8 Steps to Stellar Presentations: Transitions

Step 6: Develop Transitions

In previous blog posts, we’ve looked at
Step 1: Develop Your Objectives
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Step 3: State the Main Ideas
Step 4: Decide on Supporting Information
Step 5: Create An Opener

Next, you need bridges between thoughts, ideas, parts of your presentation.

A transition is a link, phrase, or segue, that joins the end of one point to the beginning of the next, forming a bridge between the parts of your speech.
Transitions provide a natural flow into the main ideas of the presentation, while continuing to retain and build audience interest.
Transitions appear between your introduction and your first main point, then again between your main points, and finally between your last main point and conclusion.

Internal Transitions:
Used between words and/or sentences, and tell the audience how two ideas may be related

External Transitions:
Tell your audience that one main idea is ending and another is beginning


Guidelines for using transitions:
Use short phrases
No more than one paragraph; just a few words, a phrase or clause
“Since we have explored ________, Stephen will now comment on…”
Use attention-getting statements
Consider using quotations, summaries, anecdotes
“As President Sparkle commented…”
Use relevant statistics
Appropriate to the topic, and supporting your main ideas
Use humor
Appropriate to the topic
“When the Administrator commented we need to_____ , she wasn’t kidding!”
Use shock statements
Appropriate to the topic, used to grab or keep attention
“The Project Manager will be quizzing you on this after lunch!”
Use purposeful pauses to indicate transition
A purposeful, brief moment of silent indicates a shift to the audience
Use hand gestures
An open-handed, or closed-handed, gesture may indicate transition
Use body movements
A step to the side, leaning while seated, or approach to the audience
Use voice modulation
Changing your pace/cadence of delivery, or volume
Changing of visual aid, or slide
Announce what the audience will view next; then advance slide
Review and Sign-post
Recap, or summarize, what was just covered, then introduce the next area

Using Transitions:
• Allow the listener to keep up with you
• Make the listener feel comfortable
• Help the listener be able to follow the direction in which you are headed
• Remember what information that was just covered




-Sheryl Roush, Speaker, Speaking Coach
Sparkle Presentations, Inc.

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