Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you struggle to promote yourself?

Whether it’s a product that you’re selling or an idea you came up with, you need to let people know about it!

There are many words and phrases in English that are used for self-promotion.

Listen in today and get a great way to plug yourself in a socially acceptable way in English.

Talk shows

Michelle asks Lindsay if she watches any late night talk shows.

Lindsay mentions she is often asleep by the time these shows start so it’s rare that she gets to watch them.

Michelle shared that she used to love watching talk shows.

  • talk show: a television show with a host who interviews guests

These are shows like The Late Night Show with Conan O’Brien or the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Today’s episode is inspired by a listener question about what people say in talk shows.

I love your podcasts. I listen to them while I am potty training or nursing my baby girl. I just found a wonderful native English expression “I am happy to plug the book to you”, which was followed by a link to the said book. I think this will make an exciting topic to discuss in your podcast.

Thank you,
Zoobia Nadeem

Don’t miss recent episode AEE 2091: Trust Your Brain for Better Language Learning with Steve Kaufmann.

In this episode, Lindsay interviewed Steve who is a polyglot.

He shares incredibly useful tips for learning a language!


The verb ‘plug’ has many meanings.

In this context, to ‘plug’ something means to promote it.

For example, on a talk show, a celebrity plugs a movie, TV show, book, etc.

It is another way to advertise and make the public aware of something.

The example Zoobia shared “…plug the book to you” has an incorrect preposition.

Rather than ‘to you’, native speakers would say ‘for you’ or just ‘plug the book’.

When promoting something for someone else, we’d say, “I am happy to plug your book for you.”

If the topic comes up naturally, you can say, “Oh perfect, you’re plugging my book for me!”

Plugging on All Ears English

Lindsay shares that on this podcast, they plug their other shows.

Check out The Business English Podcast and IELTS Energy!

This is so you are aware of these shows that you could benefit from.

All Ears English also brings guests on and plugs their work.

These promotions are with the goal of helping you find useful resources.

Examples of how to use ‘plug’

You would want to use this verb like native English speakers do.

Here are some examples of how you may hear it and can use it.

#1: Thanks for the plug

You can also use ‘to plug’ to show gratitude for someone sharing a project you want promoted.


Lindsay: You have to try Michelle’s bakery. She makes the BEST apple pie.
Michelle: Aw, thanks for the plug Lindsay!

#2: To plug something for someone

This is the most common use and how Zoobia, our listener, has used ‘to plug.’


Michelle: I’m happy to plug your movie for you when the show starts.
Lindsay: Oh wow, thanks!

#3: Shameless plug

This means you are promoting something unapologetically.

You can also say it as an expression to say you are proudly advertising something.


Lindsay: So you’re going on vacation soon?
Michelle: Yes! Right after the launch of our new course – shameless plug!

Should only celebrities plug their work?

Michelle asks Lindsay if the term ‘plug’ should only be used when pertaining to celebrities, talk shows, or interviews?

Lindsay says no, you can use it to say you’re promoting anything.

You can even use it to promote yourself.

Another way to use it is ‘self-promotion’.

You can always share what project you’ve been working on lately or a business you’re running to share awareness.


Here is a quick roleplay from Lindsay and Michelle using the term ‘to plug’ in a conversation.

Hopefully this helps you easily use this in your own discussions with native English speakers.

In this scenario, Lindsay is a celebrity on Michelle’s talk show.

Lindsay: And then I went to lunch and I saw this poster.
Michelle: What was on it?
Lindsay: I was on it!
Michelle: HAHAHA!
Lindsay: It was from my tv show, “Parroting!”
Michelle: That’s too funny.
Lindsay: Shameless plug, I know.
Michelle: That’s okay, you have to plug your work when you’re here!
Lindsay: Thanks, thanks. A bit of self-promotion goes a long way!


The verb ‘plug’ is a fantastic addition to your vocabulary arsenal.

You can bring your English skills to another level by using terms like this.

Plugging something is a great way to share that you are proud of a certain product.

You can also use it to promote a small business you support or a passion project your friend has been working on.

Self-promotion is a good way to build confidence and find positivity within yourself.

Do you feel comfortable plugging your work?

Share details in the comments below.

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