Pay special attention to transitions and your conclusions section

Transitions play a particularly important role in a well-done oral presentation. When people read information, they can always turn back a few pages if they forget something. As a speaker, you have to remind your audience where you are headed as you advance through the presentation.

Conclusions are also even more important than in paper copy, because they are the part of the talk that people remember best. To create a solid organization, construct the conclusion at the same time as you create the introduction. Conclude by succinctly reminding your audience about the points you have made and why you consider them to be important. (Do not introduce new ideas or new topics, however.) When appropriate, restate an appeal for action, and/or provide resources for further information. Don't just say, "well, that's all I have for you today."

Remember to use a transition to lead to your conclusion, just as you did for the rest of the talk. It can be simply the time-honored bridging phrase, "In conclusion . . ." Other possibilities include "Let me close with a few final ideas" or "Where does this leave us?"

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