How to give a presentation in English - Session 7

By Viv Quarry (


Highlighting information

There are a number of different ways you can emphasise and highlight key points in your presentation to give it more impact, and to sound more persuasive. Here are some of them:


    Stressing an auxiliary verb.

You can highlight key ideas by stressing auxiliary verbs like: is, was, were, will, has.

With negatives put stress on words like: no or not e.g.: is not or will not.


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It's costing a lot of money.                               BECOMES                It IS costing a lot of money.


We aren't recommending any                           BECOMES                We are NOT recommending

major changes.                                                                       any major changes.


The company doesn't see any                          BECOMES                The company sees NO need for

need for change.                                                                                 change.


    Adding the auxiliary do, does or did in an affirmative statement.

You can emphasise an idea by adding the auxiliary do, does, did in front of the main verb.


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We see a need for change.                              BECOMES                We DO see a need for change.


Personnel knew about it before.                       BECOMES                Personnel DID know about it...


I think it's very expensive.                                BECOMES                I DO think it's very expensive.


    Changing the word order of a sentence.

You can also add emphasis by adding 'what' and changing the word order in a sentence


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We're suggesting cuts in production.                BECOMES                What we're suggesting are cuts...


They propose a major reorganisation.  BECOMES                What they propose is a major....


More investment is needed, not cuts                BECOMES                What is needed is more

in investment.                                                                                      investment not cuts in investment


    Repeating key words and ideas.

Repeating important ideas or vocabulary is also a useful way of reinforcing a point.


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We need to reduce production             BECOMES                We need to reduce production

and packaging costs.                                                                          costs, and we also need to reduce

                                                                                                          packaging costs.





Choose one of the frameworks below as the basis for a presentation. If possible, record yourself and play it back afterwards.


1          Describe a current situations.

            Give the benefits and weaknesses.

            Make a proposal,

Give the benefits and weaknesses then counterbalance).


2          Describe a problem.

Give two options.

            Give the benefits and weaknesses of both options.


3          Describe a procedure or organisation

Give the benefits and weaknesses.

            Give three options.

            Describe the benefits and weaknesses of all three options.







Evaluate your organisation: Have you used:



signals to move from point to point?



linking words to make your arguments clear?






Evaluate your delivery:



Have you emphasised and highlighted your main ideas?



Are there any changes you need to make?





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