Transitions are an integral
part of a smooth flowing presentation, yet many speakers forget to plan their
transitions. The primary purpose of a transition is to lead your listener from
one idea to another. The following are some examples of transitions that work
- Bridge words or phrases
(furthermore, meanwhile, however, in addition, consequently, finally.
- Trigger transition (same
word or idea used twice: "a similar example is ...").
- Ask a Question ("How
many of you ....?")
- Flashback ("Do you remember
when I said ...?")
- Point-By-Point ("There
are three points ...The first one is.. The second one is..etc.)
- Add a Visual Aid as
a Transition - Many times it may be appropriate to add a visual between your
regular visual aids for the sole purpose of a "visual" transition. Many times
a clever cartoon used here can add some humor to your presentations.
- Pausing (Even a simple
pause, when effectively used, can act as a transition. This allows the audience
to "think" about what was just said and give it more time to regsister.
- Use Physical Movement
(The speaker should move or change the location of their body. This is best
done when you are changing to a new idea or thought.
- Use a Personal Story
The use of a story, especially a personal one is a very effective technique
used by many professional speakers. Used effectively can help reinforce any
points you made during your presentation.
- Use the PEP formula
(Point, Example, Point) (This is a very common format used and can also be
combined with the use of a personal story. Make sure stories or examples you
use help reinforce your message.
Three common mistakes
made when using transitions:
- The most common mistake
people make is that they DON'T use transitions at all. Transitions help your
information flow from one idea to the next.
- The second most common
mistake is using transitions that are too short. Not enough time is spent
bridging to the next idea. This is extremely important when changing to a
new section of ideas within your presentation.
- The third most common
mistake is that people use the same transition throughout the presentation.
This becomes very boring after a short while. Try to be creative with your
Transitions and the Team
Transitions become extremely
important when a team presentation is involved. The transition from one speaker
to the next must be planned and skillfully executed. Each speaker should use
a brief introduction of the next topic and speaker as part of this transition.