While a lot of coursebook material sells itself, there is plenty that doesn’t.
I once had a text in a general English book all about Birmingham. Not to do Birmingham down – I was born there – but the reading passage wasn’t exactly scintillating. I think I started with some pictures and something like, “you all know a lot about the UK capital city, but how much do you know about England’s *second* city?” Nowadays, you could probably find a way in through Peaky Blinders.
I encourage trainees to sell the material not just with a “journalistic” angle at the beginning (see tip #2) but by linking each stage of the lesson explicitly, personalising the theme and thus providing some orientation to every activity. Just a few seconds will do.
One of my mantras I picked up along the road is: you the teacher are the most important resource in the classroom.