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A crucial aspect of public speaking is the use of transitions. For many speakers that consists of saying something like “As you can see by this slide…” When I coach clients to sound their best, I discourage using a transition by referring to a slide. That isn’t a real transition and is kind of taking the easy way out.
A transition, whether you’re using it for your reader or listener, is a form of a connection. It serves to help others understand how you’re bridging from one point to the next point. Think of it as an intersection. As result, you’re far easier to understand.
At Profitable Speech, I created an approach which I refer to as “going backward to go forward.” I do this in an effort to make sense out of what I’m explaining. You may wish to think of transitions as signposts. In that way, your audience knows what they’ve just learned as well as what they’re about to learn.
Examples of transitions include:
- Now that we’ve discussed___, let’s move on to ____.
- You’ve just learned ____. What do you think is next?
- We’ve covered three essential points but there’s still more to the story, which is what we’ve about to discover.
- Before we move on to the next point, let’s review what we know so far.
- Each of you now knows____. Seems you’re ready for more information on this topic.
If done correctly, transitions help your audience navigate what you’re addressing. It is an effective way for them to make sense of information they’re hearing. Additionally, transitions are analogous to pushing the pause button and allow your listeners to process and fully digest information.
Try using these transitions the next time you speak and watch your clarity increase. It takes time to think of appropriate transitions so please be patient with yourself as you implement my “going backward to go forward” approach.
Feel free to let me know if this works for you or if you have additional questions or comments. You can reach me at 518-664-6004 or email@example.com
Can’t wait to hear from you.