Presentation language : The body


1. Transitions

In a written paper, the eye sees how the paper is divided into sections and subsections by the section numbers, titles and subtitles, and the page layout in general. In an oral presentation, you must provide verbal transitions.

Guide your audience through your talk by referring to the overview you presented at the beginning. As you go from one section to another, use transitions. Restate or sum up what you've just seen. Announce what you're going to see.

* Now that we have seen ...
let's look at ...

Now that we have seen what
causes acid rain, let's look at
some of its effects on our forests.

* Now that we have an idea of ...
let's turn our attention to ...

Now that we have an idea of the
dimensions of the problem of
malaria in Africa, let's turn our
attention to efforts now underway
to control it.

* Before going on to the next
part which deals with ...
I'd like to stress once again ...

 

Before going on to the next part
which deals with environment-
related cancers, I'd like to stress
once again the fact that it is
extremely difficult to pinpoint
one specific cause for any cancer.

* To sum up then, we've
examined ... We've also
analyzed ... I'd now like
to focus on ...

To sum up then, we've
examined the evolution of the
ozone hole since it was first
discovered in 1978. We've also
analyzed the mechanics of the
destruction of ozone. I'd now
like to focus on the role of CFCs.

* In addition to ..., what other
factors contribute to ...?

In addition to human error and
design flaw, what other factors
contributed to the accident at
Chernobyl?

* Before we go on to the next
section, let me briefly restate ...

Before we go on to the next,
section let me briefly restate the
main reasons why the electric car
is not yet the solution to urban
transport.

Remember, for the transitions to do their job efficiently, you must do your job:  articulate and stress the key words.

2. Road signs

Used effectively, 'road signs' make it easier for your audience to follow your development.  Once again, you must use your voice to stress the road sign and make it stand out for your listeners. 
      
Notice that for an oral presentation, it is easier to use links that allow you to make two short sentences rather than one long, complex sentence.

 

Continuation

continuation

Furthermore
Moreover
In addition

Backup mechanisms for computers tend to become obsolete rapidly.  It’s easy to find three examples from the past 20 years:  floppy disks, diskettes and Zip disks.  Furthermore, new software formats do not always recognize older formats. 


Change in direction

change

However
Nevertheless


Although


Despite
In spite of

Today, digital cameras are used for more than half of all photographs taken.  However, most of those pictures never go any further than the hard drive of a personal computer.

Although digital cameras are used for more than half of all photographs taken, most of those pictures…

Despite the fact that digital cameras are used for more than half of all photos taken today, most of those pictures…


Contrast

contrast

In contrast
On the other hand

While
Whereas

The life of a CD recorded with a CD burner at home could be as little as five years.  In contrast, some photographic papers can last up to 200 years.

While the lifespan of a CD recorded with a CD burner at home could be as little as five years, some photographic papers can last up to 200 years.


Arrival

Consequently

Therefore
Thus

Consequently, saving a digital photo file for the next 20 or 50 years is going to take a lot of hard work.

Thus, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to save a digital file for the next 20 or 50 years.

 

3. Restating the important ideas

There are two main reasons why you should restate (or reformulate) important ideas.  The ear is not as efficient as the eye.  (The ear cannot go back to the top of the page and reread a piece of information.)  And an audience is not always giving the speaker 100% of its attention.

In other words ...
In short ...
In simple terms, this means that ...
To put it in more concrete terms ...
The point I'm trying to make here is ...
What I mean by this is ...
Basically, what this means is ...

4. Using examples

Examples help you make your point by taking your audience from the abstract to the concrete. 

Signal them by using key words:  example, instance, illustrate, case, like, such as.

Let's take the example of what happens when ...
The best example of ... is probably ...
An interesting example of ... is ...
For instance ...
Let's now look at ... This will illustrate some of the principles we've been talking about.
Let's take the case where...
Vegetables like carrots and squash are loaded with beta-carotene
Pollutants such as those found in automobile exhaust are responsible for most of the smog in Los Angeles.

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