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Successful Transitions for your Presentation or Speech

Public Speaking Tips: 9 Transitions You Can Use To Move Your Speech

Having a smoothly flowing speech or presentation relies on having successful transitions as you proceed from point to point. Even your transitions need some level of planning. As your audience processes the information you present in their minds, jerky transitions become hard to follow and comprehend. You could potentially lose your audience in a transition without even realizing it and by the time they catch up to you, they'll have missed 2/3 of the next point you're trying to make. Here are some examples you can easily implement into your presentation to make it a success!

- Use bridge words or phrases. These are words like "finally", "however", "in addition", "moreover" and "meanwhile". This bridge helps your audience to stay connected with your message. These words or phrases represent linkages between the points you make.

- Use the same word or idea twice. You can say, "A similar idea is that..." or "this is what people see... this is what people think...".

- Ask a question. Engage your audience and emphasize the points you are trying to make. "Was there ever a time when..." "How many of you..."

- Refer back to information previously stated in your presentation. "Remember when I told you earlier..."

- Review the points you'll be making or the point you've made. Itemize them one by one. You can say, "There are 5 important concepts to know..."

- Use a visual. Use a prop to finalize your point or even introduce the next point you are going to make. Insert a humorous cartoon or image for your audience to focus on.

- Use a pause. Give your audience a moment to think about what you just said. You can also introduce a dramatic pause for evoking emotions.

- Use physical movement or a change in the tone of your voice. Walk to different parts of the stage. Use different gestures or postures to emphasize what you mean. Change your tone of voice as you are speaking.

- Use testimonials or a personal story. Let your audience know what other people are saying about what you're talking about. Make your points more relatable by telling your audience how you or someone else handled the issue or problem.

One of the most common mistakes that professional speakers make is that they don't use transitions in their presentation. You could potentially lose your audience because they aren't processing your information as quickly as you want them to. Another common mistake is that the transitions used are too short. Transitions are processing times for your audience. It gives them a chance to catch up to where you are at in delivering your message. The last most common mistake made with using transitions are that the same transition is used over and over again in a presentation. Vary your transitions and your presentation become more interesting.

While only representing a small portion of your presentation, transitions are powerful tools you can use to keep your audience tuned in to what you have to say. If you're not seeing the success you'd like to see with your audience, consider working on improving your transitions.
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