Presentation skills: hooking the audience

Lesson plan overview

This pre-intermediate and intermediate Business English lesson plan is dedicated to the topic of presentations. It is the first of a series of lessons about presentation skills. This lesson is focused on different techniques used to hook the audience at the beginning of a presentation.
Reading and useful language: After an initial discussion about presentations, students read about 5 different ways to grab the audience’s attention (rhetorical questions, shocking statistics, quotes, storytelling, using the words “imagine” and “what if” and a few examples for each type of hook. Then students are given 15 phrases, which they need to put into the correct category according to the type of hook the phrase is.
Video: Next students move on to the listening task. They take a look at the 4-step formula that is going to be mentioned in the video and talk about what the correct order of the steps is. Next, they watch the first part of the video “How to start your presentation: 4 step formula for a killer presentation” and check their answers. After that they work out how the speaker used her formula when starting her talk and watch the second part of the video to check their answers.
After watching, students discuss their last presentation, the technique they used to hook the audience and how they could improve it.
Lastly, students are asked to prepare the intro for one of the presentation topics given.
For additional speaking practice, you can use the printable set of conversation cards.

Unlock these resources with one of our subscription plans

Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

Whenever you start a presentation, it’s a good idea if you can start with a story.
This is a story about something that’s happened and I can talk about how things were different back then and how things have changed nowadays.
… and have someone who can help you create those videos so that you’re actually looking professional, sounding professional, and giving the right message as well.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

Share this lesson plan with someone who will find it useful

0 0 votes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments