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SpeakingGiving presentations and taking part in discussions

  • Structure
    Understand how to structure your presentation. Read more
  • Language
    The language to use in your presentation, from the introduction through to the conclusion. Read more
  • Body language
    How to look confident when giving a presentation. Read more
  • Delivery
    How to deliver your presentation with correct pace, volume, and emphasis. Read more
  • Visual aids
    Types of visual aids, and how to use them well. Read more

Read about presentation structure, language, body language, effective delivery, and visual aids.

Speaking in academic contexts means being able to give effective presentations and taking an active role in seminar discussions. Find out more about both on the following pages.

Presentation skills

Presentations are a common part of university life. Although giving a presentation can seem daunting at first, it is actually quite a routine task once you understand the basic structure, the signpost language needed, and have begun practising to help improve your body language and delivery. Preparing well, with some kind of visual aids, will help ensure that you can give an effective presentation time after time.

Find out how to structure your presentation.
Understand the special signpost phrases which are used to make your presentation easier to follow.
Read more about what confident body language entails.
Learn how to deliver your presentation effectively.
Understand the types of visual aids you can use in your presentation, and how to use them effectively.

Discussion skills

The following are some of the discussion skills you need to master in order to take an active role in seminars or tutorials.

Find out why tutorial discussions are important and how to take part effectively
Find out how to state your opinion and ask for others' opinions.
Learn how to agree and disagree (politely) in an academic context.
If you don't understand it is important to ask for clarification. Find out how with the language structures on this page.
Study language for other important discussion skills, namely giving suggestions and expressing uncertainty.


The main exams for academic speaking are TOEFL and IELTS. Get some tips for these exams on the following pages.

Get some tips for taking the TOEFL exam.
Find out how to improve your performance in the IELTS speaking test.


Like the website? Try the book. Enter your email to receive a free sample from EAP Foundation: Academic Presentations.



Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 10 April 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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