Exercise 1

A. Listen to advice about speaking in public. Choose the items the speaker mentions.





the audience




the outline


eye contact














B. Listen again. Complete the chart with the advice you hear.



the audience, the outline, practicing, humor, posture, eye contact, voice, questions


the audience: The presentation is for the audience. Keep in mind what they want to hear.

the outline: Include ideas for your introduction, main point, and conclusion. Keep it clear and simple.

practicing: Practice in front of a mirror, with a friend, or record the presentation and listen to it. Practice makes you more confident.

humor: Start with a joke or funny story. It puts the audience at ease.

posture: Try to look relaxed and natural.

eye contact: Move your eyes slowly around the room, from person to person.

voice: Your voice should sound friendly, natural, and expressive.

questions: Always welcome questions from the audience. Speak one-on-one to people who have many questions.


To begin, let me say that making a presentation is often a source of anxiety for many people. They usually rank it as one of the things they least want to do. It’s been said that some people fear public speaking more than death! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips to make your next presentation go smoothly.

First, as a presenter, you need to consider your audience – the people who will be listening to you. Keep in mind what they want to hear from you. It’s important to remember that your presentation is for them, not for some other imaginary audience.

Second, let me stress that you need to create an outline. The outline contains the ideas you need for your introduction as well as the main point of your presentation and, finally, your conclusion. Keep it clear and simple without too many details.

With your outline in hand, it’s time to practice your presentation. You might choose to practice in front of a mirror, with a friend, or you might record it and listen to it after. Practice will make you more confident.

Next, let’s talk about giving the actual presentation. Humor can be very useful at the beginning of a presentation, as it puts the audience at ease and gets them on your side. So, if you can, you should start with a joke or funny story.

Posture is very important. Don’t stand up there like a stick, holding on to the table or podium with both hands. Try to look relaxed and natural, even if you’re feeling a little nervous. Eye contact is also very important, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t stare at any one person or area for too long. Keep moving your eyes slowly around the room from person to person. Your voice should sound friendly and natural, and should be expressive rather than flat.

After your presentation is complete, always welcome questions from the audience. However, too many questions from one person can be tedious for the audience, so ask those enthusiastic questioners to speak with you afterwards, one-on-one.

In conclusion, some preparation, practice, and following the right steps should give you enough confidence to stay calm for your next presentation – and not fear it.

Exercise 2

A. Listen to three one-sided conversations. Write the number of the conversation next to the correct description.

a   One person is talking the other person’s ear off.

b   One person is trying to talk the other person into doing something.

 One person isn’t sticking to the point.

B. Listen again. Which expressions do you hear used in the conversations? Write the number of the conversation next to the correct expression.

___  Could I say something?

___  Thanks for asking, but . . .

___  I just wanted to say . . .

___  That’s nice, but we really need to . . .

___  That’s really nice of you, but . . .

___ f   Getting back to what we were talking about . . .



a 2   b 3   c 1


a 2   b 3   c 2   d 1   e 3   f 1



Husband:   Honey, it says here on our credit card bill that someone spent $1,000 on a health club and spa membership. Was that you?

Wife:   Yes, dear, I did. Fitness is so important to me, and plus, it’s a family membership, so you and the kids can use it, too!

Husband:   That’s nice, but we really need to save money. And there are so many less expensive health club options. I think you should cancel the membership.

Wife:   Oh, that reminds me. Have you contacted the dentist yet to cancel your appointment for next week? Since we’re going on vacation, you won’t be able to make it. I’m really looking forward to our trip, aren’t you?

Husband:   Yes, of course, but getting back to what we were talking about, don’t you think it would be wise for us to cancel the health club membership?

Wife:   Well, I suppose I do tend to spend too much. I know how you worry about money, and I don’t mean to make you angry. Sometimes I think I just can’t do anything right. I don’t know how you put up with all my . . .

Husband:   Never mind, honey, that’s OK. Let’s talk again after our vacation.

