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Stage Fright - Oral Presentation Preparation

by Gayle McIntyre | 25 Aug 2020
Resource Description:

This lesson can be used when students begin learning about oral presentations.  It involves learning about stage fright, preparing and delivering a role play and a short oral presentation. It is presented as an online teaching class but could easily be done face-to-face.

Audience: Adult, Secondary, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced, Intermediate
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes in class plus preparation at home
Language Skill: Speaking
Content Area: English for Academic Purposes, English for Specific Purposes
Materials and Technology:

Online class – Internet and Zoom

Access to Youtube and Pdf about Stage Fright, or link provided to read online.


By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

·      Deliver a short informal presentation

·      Describe ways to overcome the fear of public speaking


Homework before this class- a) Online survey related to students’ experiences with, and fears of, public speaking (to be completed by midnight the day before class) b) reading assignment -  “Stage Fright: How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking”.

Teacher before class - Compile survey results and put on PowerPoint slide

1.     Class warm up – watch 3-minute stage fright video

Teacher presents useful vocabulary related to stage fright. (glossophobia, nerves, butterflies, jitters, expectations, failure, success, etc.)


Class discussion about what happened in the video.

2. Show slide of students’ anonymous survey results and have them guess what percentage of people answered each question a certain way. This show students that they are not alone in being nervous about the topic.

3. Group work in Zoom breakout rooms – groups of 4 students. General discussion about giving oral presentations. Teacher visits each breakout room briefly to encourage and clarify if necessary.

4. End breakout rooms. Back in class students share with class what they discussed.

5. Teacher presents instructions for role play and oral presentation and assigns breakout rooms with 2 people per room.

6. Teacher visits each breakout room briefly to encourage and clarify if necessary.

7. Return to Zoom class - students present their oral presentations

8. Classmates and teacher provide feedback on the presentation

9. Wrap-up activity – Canvas survey - students take a minute or two at the end of class to complete a brief survey about their comfort level with presenting, how they believe they could be more comfortable, and most importantly, how the teacher can help them prepare for future presentations, for example if they would like to practice one-on-one during office hours.


This is a formative activity. The student pairs will present and the teacher and classmates will give constructive feedback.


Follow up: The Canvas survey done at the end of class could be done as a longer Discussion Board activity. Students could reflect on what they learned in the class, answer on a Discussion Board and respond to each others' posts.


Wass, Daniel. (2017).  Stage Fright. How to Overcome Your Fear of  Public Speaking (PDF file). LogMeln Inc. Retrieved from

Useful Links:

Stage Fright video – 3 minutes

  Stage Fright. How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking (PDF file).
Uploaded Files:
TESOL Interest Section: Adult Education, English as a Foreign Language, English for Specific Purposes, Intensive English Programs