Ellentalgymnasien – Fachschaft Englisch / Mittelstufe

Dear student,

this guideline will help you with your GFS-presentation. You should carefully read through it before you start working on your presentation. Yes, this will take you some time – but it will definitely be worth it! You can also use this guidline as a checklist and tick every aspect once you have successfully worked on it.


This guideline is not meant to replace your teacher, though. Please, do not hesitate to contact your teacher if you have any GFS-related questions.


What makes a topic a good topic?

  • Your GFS-topic should not be too vague. It therefore needs to be based on a single guidung question. If you are able to answer this question with either YES or NO you are on the right track.

This is not a good topic

This is a good topic


London – A Place Worth Visiting?

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef – Can it Be Rescued?

British Youth Culture

British Youth Culture – A Good Role Model for German Teenagers?

School Uniforms

School Uniforms –  Ending Social Discrimination?


2. What should your GFS look like and how long should it be?

You need to prepare a presentation, including a handout. However, you do not have to hand in a written text.

You have about 15 minutes (years 7 / 8) or 20 minutes (year 9) to make your presentation. Afterwards there will be an additional 5-10 minutes during which your teacher will ask you some topic-related questions. 


3. How should you structure your GFS?

Your presentation should have an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. This makes your presentation look somewhat like a burger.


  • Introduce the topic of your presentation as well as your guiding question.
  • To do so, you may…
    • refer to interesting or funny facts.
    • tell an anecdote.
    • use a quote or an interesting image / photo.
  • You need to explain the structure of your presentation, i.e. you need to tell your audience why you have chosen this particular structure.
  • Main body of your presentation.
  • In this part of your GFS you present the information which you consider to be relevant or important for your GFS-topic.
  • You need to make sure that your transitions are smooth, i.e. you need to use nice phrases and connectives to link the different aspects and ideas related to your GFS-topic.
  • Conclusion of your presentation.
  • Round off your presentation by…
    • summarizing the most important facts / aspects and linking them to your guiding question.
    • thanking your audience for their attention.
    • asking your audience if they have any questions.


4. What should your content be like?

Do not present a list of separate or loosely connected pieces of information, but…

  • connect the different parts of your GFS in a way that makes it easy for your audience to understand how the different parts are related to each other.
  • You also need to make sure the information you present is …
    • correct.
    • relevant.
    • sufficient.
    • appropriate.

Struggling with finding good, reliable and helpful information? What about looking for books, magazines and English articles in the school’s library?


5. Is organising my GFS-presentation part of the assessment criteria?

Yes, it absolutely is. Organising your GFS-presentation is a part of your GFS and will be considered when assessing it.

  • If you would like your teacher to copy material for you (e.g. transparencies, handouts), you need to hand in your material two days before your GFS-presentation at the latest.
  • If you need to discuss questions related to the content or the structure of your GFS-presentation, please ask for a good meeting time / date.
  • You need to find out about the technical devices available for your GFS-presentation. You need to do this as soon as possible, but definitely not later than one week before your presentation date.


6. How do I prove that I made the GFS-presentation on my own and why is this necessary?

The expression of original ideas or words is considered “intellectual property” and falls under copyright protection. You therefore need to know that…

  • to pass off the ideas or words of someone else as one’s own is an act of fraud.
  • to copy someone else’s ideas or words without giving adequate references is a criminal act similar to theft. It is called plagiarism and it is not acceptable.
  • Simply put, if you copy a presentation from the internet, for example, and pretend it to be your own work, you will necessarily get a 6.

Please also remember that it is not the idea of a GFS-presentation that you make someone else do all the work (e.g. your mother / father, older sister / brother, grandma / grandpa, all of them).

  • Your GFS-presentation therefore needs to include a bibliography as well as a statement of authorship at the very end of your presentation (e.g. as a final slide or transparency).


Statement of authorship:

“I hereby declare that I made this GFS-presentation on my own. I listed all the books, articles, internet sources etc. I used for my presentation in my bibliography. I included references for quotes or other materials which are part of my presentation.”


Date: xx                                                                                                                                                                Signature: xx xxx

You may use the following examples as a guideline for your bibliography:



Internet sources:

Germania (Painting), Friedrich August von Kaulbach,  1914, from:

https://www.dhm.de/ausstellungen/dauerausstellung/epochenbereiche/1871-1918.html (19/10/2016, 3.15 p.m.)

  • please, remember that you can easily “copy-paste” this address from the web browser.


Sarah Butler / Mark Sweney, “Iceland’s Christmas TV advert banned for being too political”, from:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/nov/09/iceland-christmas-tv-ad-banned-political-greenpeace-orangutan (9/11/2018, 2.30 p.m.)

