Presenting Presentations

My advanced classes have a regular feature where the students present a TED-talk of their choice. I think they benefit in three ways from this activity.

Looking for a TED-talk they like students have to browse several talks and thus are exposed to the language in these talks. They can even switch on subtitles to help them understand better.

TED-talks are some of the finest presentations out there and can serve as models for student presentations.

With these talks students can engage with important topics that really interest them.

I’ve used this activity in several different classes now, and I was always very happy with the outcome. My students got the following text to help them develop an idea of how I would like them to present their TED-talk:

Presenting a TED-talk

A) General setting:
The time frame expected for each presentation is about 15 minutes. It should not be supported by PowerPoint or other fancy kinds of visualization. If absolutely needed, take the blackboard to visualize. This is supposed to be just about you talking for at least 5 minutes!

B) Structure of the presentation:
1. introduce
– Who is talking?

– What’s the general topic of the talk
– What’s the main thesis of the talk?
– What are the most important arguments supporting the main thesis?
– Why have you chosen this talk? Explain what you find inspiring, fascinating, ingenious…
2. Show a part of the talk
3. Teach the others 3 useful vocab items (preferably longer chunks!) taken from the talk.

Try and make your presentation as interesting as possible for your audience. Look at the way TEDsters present their talk. A lot of them present their argument as if telling an interesting story. Try an treat your TED-talk as an interesting story that you would like to tell your classmates.

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