by Karen Susman
In a recent Power Presentations workshop I provided for engineers, I was asked, “How do you make a smooth transition from your first point to your second point and so on?” Transitions are words or phrases that show the audience that the speaker has finished discussing one concept and is moving to the next.
Making smooth transitions reveals your preparation and professionalism. It also helps your audience follow your train of thought. If you’re the leader of a group or team presentation, your job is to make the transitions between points and between team member presentations. Don’t leave transitions to chance. Plan what you’ll say to get you from Point A to Point B and from team member Sally to team member Bob.
Here are a few ways to make smooth transitions:
- Give a mini-summary.”So far we’ve talked about how to organize your thoughts, how to add visuals and how to get over podium panic.”
- Pause or move purposely each time you move to a new point.
- Use a new visual with each transition, point or speaker.
- Use phrases such as:
a. “To move on to the next point…”
b. “Point three is…”
c. “My last 3 points were…My next 3 will cover…”
e. “In addition to…”
f. “In the next section we will examine…”
g. Before we move on to the next part of my (our) presentation, let me briefly reiterate…
h. “In addition…”
i. “Now that we have explored… let’s look at…”
j. “We’ve been talking about the problem. Let’s look at the solution.”
Let the audience know what’s coming by giving a sneak preview at the beginning of your remarks. “Today, we’ll be covering how to prepare for a presentation, how to deliver your presentation and how to follow up on your presentation.”
Give the audience signposts along the way so they can easily follow you even if they doze off (ouch!). Number your points and refer to the numbers as you cover the points. “The first reason to select our firm is… Secondly, you can count on… The third benefit is…”
You can use rhetorical questions as signposts, too. “So, what are the benefits of using our firm over Enron?” (Pause so the audience can think of answers.) Then, answer your own question.
Make it easy for your audience to follow you with transitions and you’ll make more sales whether you’re selling an idea, a project, product or service.
(c) Karen Susman and Associates
Business and Professional Development
Be at ease communicating with humans.
PO Box 371500 –> Denver, CO 80237
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[email protected] –> wwww.karensusman.com