In the last two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting and teaching a most delightful Swiss German client who is here on a two-week intensive Business English course. Andrea’s main objective during these two weeks has been to work on her presentation skills as her job now requires her to give more and more presentations in English.

So we’ve spent the last two weeks working on such things as signposting language (for example, “to move on”; “to recap”; “to summarise”; “to turn to” and so on); presentation structure; using visuals and using the voice to make an impact (for example, pauses, sentence stress and intonation).

One of the other things we’ve also worked on is creating a bank of common expressions that Andrea can learn in advance and use in any of her presentations. You can reduce the amount of thinking you have to do in a presentation by learning these expressions. Simple verbs like “make”, “take”, “give” and “do” form the basis of many of these expressions.

In this post I’d like to share 25 common expressions. The expressions are split into the four verb groups and I’ve highlighted the expression and given you an example of how to use it in a sentence.

1. We’ve made significant improvements to our invoicing system.

2. This is an area where we’re finally starting to make real progress.

3. We’ve made a major breakthrough in AIDS research.

4. Together we can make a real difference to the way people shop.

5. I’d like to make a distinction here between what I call innovative and imitative research.

6. We want our clients to make the most of the facilities we can offer them.

7. After years of research into the technology, the company is finally making an impact on the sector.

8. There’s an important point that needs to be made here.

9. They’ve really made a mess of the ordering system.

10. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to Infosystems.

11. It’s vitally important that we take action against illegal drug sales.

12. I’d like to take a few minutes to talk you through last quarter’s figures.

13. Of course, it’s the innovative companies that consistently take the lead in cancer research that will benefit from this.

14. It’s all too easy to think that research is all about taking initiatives.

15. Sometimes companies need to take a chance and try something new.

16. The illegal copies of DVDs have really taken a bite out of our profits.

17. I’ll begin by giving you an overview of the history of our company.

18. Before I start, I’d like to give you the background to the work we’ve been doing in the last year.

19. This graph will give you an idea of how far we’ve come in the last few years.

20. I don’t want to give you the impression that it’s all doom and gloom.

21. I could give you hundreds of examples of where this system has worked.

22. We’re extremely proud of the research our R & D team have done.

23. They have been doing some excellent work on the prototype.

24. We recently did a survey and the results were astonishing.

25. You can often do more damage to company profits by expanding too quickly.


I hope you find this bank of expressions helpful. Next time, I will share some survival tactics that you can use when presenting in English.

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Ciao for now


Source: Presenting in English, Mark Powell (2002) Heinle Cengage Learning