ESL Presentation: A Business, Charity, or Organization

Please check out my older post on presentations for an overview of how I usually teach them.

This post will describe a presentation that I did with my class during the same unit that I described in my last post. We studied different types of businesses and organizations throughout the unit. For their final project, they had to give a presentation about an organization that they were interested in.

The premise was that they were spokespeople for their chosen company or charity and the rest of the class were wealthy investors/donators who had $100,000 to donate or invest. The student who raised the largest amount of money for their organization would be the winner.

Here’s how I did it.

Building Knowledge

It would be beneficial to have your class do some kind of listening or reading about a business or charity before starting this assignment. I used the listening activity I described in my last post with my class, but you could choose any kind of receptive material that includes the vocabulary and information that your students will need to complete the presentation.

Announce the Presentation

I used this information sheet to tell my students what they were required to do in their presentations. (There are several worksheets throughout this post. Just click the links to get the Word documents).

When we are preparing for a presentation or a big project like this, I like to give my students this type of information up front. It gives them more time to think about what they what to do in their presentation and it helps me keep them on their toes in class because I can say “You can use this in your presentation…”

Example Presentation: Shark Tank

Shark Tank is an American TV show in which people pitch their business ideas to a group of investors. If the investors think that the business is worth investing in, they will ask questions and eventually make an offer. It’s a perfect introduction to this type of presentation.

The video below is the first of a list of several clips on YouTube. Each of them have subtitles, so they would be better as examples and practice for the presentation rather than material for quizzes or tests.

Compare with the Presentation Assignment

As you watch an example from Shark Tank, ask your class to follow along with their presentation information sheet to see how many of the questions on the sheet are answered (or, if you want, here is a half-sheet with just those questions). Help your students understand the differences between the presentations that they will give and those on Shark Tank. For my class, those differences were:

  • They can present on a business OR a charity (in Shark Tank, it’s just businesses)
  • They speak for at least four minutes straight without questions (Shark Tank pitches are shorter and there are more questions/negotiating from the “sharks”).
  • They use a PowerPoint (the business people on Shark Tank have their product as their visual aid).

Planning and Practicing

The amount and type of planning and practicing you do with your class depends on their level and the amount of time you have.

For my class, I gave them time in class to:

I think that each of these things were useful and should be done with your class if you have time before presentation day.

Presentation Day

My students really enjoyed each others’ presentations. I had students present about the China Disabled Persons Federation, the World Health Organization, Tom’s Shoes, and even some made-up organizations like a bunker that could save mankind from an alien invasion.

Remember, the other students are investors with $100,000 to invest in 3 organizations maximum. I gave them a listening sheet to help them take notes and choose the organizations they wanted to invest in (I also counted it for participation credit).

After the presentations were over, I collected those listening sheets and tallied up the money raised. I gave a fake check and a 100 Grand Bar to the top three presenters. They really enjoyed it.

Of course, I also had to give out grades. Here is the rubric I used to do that.

The Results

I was so happy with the way my students accomplished this presentation. They seemed to really enjoy researching an organization and telling other students about it. They also seemed to enjoy “competing” against each other, even though the prizes weren’t anything substantial. I noticed a difference from the presentations where students just “go through the motions” to just get it done. It was also an authentic presentation: these students might need to do a very similar presentation in university or at their job.

Give it a try with your students and let me know how it goes.

Thanks for reading.


Worksheets in this post:

Extra Resources:

Featured Image Credit: NCCE

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