  • i.e. you have used information from an article written by Sarah Butler and Mark Sweney with the title “Iceland’s Christmas TV advert banned for being too political”. You found this article in the Guardian‘s online edition on the 9th of October 2018 at 2.30 p.m.


(Daily, weekly or monthly) Newspapers or magazines:

 David Nakamura, “Border crisis proves it‘s bigger than any single president”, In: World and Press, August/2018, p. 1

  • i.e. you have used information from an article written by David Nakamura with the title “Border crisis proves it‘s bigger than any single president“.  You have found this article in the newspaper World and Press. You have used the August edition from 2018 (August/2018). The article can be found on page 1.



                                               Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, London, 2003, p. 25.

  • You have used a novel written by Mark Haddon with the title The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. This book was published in the year 2003 in London [This information can normally be found on the very first pages of a book, usually in a very small font]. You have used a quote from page 25 of the novel.


Note: In some cases it is very difficult to find out who actually wrote a book (school books or travel guides are good examples of this). In such cases you can just leave out this piece of information.


Access 3, Stuttgart, 2015, p. 28.


Fodor’s Exploring Florida, New York, 1995, p. 63.


7. What to remember when giving your presentation:

Please, do not forget that this is an English class. Therefore, the quality of your language is of great importance when it comes to assessing your presentation!

Use of language.

  • Make sure that…
    • you use appropriate vocabulary and sentence structures.
    • your language is correct.
    • your pronounciation is correct and authentic.
    • you are understood by your audience.
      • For example, it might be very helpful to visualize key words and difficult vocabulary.

No matter which material or media you make use of, you should always try to speak as freely as possible as this makes you appear much more natural. It also helps you to interact with your audience.

  • Interaction with your audience. This refers to…
    • use of voice.
    • eye contact.
    • gestures and body language (e.g. stance, presence).
  • Making use of (audio-)visual material and other forms of media. You do not have to use only one of the following possibilities. It might be a very good idea to use different ones!
    • For example,…
      • paper handouts.
      • posters.
      • overhead projector transparencies.
      • Power Point slides.
      • videos.
      • ‚Metaplan‘ cards.
      • artefacts or props.
  • Your choice will depend on various aspects.
    • For example,…
      • what would you like to be seen and how would you like this to be seen?
      • how long should this information be visible?
      • do you want to show a progression from point to point?
  • Your presentation needs to be…
    • visually attractive.
    • informative.
    • comprehensible / easy to understand.

Not appreciated, for example…

Much appreciated, for example…

make the writing on your slides etc. so small your audience can’t read it

use a big enough font (roughly btw. 18pt – 22pt)

use a fussy background image

keep the background simple

use so much animation that your audience gets distracted

use animation when appropriate

cram your slides, posters etc. with so much information that your audience loses track

make content visual and easy to follow


8. How should I deal with stagefright?

  • Make sure that you are well prepared.
  • Rehearse your presentation.
    • Even if you are the epitome of calm and cool as a cucumber, it is still elementary that you rehearse delivering your presentation out loud.
  • Think well of your audience. Assume that they want you to do well (your teacher certainly does) and that they are interested in your topic (your teacher certainly is).
  • Dress comfortably and adequately. How you look affects your confidence and the audience’s perception of you.


9. Language help

Introducing  the topic:

  • My talk/presentation today is going to be on … / is going to ask the question whether…
  • The purpose of the presentation is to show that … / answer the question whether …


Explaining the structure of the presentation:

  • I’ve divided my presentation into … sections
  • First, I’d like to talk about … / give you a general idea of …
  • Secondly, … / After that I will tell you more about …
  • At the end of the presentation I will explain why …
  • Please feel free to interrupt if anything is unclear…


Presenting the points of your main body:

  • Firstly/ First of all, I would like to …
  • This brings me to my next point/section.
  • Another important point is the following:


Referring to your visual material:

  • Here you can see …
  • I would like to draw your attention to this table/photo/graph…
  • The photo/graph/table … shows …


Rounding  off your presentation:

 So, to sum up …

  • That’s why I think …
  • That’s the end of my presentation. Thank you for listening. Do you have any questions? / And now I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.


Interacting with the audience and dealing with problems that may occur during the presentation:

  • Can you all hear me properly? /Should I make the room a little darker? / Is the slide clear enough at the back, too?
  • One moment please, the equipment is acting up, i.e. it does not work properly.
  • Things aren’t quite going to plan, unfortunately, but perhaps we can carry on with …
  • I apologise for this brief interruption, we’ll continue in just a moment.