Wife:   OK, dear. Well, I’m off to the health club. I want to look my best for our vacation!


Father:   This looks like a good spot, Son. I’ve got a feeling that this is where the fish are! Put down the anchor. Careful! I don’t want you falling out of the boat!

Son:   OK, Dad.

Father:   Here’s your fishing rod, Son. Ahhh! It’s great to be out here fishing, just nature and us, isn’t it? Since the beginning of civilization, it’s been the same story. Humans and their struggle to find food – the struggle for survival!

Son:   Uh, Dad?

Father:   Oh, I know, Son. You’re a little young to understand. When you get to be my age, you start to look at life a little differently. You start to see the big picture and . . .

Son:   Uh, Dad, uh, could I say something, Dad?

Father:   You don’t have to say anything, Son. I understand. You’re glad I took you on this fishing trip, you’re happy to be with your old dad in this beautiful place, and . . .

Son:   I just wanted to say that there’s a hole in the boat.

Father:   A hole in the boat? Why didn’t you tell me? Quick, start the engine! Let’s get back to dry land!


Donna:   Hello?

Jen:   Hi, Donna!

Donna:   Hi, Jen! I was just thinking of calling you!

Jen:   Really? What a coincidence! Well, anyway, I’m calling for a very special reason. This Friday evening, I’m planning a party at my house. It’s my birthday, and I’m inviting about 30 friends over. Would you like to come?

Donna:   Oh, thanks for asking, Jen, but I’m afraid I can’t make it.

Jen:   Can’t make it? What do you mean? It’s going to be such a great party! I’ve hired a caterer and a band – everything’s going to be first class! Is it transportation? I’d be happy to pick you up.

Donna:   That’s really nice of you, but that’s not the reason I can’t come.

Jen:   Well, what is the reason, then?

Donna:   Well, Friday is my birthday, too, and I’m having a party at my house! In fact, I was planning to invite you!

Exercise 3

Listen to a conversation between two students. Then check (✓) the correct answers.

1   Tito is vocalizing ________.

      a   to get ready for a speech

      b   to get attention from her friend

      c   to calm herself down

2   Tito’s speech is ________.

      a   for 100 people at his office

      b   about public speaking

      c   for a public speaking class

3   Tito is going to ________.

      a   eat turkey with honey

      b   eat bananas and drink tea

      c   eat turkey with bananas

4   Bananas can ________.

      a   warm up your voice

      b   help calm your nerves

      c   make you sleepy


1 a   2 c   3 b   4 b


Tito:   Ma-Me-Mi-Mo-Moo … Ba-Be-Bi-Bo-Boo…

Shelly:   Hey, Tito … uh, what are those noises you’re making?

Tito:   Oh, hey, Shelly. I’m vocalizing.

Shelly:   What’s vocalizing?

Tito:   I’m warming up my voice to get ready for a speech.

Shelly:   Oh, really? Where are you giving a speech?

Tito:   It’s for my public speaking class. We each have to give a 15 minute speech in front of our class and another class! I’m really nervous. There’s going to be a hundred people there!

Shelly:   Wow, a hundred people? I’d be nervous too. What else are you doing to prepare?

Tito:   I’m going to drink some tea with honey. And eat lots of bananas.

Shelly:   Bananas? Why bananas?

Tito:   Well, bananas are high in potassium. My friend who plays the flute told me that lots of musicians eat them before performances. They’re supposed to calm your nerves. Turkey does the same thing, but I don’t eat meat.

Shelly:   Wow, I never knew that.

Tito:   Yeah, turkey has some chemical in it that makes you calm, or even sleepy! But even if I ate meat, I wouldn’t want to feel tired before my speech!

Shelly:   Yeah, that wouldn’t be good. Well anyway, I’ll let you get ready. Listen, good luck on your speech!

Tito:   Thanks a lot! See you, Shelly. Pa-Pe-Pi-Po-Poo…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This