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Business Presentation by power point

Five Tips to Make PowerPoint Business Presentations More Effective

Using PowerPoint in a Business Presentation?
These five tips will make your communication more effective

It is almost expected today that you will use PowerPoint in business presentations. It can be used to add visuals to the message and is an easy way to create a leave-behind handout or e-mail the presentation to others later. But too often business presenters aren’t as effective as they could be when delivering a PowerPoint presentation. Here are five tips drawn from my training programs for making your next PowerPoint business presentation more effective.

Start with Structure First

I always start my workshops by suggesting that presenters plan their presentation on paper before they sit down at the computer. Start by defining the goal of the presentation – what you want the audience to do, feel, understand or act on when you are done. Next, describe where the audience is today in terms of their knowledge, trust of you, attitudes and roles in the organization. Once you have the starting point and destination, you can now plan the route that you will use to take the audience through your presentation. Using sticky notes to lay out the main ideas and supporting data is a good way to see the entire presentation at once. Now you can decide where visuals will add to your message and what those visuals should be.

Use Colors & Fonts that are Easy to See

You don’t need to have a graphic design background in order to design slides that are visually appealing. Decide on a simple standard look for your slides so that the audience has visual consistency throughout the presentation. Select background and text colors that have enough contrast so that the text will be easy to read. Instead of guessing at whether the colors have enough contrast, check the colors with the Color Contrast Calculator. For any text, research tells us that a sans-serif font, like Arial or Calibri, is easier to read when projected, so use one of these fonts. For font size, it depends on the size of the screen and the size of the room (you can see a detailed chart based on visual acuity calculations here). But if you use fonts that are 24-32 point size as a minimum, you will usually be safe.

Use Visuals Instead of Text Slides

Audiences don’t want you to read slides full of text to them – surveys show it is the most annoying thing presenters can do. So use visuals instead of paragraphs of text. Use graphs to illustrate numeric data. Use diagrams to show processes or flows of information or goods. Use pictures to show a person, place or object. Use media clips to bring the views of others into your presentation. There are many more visuals that you can use. If you need a method for creating visuals, see the five-step KWICK method in my book The Visual Slide Revolution.

Practice and Rehearse

Creating your presentation at the last minute is not a good idea because it does not allow you to practice and rehearse. Practice is when you sit with your presentation and mentally review what you are going to say and how you want the flow to work. Practice is not enough, although many presenters think it is sufficient. You must also rehearse your presentation by standing and delivering it as if it was for real. This is the only way to check your words, your visuals and whether the message is as clear as you want it to be. It is also the only way to truly check your timing to make sure you don’t run over the allotted time.

End Your Presentation with Next Steps

In my opinion, the single worst way to end your presentation is with a slide that has the word “Questions???” in big bold text on it. This type of ending invites your audience to question everything you have just said and does not move them the last step towards the goal you had set for your presentation. As I have recommended to many of the presenters I have worked with, end your presentation talking about the next steps that you want the audience to take to use the information you have provided. Invite discussion of the next steps if there is time, but end with a strong call to action so the audience is clear what they are to do next. Without a call to action, the audience is likely to do nothing further, and your presentation goal will not have been achieved.

By using these five tips, your next PowerPoint business presentation will be more effective because you will provide a structure for your message and deliver it in a way that the audience will understand it. The success of your presentation is mostly determined before you ever get up to speak. Take the time to prepare using these ideas and look forward to many successful PowerPoint business presentations.

Business presentation

The presentation is starting. Dim the lights. Time for a nap. These are the thoughts of many audiences subject to yet another boring business presentation. How can you awaken the cognitive powers of your audience? Start by learning the 8 secrets of a knockout business presentation.

Dig Deep: Having an effective business presentation that will have the audience on their feet requires more than the usual factoid dropped into your PowerPoint. Find a relevant fact beyond your topic norm. Give them the unexpected. The one obscure and contradictory piece of information that will raise heads and stimulate discussion. Where do you find such information? Go past the typical quick search engine scan. Check out educational websites for new research, interview industry mavericks, or scour the business press.

Avoid Info Overload:

PowerPoint expert Cliff Atkinson, author of Beyond Bullet Points says, “When you overload your audience, you shut down the dialogue that’s an important part of decision-making.” He points to some important research by educational psychologists. “When you remove interesting but irrelevant words and pictures from a screen, you can increase the audience’s ability to remember the information by 189% and the ability to apply the information by 109%,” recommends Atkinson.

