Speaking Test Strategies 12 Vivid examples and anecdotes

looping rollercoaster against blue sky
Paint a clear picture.

In this lesson, we will work on using specific language to give powerful examples and anecdotes. 


A good example should paint a clear picture for the listener. It should be specific, and it should give details. 

  • What's happening in the picture above?
  • Can you think of a time when you went to an amusement park, and describe it in detail? 
Warm Up: 

What's the problem with this example? Can you make it stronger? 

Tokyo has great food. For example, sushi and ramen. 

Speaker A

A. The key to giving powerful examples and anecdotes is to use high-level verbs and adjectives. You probably have a rich vocabulary already, so practice using it now. Read the example answer below. Which words or phrases make it vivid? What information paints a clear picture?

Describe your colleagues.

My colleagues are fantastic. They always help me. For example, when I was new, I had a tough client who demanded so much! I had to stay at the office every night until 2 or 3am, but my team members gave me great support. They'd finish their own work and then come by to check on me and give me a hand. 


B. Now describe these topics using vivid language.

  1. Your best vacation. 
  2. Your boss.
  3. Your favorite kind of clothes to wear.
  4. A food you hate.

Now choose a question from below, and answer it with detailed examples:

  1. What are some important factors for many people when choosing a new place to live? 
  2. How would you describe your personality?
  3. Do you think there are cultural differences in fashion? 
  4. What is your favorite food? Can you explain how to make it?