at all, so let’s try again. 

Reacting
I’m not surprised but…
Interesting!
Wow, I didn’t expect so many/ few. 

In pairs, write survey questions for your presentation topics.

Decide which of those were most successful, perhaps after asking for other people’s 
feedback.

What are the advantages of survey questions over other kinds of questions in a 
presentation?

What other kinds of questions are good/ okay in a presentation?

Write criteria for good use of those questions.

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014