Practice Delivery:

A knockout business presentation is so captivating it makes you forget about the speaker and become absorbed in the talk. Practice your delivery over and over until you remove the distractions including nervous tics and uncomfortable pauses. Pay particular attention to your body language. Is it non-existent or overly excessive? Good presenters work the stage in a natural manner.

Forget Comedy:

Business presenters will flirt with the temptation to deliver the stand up humor of Chris Rock. Remember your audience didn’t come to laugh; this is a business presentation. Leave your jokes at home. It’s ok to throw in a few natural off the cuff laughs but don’t overdo it.

Pick Powerful Props:

You don’t need a box full of props like the watermelon-smashing comic, Gallagher. A few simple props to demonstrate a point can be memorable in the minds of your target audience. Management guru, Tom Peters, uses a cooking timer to show how quickly factory expansion is occurring in China.

Minimize You:

“Frankly, your audience doesn’t care as much about your company history, as they do about whether you can help them solve the specific problems they face. Write a script for your presentation that makes the audience the protagonist, or the main character, who faces a problem that you will help them to solve,” says Atkinson.

Speak the Language:

A knockout business presentation doesn’t leave people wondering what you said. It might be tempting to throw in a few big words but are you alienating your audience? Always explain terms and acronyms. The number of smart executives who aren’t up on the latest terminology would surprise you.

Simple Slides:

Beware of the PowerPoint presentation. Many corporate brains will turn off at the sight of yet another PowerPoint presentation. Over 400 million desktops currently have the PowerPoint application. If you want your business to stand out, don’t be like everyone else. Use slides in your knockout presentation to highlight and emphasize key points. Don’t rely on your slide projector to run the show.It all comes down to what your audience walks away with in the end. Did you deliver another boring business presentation? Or did you persuade or motivate everyone to action? Apply the 8 secrets to a knockout presentation and watch your ratings soar.

To make a summary (basic)


Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation
Chapter Guide


Although the papers you write will be your own—your own voice, your own thesis statements—there will be times when you will want to integrate source material to help you support your assertions. When you integrate source material into your work, use summary, paraphrase, or quotation, depending on your purpose. A summary, written in your own words, briefly restates the writer’s main points. Paraphrase, although written in your own words, is used to relate the details or the progression of an idea in your source. Quotation, used sparingly, can lend credibility to your work or capture a memorable passage. This chapter details how to write summaries, how to paraphrase, and how to integrate quoted matter into your text.


A summary is a brief restatement, in your own words, of the content of a passage. You should focus on the central idea of the passage. Summarize when you want to present the main points of a lengthy passage or when you want to condense peripheral points necessary to your discussion. A summary should be brief, complete, and objective.

How to Write Summaries

Read the passage carefully.
Identify the author’s purpose. If the thesis or main idea is stated rather than implied, underline it. Analyze the structure of the piece. Are the subtopics highlighted by subheadings? If there are no subheadings, look for clues that indicate shifts in topics, including transitional sentences and paragraph divisions. Once you identify the subtopics, write your own subheadings in the margin. Underline key words and phrases.

Write one-sentence summaries of each stage of thought.
One of the most difficult things about writing a summary is synthesizing the information. Many students write summaries that are merely shortened versions of the original passage. Using your own words to express the ideas in the passage requires a great deal of concentration, for you must truly understand what the author is saying. Writing one-sentence summaries of each stage of thought on a separate sheet of paper will help you avoid using the language of the original in your summary.

Write a one- or two-sentence summary of the entire passage.
The one- or two-sentence summary of the passage becomes the thesis. The thesis is the first sentence of the summary, and it includes the passage’s subject and the claim that the author is making about that subject.

Write the first draft of your summary.
Depending on your purpose for using the summarized passage, you can structure your summary in one of two ways:

  • Combine the thesis with your list of one-sentence summaries.
  • Combine the thesis with your list of one-sentence summaries plus significant details from the passage.

Check your summary against the original passage.

  • Check to see that your summary is accurate and complete.
  • Check to make sure that you are using your own words.
  • Check for objectivity and revise any indication of personal opinion or critique.

Revise your summary.
In revising your summary, combine sentences and insert transitions where necessary to make your summary clear and coherent. Edit for grammatical correctness.

Compare the length of the summary to the original.
Summaries, as general rule, should be no longer than one-fourth of the original passage, although they could be much shorter, depending on your purpose in summarizing the original.

Summarizing Narratives

The purpose of a narrative is to tell a story, and the point is in the telling of it. In summarizing a narrative, your strategy must be very different from the strategy you would use in summarizing an expository piece. Do not write a narrative to summarize a narrative. In summarizing a narrative, give a synopsis or overview of the story’s events and relate how these events affect the central character.

