In a virtual presentation, transitions can be used to engage your audience, pull them to your next key point, and retain their interest. While most transitions are only a sentence or two in length, they provide the links – like a road sign – that allows audiences to easily follow along.
Consider these three ways to use transitions to strengthen your virtual presentation.
1. Provide a verbal transition to tie slide content together.
A subtle but very effective strategy is to preview the key takeaway of the next slide with a short sentence as a transition.
Say your transition:
“Now that you have a sense of the prevalence of the problem, let’s look at the symptoms. What you will see is that most symptoms fall into four general categories. The key takeaway is that if you can quickly identify symptoms, you can avoid this problem derailing your project”.
Then advance the slide.
Only after you have said your transition do you want to advance your slide. Why? The minute you advance your slide, your audience won’t be listening to you, they will be focused on information on the slide. Good transitions ensure key messages do not get lost.
2. Use a transition to signal a shift in topic or direction.
Televised newscasts shift camera angles to indicate the start of a new story. Our eyes pick this up, but they also use verbal transitions that let the viewer know they are moving on.
Comment on the key message of the segment you are finishing and a link to the next topic:
“Now that you know that streamlining helped us hit our targets, let me share some of the barriers we see moving forward”.
3. Use a transition to give your audience time to reflect on what you’ve covered.
Transitions give your audience time to retain your key points before you move on. You have your notes…they do not. A brief pause can increase retention, and your silence, even for a few seconds, is a clear signal that something is about to change.
“Let me pause for a moment as you think about the impact of this on your business”.
As you prepare for your next presentation, make sure your audience has road signs along the way. Planning out and effectively using transitions will not only help keep them engaged, it will ensure a smooth journey.