9 Simple Transitions To Make Your Presentations Sizzle

By on September 4, 2013

Fotolia_35089708_XSSmooth flowing presentation skills include having simple but effective transitions as you move from point to point. It’s one of those fundamental techniques that can really make your work stand out from others.

Unfortunately, when presenters use transitions, they’re often too short, which doesn’t give your audience the required time to catch up. It’s a common delivery error that even professional speakers can make. What’s more, ignoring it will most likely disconnect you from your audience because they aren’t processing your information at the rate you want (or need) them to.

The transitions I’m referring to do need some degree of planning in order to be delivered with an air of spontaneity. To quickly get you on the road to success with these techniques, here are nine transitions used by experienced presenters that work exceptionally well:

1. Use bridging phrases or words

Include words like however, finally, moreover, in addition, and meanwhile.  These point linking words help to keep your audience connected with your message.

2. Use of the same word or idea more than once

For example you could say: ‘A similar idea would be…’ or ‘here’s what people see..’, ‘here’s what people think…’.

3. Refer back to an earlier part of your presentation

You can quickly link by referring back. For example: ‘Remember when I told you earlier…’; “Referring back to what I said earlier…..”

4. Use a pause

This can be a very powerful delivery technique (provided it’s used sparingly). The secret is in the precise timing of the delivery. Give your audience a few moments to think and reflect on what you have just said. You could even include a dramatic pause which really evokes the emotions, but as I said use sparingly for maximum impact.

5. Ask a question

Engage your audience as you’re emphasizing the points you’re trying to make.  “How many of you…; “”Was there ever a time when you thought…”

6. Review the points you’ll be making or the point you’ve just made

Itemize each point. For example, you could say: ‘There are five important take-away messages here,…..’

7. Use a visual

Consider using a prop to complete your point or to introduce the following point you’re about to make. For example, insert an appropriate image that your audience can briefly focus on.

8. Use physical movement or change the tone of your voice

Move to different areas on stage (but not in a contrived or dramatic way).  Use varying gestures and postures to give emphasis as you’re varying the tone of your voice whilst speaking.

9. Use testimonials or convey a personal and relatable story

This technique really captures your audience. You can make your points much more relevant by relating to your audience how you dealt with a certain problem or issue.


Finally, don’t make the mistake of using identical transitions over and over again in the same presentation. By varying your transitions your presentations will immediately become more engaging and in turn, much more interesting.

Whilst only representing a tiny portion of your presentation, transitions are a very powerful means of keeping your audience tuned in to you. Give some or all of them a go and let me and others know how you’re getting on by posting a comment below.

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