Summarizing Figures and Tables

  • Pie Charts show relative proportions or percentages.
  • Graphs relate one variable to another. They are effective in showing trends or cause-and-effect relationships.

Tables present numerical data in rows and columns for quick reference and are most effective when the writer wants to emphasize numbers, particularly when a great deal of data is being displayed.


In paraphrasing a passage, use your own words, as you do in writing summaries. Instead of restating the writer’s main points, however, follow the progression of a writer’s ideas sentence by sentence. The paraphrase, then, is usually the same length as the original, unless highly ornamented language is used in the original. Paraphrasing is used most effectively when you want to present material written in language that is abstract, archaic, or highly technical.

How to write paraphrases

  • Read the original to discern its purpose and meaning.
  • Substitute your own words for those of the source passage.

Rearrange your sentences so that they read smoothly. Reorder and restructure your sentences to improve coherence and style.


A quotation records the exact language in a source. You should use quotations sparingly, because every quotation contains the voice of the writer who composed the text. Using too many quotes obviates your voice and is a clear indication that you have not successfully synthesized your source material. Used wisely, however, quotes can add credibility and interest to your paper. Always credit your sources with an attribution in the text or in a formal citation, depending on the level of formality of your assignment.

When to quote

  • Use quotations when another writer’s language is particularly memorable and will add liveliness to your paper.
  • Use quotations when another writer’s language is so clear and economical that to make the same point in your own words would, by comparison, be ineffective.
  • Use quotation when you want the solid reputation of a source to lend authority and credibility to your own writing.

Direct and indirect quotations

  • A direct quotation is one in which you record precisely the language of another. Quotation marks are used to enclose the exact words that were said or written.
  • An indirect quotation is one in which you report what some one has said, although you do not necessarily repeat the words exactly as they were spoken or written.

Incorporating quotations into your sentences

  • Work the material into your sentence as naturally as possible, using appositives to identify the speakers or authors of the quote.
  • Quotations should never stand by themselves without an attribution.
  • Use ellipses (three spaced periods) in the point of deletion to indicate that material has been omitted from the quote. If you are deleting the end of a quoted sentence, or if you are deleting entire sentences of a paragraphs before continuing a quotation, add a period before the ellipsis.



To make a summary in Indonesian

How to Write a Summary

Summaries do not have to be just for stories or books – summaries can be written about speeches, theatrical productions, and more! A summary is simply a condensed version of a larger work. To get started, all you have to do is use your own words to briefly touch on the main ideas and important details of the piece.


EditMethod 1 of 3: Preparing To Write

  1. 1

Skim the piece. Don’t take any notes this time — just take in the bare minimum to wrap your mind around the basic plot of the book or article. You’ll be able to concentrate on the smaller things later.

  • Think of the focus while you’re reading. Get down the most basic of questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? This bare bones thinking can help you to effectively and quickly write a pertinent summary.[1]


  1. 2

Read the piece thoroughly. In order to write an accurate summary, you must understand what you’re reading. Try reading with the author’s purpose in mind.

  • Take notes and highlight as you read. Take note of the subheadings, even if there aren’t any. Dividing it into sections in your mind will help you organize your summary.
  • Consider why you have been assigned the text. Write down the author’s main point and the main points of each section. Look for the writer’s thesis and underline it. This is the main idea of the work.[2]
  1. 3

Outline the article. This serves as the skeleton of your summary. Write down the support points of each section, but do not go into minor detail.

  • It’ll benefit you to write it in your own words now; that’ll save you time translating later. If you can’t get around copying from the orginial, put quotation marks around it. Only do this with incredibly important sentences that cannot be reworded.[3]

EditMethod 2 of 3: Writing Your Summary

  1. 1

Start with a clear identification of the work. This automatically lets your readers know your intentions and that you’re covering the work of another author.

  • Clearly identify (in the present tense) the background information needed for your summary: the type of work, title, author, and main point. Example: In the featured article “Five Kinds of Learning,” the author, Holland Oates, justifies his opinion on the hot topic of learning styles — and adds a few himself.[3]
  1. 2

Summarize the piece as a whole. Omit nothing important and strive for overall coherence through appropriate transitions. Write using “summarizing language.” Your reader needs to be reminded that this is not your own work. Use phrases like the article claims, the author suggests, etc.[3]

  • Present the material in a neutral fashion.[4] Your opinions, ideas, and interpretations should be left in your brain — don’t put them into your summary. Be conscious of choosing your words. Only include what was in the original work.[3]
  • Be concise. This is a summary — it should be much shorter than the original piece. If you’re working on an article, give yourself a target length of 1/4 the original article.
  1. 3

Conclude with a final statement. This is not a statement of your own point of view, however; it should reflect the significance of the book or article from the author’s standpoint.[2]

  • Without rewriting the article, summarize what the author wanted to get across. Be careful not to evaluate in the conclusion or insert any of your own assumptions or opinions.

