Posted by: George E Burney | March 12, 2012

Public Speaking: How Do I Easily Transition From One Idea To The Next?

To support his central thought, a speaker may use several main points. For the audience to grasp and accept the central idea, they must understand how those main points support his theme, or central point. They must also understand how the main points relate to each other. How to make that relationship clear is the subject of this post.

First, let’s illustrate why this is necessary. To drive a car, a person must know the function of the gas pedal, the brake pedal, and the steering wheel. If he doesn’t understand how they relate to each other and to the movement of the car, he’ll have difficulty driving from point A to point B.

Similarly, your audience will have difficulty following your presentation if they cannot make the connections between your main points. We make those connections clear by the use of transitional expressions. Listed below are examples of transitional expressions:

accordingly, additionally, as a result, on the other hand, besides, hence, generally speaking, as a rule, to sum up, therefore, then, by and large, conversely, similarly, ordinarily, consequently, briefly, still, in spite of that, usually, instead, even so, incidentally, etc.

Sometimes, more than just a brief expression is needed to bridge the gap between ideas. We may have to insert a separate thought. For instance, you might find it necessary to say, “Based on what we’ve said so far, you would naturally conclude that…However, due to the fact that…the reverse is actually the case.”

When the gap between successive main points is not easily bridged, spend the time necessary to decide how best to make the connection. Doing so is well worth the effort, because if you as the speaker are having trouble expressing the connection, you can be certain that it will not be easy for the audience to see the connection. Therefore, the speaker has the responsibility to make the relationship between main points crystal clear.

Leading your audience from point to point gives your presentation continuity and coherence. The various parts cohere, or stick to each other, in a logical manner. The entire presentation is therefore more likely to make perfect sense to them.

Use transitional expressions well, and they will help you and your audience to “get from here to there.”

Copyright © 2012 by George Burney and betterpublicspeaking


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