Dynamic verbs for describing a graph and making a clear presentation

Here’s a short but informative video explaining which verbs we can use in sales and marketing presentations to describe degrees of change in graphs. The video was posted on Youtube by Roxana Pascariu, an English teacher from Romania.

Roxana avoids the usual—and, frankly, rather dull—verbs go up and go down. Instead she uses verbs such as rise, fall and plummet. She also explains how we can follow a verb with an adverb such as dramatically and gradually to more accurately express the degree of change that we’re talking about.

If you work in sales or marketing, or just need Business English in general, take a look at Roxana’s clear and simple explanation. At the bottom of this page I’ve added a summary, along with some example sentences.

The best verbs and adverbs to use when presenting graphs

With verbs like rise and fall, we should use an adverb to emphasise how big or small the change was:

  • Sales rose sharply. (big, sudden)
  • Sales fell dramatically. (big, sudden)
  • Sales rose slightly. (a small change)
  • Sales increased steadily. (over time, at a constant rate but not sharply)
  • Sales fell gradually. (over time, not sharply or dramatically)

With strong and more dramatic verbs like plummet (a very big and sudden drop) we don’t need to use an adverb; the verb alone accurately describes the degree of change:

  • Sales rocketed after the TV ad campaign. (very big, very sudden)
  • Sales plummeted after the bad publicity we received in the press. (very big, very sudden)


Stuart is an English teacher and runs the Speakspeak website. He currently lives in Prague and has been teaching for over 20 years. Follow Stuart and contact him by subscribing to his monthly newsletter.

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