EditMethod 3 of 3: Revising Your Work

  1. 1

Check for accuracy. A summary is slightly different than any other creative work — you must maintain a voice that’s current with the author’s 100% of the time. Revisit the article as you go over your work — are you jumping to any conclusions?

  • Does your summary make the same points as the article itself? Have you omitted anything important? Have you concentrated too much on the finer details?
  1. 2

Ask someone else to read your work. Another person may see an argument or point in a completely different light than you have, giving you a new feel for the work and yours.

  • Not only should they be comparing your work for accuracy, ask them to read it for flow and summation. Can that person understand the sense of the article by reading your summary?[2] Don’t hesitate to ask for criticism; then weigh those criticisms and make valid changes.
  1. 3

Revise your work. Now that you’ve monitored your work for accuracy and efficacy of tone and writing, make your small changes. Tweak the wording and transitions to make it as easy to read as possible.

  • Don’t forget to look for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors! Your credibility will seriously be questioned if you’ve glossed over the most basic of mistakes.
  • Submit your work — before the deadline.


Edit Tips

  • Often, instructors ask students to put their opinions in a paragraph separate from the summary. Ask yours what their preference is.
  • Write a complete bibliographic citation at the beginning of your summary. A complete bibliographic citation includes as a minimum, the title of the work, the author, and the source. Use APA format.




Making a summary in English

You may have to write a summary to prove that you have read and understood a text or article in English – or a number of texts and articles.

Tips for writing a summary

1. First, read the text or article to get a general idea of the subject matter as well as the author’s attitude.

2. Then read through a second time to identify the main points – either paragraph by paragraph, or heading by heading / sub-heading.

Identify the topic sentences. These are usually the first sentences of each paragraph. They give the main idea for the paragraph (with the following sentences supporting this main idea). Also look for the concluding sentence in the paragraph, as this often summarises the paragraph.

3. Now write the main idea of each paragraph (or section) in one sentence. Use your own words, rather than the author’s words. This is important: if you copy what the author has written, you risk writing too much!

4. Start pulling out key facts or findings from the text which support the author’s main idea (or ideas). You may need to either summarise these (if there are a lot of them) or decide which are the most important or relevant.

However, if you are summarising a number of texts or articles, start to look for common themes running through all the texts. Are the texts broadly in agreement, or do they have different points of view or findings? Choose only a few supporting details to illustrate similarity or contrast.

5. When you have written all your sentences, you should be able to get a good overview of the whole text. This overview can be your introduction to your summary. In your introduction, you’ll also need to give the author’s name and the title of the text you are summarising.

Your summary should now look like this:

Text / author information
Your overview (the introduction)
The single sentences summarising the main ideas, with the key facts or figures that support the ideas.

6. At this point, you’ll need to organise all the information in the most logical way. You might also have repeated ideas or details that you’ll need to delete.

7. Don’t forget to include linking words so your reader can easily follow your thoughts. This will help your summary flow better, and help you avoid writing short sentences without any connection between them.

Important points to remember

Don’t copy the article. Instead, paraphrase. For example, “the author claims / states / suggests …”
If you quote directly from the original text, use quotation marks. (Minimise how often you do this.)

Don’t give your opinion.

Edit what you write. Check your English grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.


Writing paragraphs

How do I write a paragraph? How can I begin?
It is important to know how to write a paragraph. There are certain rules you should follow in order to write a paragraph and to know how to write term papers. Your first sentence should be a topic sentence and should contain the topic and an opinion on the topic. It should strictly not contain any supporting ideas which MUST feature in the next sentence. You should write at least three sentences supporting your ideas, with facts, reasons, examples, statistics, comparison, or an anecdote. Last, you should have a concluding sentence which reasserts your opinion, but does not have the same wording. Going by these helpful rules will lead to good paragraph writing.

