Speaking/video activity: How Companies Become Successful (Business English)

Escrito por Carina Fragozo
Hi, everyone! Here’s a worksheet I’ve prepared for a private student who likes talking about companies and business. This lesson can take from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how much your student (or group of students) speaks. It is based on two videos: one about building a successful company and another about the history of Toyota, one of the biggest companies in the world. You’ll see a link to access this worksheet with answers at the end of the post. I hope it’s useful for you!


1. What are the five most successful companies in the world, in your opinion?
2. What about Brazilian companies?
3. Which aspects did you take into consideration to choose these 10 companies?


4. Watch the video and write down the six steps mentioned to have a successful company. Take notes because you’re going to report them later.

1) ___________:_______________________________________________________________
2) ___________:_______________________________________________________________
3) ___________:_______________________________________________________________
4) ___________:_______________________________________________________________
5) ___________:_______________________________________________________________
6) ___________:_______________________________________________________________

Speaking 1

5. Do you agree with the aspects presented in the video? Would you add any other?
6. Which strategies do you use to keep service quality at your business?
7. What do you do to keep your competitors “away”?


8. In 2013, Toyota was classified as the 4th greatest company in the world (source), with 849,594 employees. Watch the following segments of the video and answer:

(0:00 to 2:39)

a) Who founded Toyota? Who inspired him?
b) What did the family work with before founding Toyota?
c) What happened when Kiichiro went to America?
d) What happened in 1935?
e) What’s the philosophy of the company?
f) What happened in 1936?

(3:20 to 4:52)

g) What happened after Kiichiro’s death?

(6:56 to 9:30)
Mark T (true) of F (false):

h) (  ) The first Corolla was a 1.1 liter car with 60 horsepower engine.
i)  (  ) Toyota gained customers’ trust with a customer oriented attitude.
j)  (  ) Toyota’s cars weren’t affordable that time.
k) (  ) Toyota successfully improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.

(12:35 to 13:13)

l) Explain the new technology implemented by Toyota.

Speaking 2

9. What should car companies do to overcome competitors?
10. What does your company do to be environment-friendly?
11. Do you see any similarity between the history of Toyota and the history of your company?
12. What does your company do to get new costumers?

Download worksheet with answers HERE.

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