Make or Do a Presentation?

English Usage, The ICAL TEFL Blog

I was asked this question the other day by a learner of English; quite simply, do we MAKE or DO a presentation?

If you go online there are different stories, but as usual I went along to Google n-grams and checked out what they had to say.

It’s interesting. Prior to 1960 nobody really did anything with presentations. They didn’t often make, do, or give them. But soon after everyone was desperate to present something!

But check out the results below. In general, people MAKE a presentation or, slightly less often, GIVE a presentation. Whilst some people will DO a presentation, the number is pretty small compared to the other two options.

Since English teaching is all about teaching what people will need to know in order to make themselves understood, I confidently told the questioner that we MAKE a presentation.

make-do-presentation

Useful Links

Google n-grams

Google n-gram – results in full

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4 Comments

  1. Roberto Lucena

    Interesting point, but I would suggest taking a look at google trends as well.

    • Jenny Scott

      I got unexpected results when I just checked there; plus one can narrow it down by country and then things tend to go all over the place! What were your conclusions from Trends?

    • Pete West

      HI Glauco, the writer based his advice on usage data. So, nothing prescriptive but pure observation of how language is used in the real world. One can hardly argue with hard facts? 😉