There are also four stages in which we have categorized paragraph writing so as to make it a lot easier for you to learn the art. The four stages are:

Prewriting Paragraphs
Writing Paragraphs
Editing Paragraphs
Publishing Paragraphs


What is the prewriting stage?
The prewriting stage is when you think carefully and organize your ideas for your paragraph before you begin writing.
Six Prewriting Steps:
  1. 1.    Think carefully about what you are going to write:
    Ask yourself: What question am I going to answer in this paragraph? How can
    I best answer this question? What is the most important part of my answer?
    How can I make an introductory sentence from the most important part of my answer? What facts or ideas can I use to support my introductory sentence?
    How can I
  2. 2.     make this paragraph interesting? Do I need more facts on this topic? Where can I find more facts on this topic?

    2. Open your notebook:
    Write out your answers to the above questions. You do not need to spend a
    lot of time doing this. Just write enough to help you remember why and how
    you are going to write your paragraph.

    3. Collect facts related to your paragraph topic:
    Look for and write down facts that will help you to answer your question.


4. Write down your own ideas:
Ask yourself: What else do I want to say about this topic? Why should people
be interested in this topic? Why is this topic important?

5. Find the main idea of your paragraph:
Choose the most important point you are going to present. If you cannot
decide which point is the most important, just choose one point and stick
to it throughout your paragraph.

6. Organize your facts and ideas in a way that develops your main idea:
Once you have chosen the most important point of your paragraph, you must
find the best way to tell your reader about it. Look at the facts you have
written. Look at your own ideas on the topic. Decide which facts and ideas
will best support the main idea of your paragraph. Once you have chosen the facts and ideas you plan to use, ask yourself which order to put them in the paragraph. Write down your own note set that you can use to guide yourself
as you write your paragraph.

What is the writing stage?
The writing stage is when you turn your ideas into sentences.
Five Writing Steps:
1. Open your notebook and word processor.
2. Write the topic sentence, supporting sentences and closing sentence.
3. Write clear and simple sentences to express your meaning.
4. Focus on the main idea of your paragraph.
5. Use the dictionary to help you find additional words to express your ideas.
What is the editing stage?
The editing stage is when you check your paragraph for mistakes and correct them.
Grammar and Spelling
1. Check your spelling.
2. Check your grammar.
3. Read your assignment again.
4. Make sure each sentence has a subject.
5. See if your subjects and verbs agree with each other.



6. Check the verb tenses of each sentence.
7. Make sure that each sentence makes sense.
Style and Organization
1. Make sure your paragraph has a topic sentence.
2. Make sure your supporting sentences focus on the main idea.
3. Make sure you have a closing sentence.
4. Check that all your sentences focus on the main idea.
5. See if your paragraph is interesting.
What is the publishing stage?
The publishing stage is when you produce a final copy of your assignment to
hand in. The three most vital publishing steps are: 1. Make a paper copy of your paragraph.
2. Show your work to your teacher, tutor or parents.
3. Ask them for hints on how to improve your writing.


Agreement and disagreement


How to Express Agreement & Disagreement in English

Learn to disagree respectfully in English.

Telling people how you feel about something they have just said in English requires a bit of finesse. You have to be able to say what you want to say without offending the other person. In English, this often means finding round about ways of saying what you want to say and using a lot of polite expressions in your speech. Frankness is something that English speakers do not necessarily appreciate. Learn to express your agreement and


How to Express Agreement & Disagreement in English


Learn to disagree respectfully in English.

Telling people how you feel about something they have just said in English requires a bit of finesse. You have to be able to say what you want to say without offending the other person. In English, this often means finding round about ways of saying what you want to say and using a lot of polite expressions in your speech. Frankness is something that English speakers do not necessarily appreciate. Learn to express your agreement and disagreement by using various polite phrases. (See Reference 1.)




To Agree
  • 1

Nod your head “yes,” and murmur “Mmmhmm.” This is the simplest way to acknowledge what someone says and that you agree in English.

  • 2

Wait until is your turn to speak, and use expressions such as “I agree with. . .,” “I think. . .is a good idea,” and “I think you’re right.”

  • 3
  • Begin by agreeing with what another person has said, but add a qualifier if you do not completely agree. For example, say “I agree with you, but. . .”; “That makes sense; however. . .”; or “It’s a good idea, but. . .” (See Reference 2.) If you agree with everything that the other per on says, you can say, “I completely agree,” or “You’re totally correct/right.”

To Disagree

  • 4

Remain calm. Keep any anger or disrespect in check. Calmly express your disagreement, all the while respecting the other person’s opinions.

  • 5

Use phrases such as “I disagree because. . .”; “The problem with that is. . .”; “The way I see it. . .”; “I’m against it because. . .”; “Instead, I think that. . .”

