to hold a presentation


Senior Member
German, Germany
Hi everyone!

I'd like to know whether it is correct to say "to hold a presentation", for example like in this sentence: "Yesterday, he held a presentation on XY."
Our English teacher (native language: German) keeps on using "to hold" both with "presentation" and "speech"; however, it sounds terribly German-like to me, somehow it hurts my ear whenever I hear it ;)

I've read "to conduct a presentation" but I'm wondering whether this would actually be used in spoken language... Could anyone help me with this?

Thank you very much in advance!
  • MissFit

    Senior Member
    I prefer "give a presentation" or "make a presentation" or "deliver a presentation." "Conduct" seems fine too.

    To "hold a presentation" only sounds right to me in the sense of holding a meeting during which a presentation is made. If I reserve the meeting space, hire the speaker to make a presentation, and invite the audience members to attend, then I might say that I am holding a presentation--but the speaker that I hired is making/giving/delivering the presentation.

    To "hold a speech" is not an expression that I've ever heard. Speeches may be given, delivered, or presented.


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I personally wouldn't use the word, "hold." I like "gave" the most.

    I might say, for example:

    "He presented his speech on World Hunger to the panel."


    "He delivered his presentation on Global Warming to the audience of car manufacturers."

    The word "gave" is really what comes to mind first in terms of "presentation."



    New Member
    English - AusE, BrE, AmE mix
    You can say "hold an event," so if the presentation is a standalone event, you can say "hold a presentation." But then it refers to the actual event itself and not solely to the act of actually presenting. But if speaking colloquially, you could word things ambiguously so that it could mean either or both.

    If you just mean the act of presenting one session at a multi-session conference, for instance, then "give a presentation," "deliver a presentation," or "present on ..." are probably the most common expressions, as others pointed out.

    If I was among many presenters at a multi-session conference, I absolutely wouldn't say "hold a presentation" to refer to my session. I would say that the conference organizers are "holding the conference" and that I am "presenting on ..." or "giving a presentation about ..." at that conference.
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