  • 6

Say “I’m afraid. . .” before you finish your disagreement statement. For example, you could say “I’m afraid I don’t agree with you,” or “I’m afraid I can’t agree.” If you do not agree with anything the other person has said, you can say, “I am afraid I completely disagree with you.”

This are examples of how to remain polite in expressing your disagreement in English. (See Reference 3.)



Toefl listening

TOEFL Section 1: Listening

Try the following Listening examples. Remember that in the real test you will hear these parts. You will not see them, but you will be allowed to take down any notes while you listen. You will hear each section once only.

In the following examples, the parts you would hear in the actual test are shown in red. The parts you would read in the actual test are shown in blue.

M = man W = woman

Conversations, Academic discussions, Lectures

There are three different types of listening passages you will hear. Some use formal language while others are more casual. Language is natural sounding, in that pauses, errors, and false starts occur. The first style are called conversations. These take place between a student and a university employee. The employee is often a professor, but can also be another worker on campus such as an advisor or housing officer. The topics are usually about life on campus. You will also hear Academic discussions, which take place in a classroom setting. In these passages there are more than two speakers. Usually the professor does most of the talking, and a few students ask and answer questions and make comments. They are usually longer in length than the conversations. Lectures involve only one speaker. These lectures test your ability to comprehend academic subject material spoken by a professor. You will hear topics on just about every type of subject, from Biology, to Art, to Geology. It is not necessary for you to learn any background material for this section. Everything you need to know to answer the questions will be stated in the lecture. There are many types of questions in this section. The questions are generally in the same order as the information presented.

Question types:

Understanding Gist

  • What is the main topic of the lecture
  • What are the speakers mainly discussing
  • What is the lecture mainly about…
  • Why does the professor ask…
  • Why is the student talking to…
  • Why does the professor discuss…

Understanding the Gist questions test your ability to understand the main idea and purpose of what you have heard. These questions are not about specific details. Some Gist questions focus on the purpose while others focus on the content.


  • According to the professor, what is the problem with…
  • What does the student say about…
  • What caused…

You will likely need your notes to help you answer the detail questions. Remember to take down important facts as you listen. Examples and support for the main idea are often the subject of detail questions. You will not be asked questions about minor details. Make sure not to pick an answer choice just because you heard a word from the lecture. It is common to find these words in the incorrect choices.

Understanding Attitude

  • What is the student’s impression of…
  • How does the professor feel about…
  • What does the professor mean when she says…(listen again)

Listen to the sound of the speakers’ voices for hints about their attitudes and opinions about the topic.

Understanding Function

  • What does the student imply when she says this…(listen again)
  • What is the purpose of the professor’s response…(listen again)

Part of the listening passage will often be replayed in these questions. Make sure that you are listening for function of what is being said.


  • How is the lecture organized?
  • Why does the speaker mention/discuss…

These questions are most commonly paired with lectures. As you listen, take note of how each lecture is organized (chronologically/compare and contrast) in case you get one of these questions.

Making Connections

  • What does the speaker imply about…
  • What does the professor imply when he says…(listen again)
  • Organize…in a chart…
  • Place the following sequence of events in order

These questions require you to draw conclusions, understand relationships, and make inferences. You may have to fill out a chart or match terms with definitions.

Example 1: Casual conversation

Now listen to a conversation.


Now get ready to answer the questions.</<br>
1. What are the speakers mainly discussing?

A) Their plans for next semester
B) Why the woman can’t go to the concert
C) Their favorite band
D) Finding a tutor


  • Choice A is incorrect because they are discussing the woman’s plans, not the man’s.
  • Choice C is incorrect because the man suggests it is supposed to be “the best show,” but does not say it is his favorite band.
  • Choice D repeats the word tutor, which is related to tutorial leader, but neither of the speakers are looking for one. Again, it is not the main idea.

The correct answer is B. This is an understanding the gist question.

2. What will the woman do on Saturday?

A) Teach a class.
B) Mark tests.
C) Visit her cousin.
D) Go to a concert.


  • Choice A is what the woman does, but not on the weekend.
  • Choice C repeats the word “cousin” but is not the correct answer.
  • Choice D is what she wants to do but can’t.

The correct answer is B. This is a detail question.

Listen again to part of the conversation. Then answer the question.


3. What does the woman mean when she says this?


A) She thinks he should treat her with more respect.
B) She plans to teach university.
C) She thinks Professor Mathers is not kind.
D) She thinks she’ll be as good a teacher as Professor Mathers.


  • Choice A is incorrect because the woman is only a tutorial leader right now.
  • Choice C confuses the homonyms “mean” (unkind) and the verb “to mean” (to indend to say or do).
  • Choice D is incorrect because they are not speaking about Professor Mathers in this part of the conversation.

The correct answer is B. She plans to do her PHD and become a professor. This is an understanding function question.

4. What can be inferred from the conversation?

A) The woman never works on weekends.
B) The man and woman take the same courses.
C) The speakers live in the same dorm.
D) The man stayed after class for help.


  • Choice A is incorrect because the woman has to work this weekend.
  • Choice B is incorrect because the man thanks the woman for the study tips.
  • Choice C is not inferred. The woman mentions being in her dorm all weekend, but there is nothing to suggest that the man lives there too.

The correct answer is D. (They are having a private conversation and the woman gave him study tips.) This is a making connections question.

5. How does the male student feel about the woman’s weekend plans?

A) He feels sorry for her.
B) He is excited for her.
C) He is worried about her.
D) He is jealous of her.


  • Choice B is incorrect because the woman is going to be at home working.
  • Choice C is not mentioned.
  • Choice D is incorrect, because it is the woman who says she is jealous of the man’s plans.

The correct answer is A. This is an understanding attitude question.

Transcript for listening conversation 1:

M: You mentioned at the start of last class that you are a fan of live music. I guess I don’t have to tell you about the concert at the campus pub on Saturday. It’s supposed to be the best show of the year.
W: I know. I wish I could be there but I already promised professor Mathers that I’d have all of the quizzes graded by Monday. I’m afraid I’m going to be stuck in my dorm all weekend because I look after three tutorial classes including yours.
M: Why did you offer to do that? Did you forget about the concert, or do you really need the money?
W: Actually, I really need to concentrate on academics this year. If I want to get into the education program I have to prove that I am serious about being a tutorial leader. It’s not about the money. We don’t get paid much considering all of the hours we put in.
M: Have you applied at other schools besides this one. I’ve heard it’s really hard to get into the Education program here, but my cousin got accepted at one in a different state, and her grades aren’t that good.
W: That was my original plan, but Professor Mathers asked me to help her out this year and she also promised to write me a reference letter. I didn’t think I could get into the program here, but now I do. My marks are higher than they have ever been and once I’m done my masters I hope to do my PHD.
M: Well, I can see that you are really dedicated. You’re going to make an excellent teacher.
W: Professor you mean.
M: Right. Well, I’m sorry you’re going to miss the band.
W: Me too. I can’t help feeling a bit jealous. Sometimes I wish I was still in my first year of studies.
M: Well, I’ll tell you all about it on Monday. Oh, and thanks for the homework tips.
W: Sure, anytime.

Transcript for question 3:

M: Well, I can see that you are really dedicated. You’re going to make an excellent teacher.
W: Professor you mean.
M: Right.

W: Professor you mean.

Example 2: Academic discussion

Now listen to part of a lecture from a environmental science class.


Now get ready to answer the questions.

1. What is the main topic of the discussion?

A) Harmful televisions
B) A landfill concern
C) Computer equipment
D) Recycling films


  • Choice A is incorrect because it is not the televisions that are harmful. It is the CRT’s inside them that are harmful. In the discussion, the word “harmful” is used to describe the X-rays that the CRT’s shield people from.
  • Choice C is mentioned but is not the main topic. You will often find a choice that is too broad or too detailed to be the main topic.
  • Choice D combines two things that are mentioned, making the choice illogical.

The correct answer is B. This is an understanding gist question.

2. What makes monitors hazardous to the environment?

A) SRT’s
B) X-rays
C) Cathode ray tubes
D) Landfills


  • Choice A contains a similar sound distractor. C and S sound similar.
  • Choice B is what makes monitors harmful to humans. The CRT’s protect people from this hazard.
  • Choice D confuses the “wh” question. If the question was reworded using “where” then the answer might be correct.

The correct answer is C. This is a detail question.

3. According to Lisa, why can’t monitors be recycled?

A) They are too expensive to reuse.
B) There are no companies that provide this service.
C) People are too lazy to take them to recycling plants.
D) Companies prefer to store them for future use.


  • Choice A is not mentioned.
  • Choice C could be true, but is not something Lisa says. In the “according to” question, you cannot choose an answer just because it makes sense. It has to be mentioned by the speaker (in this case Lisa).
  • Choice D(storage) is mentioned, but not for the reason of “future use”.

The correct answer is B. This is a detail question.

Listen again to part of the discussion. Then answer the question.


4. What does Lisa mean when she says this:


A) Her family has thrown monitors in the garbage.
B) Her family owns a lot of television sets.
C) Her family feels bad about how much TV they watch.
D) Her family doesn’t care about the environment.


  • Choice A is incorrect because Lisa hasn’t admitted that they threw the sets out, only that they own a lot of sets.
  • Choice C is incorrect because there is no mention of how much time Lisa’s family spends watching TV.
  • Choice D related to throwing out large items, but is not Lisa’s point.

The correct answer is B. This is an understanding function question.

5. What will the class do next?

A) Visit a landfill site.
B) Dissect a computer monitor.
C) Watch another film.
D) Review the film about monitors.


  • Choice A, B, and D are all contradicted by the last sentence in the discussion. The professor talks about what the new film will be about. It is not one that they have seen before. The answer to this type of common question is always in the last line or two of the listening passage.

The correct answer is C. This is a making connections question.

Toefl review exercises

Four words or phrases, labelled 1, 2, 3, and 4, are given below the conversation. Choose the word or phrase that will correctly complete the conversation. Click on the answer you think is correct.


1. What year did you _____ university?
graduate from
graduating from
2. It seems to be getting worse. You had better _____ a specialist.
consult to
consult for
consult by
3. Chicago is a large city, _____?
aren’t it
doesn’t it
won’t it
isn’t it
4. Don’t leave your books near the open fire. They might easily _____.
catch to fire
catch the fire
catch on fire
catch with fire
5. Do you enjoy _____?
to swim
to swimming
6. I have trouble _____.
to remember my password
to remembering my password
remember my password
remembering my password
7. Do you have _____ to do today? We could have a long lunch if not.
many work
much work
many works
much works
8. My brother will _____ for a few nights.
provide us up
provide us in
put us up
put us in
9. When will the meeting _____?
hold on
hold place
take on
take place
10. The board meeting was held _____.
at Tuesday
on Tuesday
with Tuesday
in Tuesday
11. Why don’t you _____ us?
go to the house party with
go together the house party with
go the house party with
together the house party with
12. That awful accident occurred _____.
before three weeks
three weeks before
three weeks ago
three weeks past
13. They didn’t _____ John when he explained his decision.
agree to
agree with
agree about
14. The social worker _____ the two old sisters who were ill.
called to the house of
called on the house of
called to
called on
15. Tomorrow is Paul’s birthday. Let’s _____ it.
16. If you don’t understand the text, don’t hesitate _____.
ask a question
asking a question
to ask a question
to asking a question
17. It’s snowing. Would you like to _____ on Saturday or Sunday?
go to ski
go skiing
go ski
18. Our company didn’t pay _____ for that banner advertisement.
much funds
many funds
many money
much money
19. Do you feel like _____ now?
to swim
to go swimming
20. Tom was thrilled to be _____ such a beautiful and interesting lady.
introduced at
introduced with
introduced to
21. “What happened to them last night? They look depressed”
“I don’t think _____ happened.”
22. “It is not very cold. I don’t think we need these big jackets.”
“I don’t think so, _____.”
23. “Bill is not doing well in class.”
“You must _____ that he is just a beginner at this level.”
keep minding
keep to mind
keep in mind
keeping in mind
24. “Excuse me. Do you know where the bus terminal is?”
“It is _____ the large police station.”
opposite of
opposed to
opposite with
opposite to


Uses of the Subjunctive [Logo]

After each sentence, select the verb or verb string that best completes that sentence. Caution: the subjunctive form will not be the best choice in all sentences.

1.  It is very important that all employees _______________ in their proper uniforms before 6:30 a.m.
A. are dressed
B. will be dressed
C. be dressed

2.  I wish my brother _________ here.
A. were
B. was

3.  The coach insisted that Fabio _______ the center position, even though he’s much too short for that position..
A. plays
B. play

4.  Evelyn Pumita moved that the meeting _______________.
A. was adjourned
B. be adjourned

5.  My mother would know what to do. Oh, would that she _______ here with us now!
A. were
B. was

6.  If only Jughead ______ a little more responsible in his choice of courses!
A. was
B. were

7.  If Mrs. Lincoln ________ ill that night, the Lincolns would not have gone to Ford Theatre..
A. were
B. had been

8.  Her employees treated Mrs. Greenblatt as though she _______ a queen.
A. was
B. were

9.  If his parents ____________ more careful in his upbringing, Holden Caulfield would have been quite different.
A. had been
B. were

10.  I wish I _________ better today.
A. feel
B. felt

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