Transitions – Don’t Leave your Point without Them

By far one of the most neglected parts of a presentation is the transition from one point to another. The sad thing is that transitions can completely breathe new life into a speech and give you a surefire way to get everyone leaning forward waiting to hear what comes next. Below you will pick up a process to make your transitions so powerful, your audience will say,

Wow, I can’t wait to hear what’s coming up!”

 Here is what too many speakers do

Be honest, surely you’ve watched many speakers go from one point to another by stating something like, “Okay, now, point number 2 is…” or “Now, my next point is…” These speakers take for granted that the audience is still with them and that the audience wants to move on to this next point. Keep in mind, you might know it’s a valuable point but how will they know? The most effective speakers use transitions as a time to do two things:

  1. Remind the audience where they were with point they just made
  2. Entice the audience to join them on the journey to the next point. That’s right, tease them!  


3 Step Process for Transitioning with Power

Let’s look at a 3-step transition process you can use to create great anticipation from your audience members.

 Step One: Remind them where they have been

 Step Two: Tell them where they are going

 Step Three: Entice them to come along to the next stop

 Let’s listen in on a live example. In this clip, I am transitioning from my 2nd R to Remarkable Results (Relinquish) to my third R (Rely).


 Let’s quickly analyze the steps of that transition.

 Step one: Did you hear how I went back and stated the first two points (i.e. Face Reality, Relinquish what’s in the way) before moving on to the point about Relying on the people?

 Step Two: Did you hear how I mentioned that the next stop on our journey is to Relinquish what’s in the way, because “You’re either on the way or in the way.”?

 Step Three: Did you hear how I enticed them to come along or at least teased them for WIIFT (What’s In It For Them)? They now know that, if they come along, they’ll pick up an idea on how to change the StatusQuoaholics and become invaluable to any organization to which they belong. In other words, they know why they should come.  

If you listened closely, you heard a two-step process I use regularly for enticing my audience to come along with me to the next stop on the journey.

  1. Point out a pain
  2. Make them a promise

 Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Well, make no mistake about it, many people won’t take any action unless they are too uncomfortable standing still. Also note that most people are motivated more by avoidance than attainment. Therefore, moving them away from a pain and then towards a promise is a very effective sequence. Too many speakers only offer the promise. Well, the promise without the pain is not as effective. After all, would you take a headache pill if you had no headache? So remind them of the pain first and then turn their pain into your promise.

At least let them know where they are going and why

Here is another example of a transition I used to use regularly after I finished the point about using your unique gifts. 


Here’s the quick breakdown of that audio. You heard me call back to my previous point about using your unique gifts and I even got the audience involved. Remember, like Tom Hopkins says, “If they say it, it’s true.” Then you heard me tease into the next point by letting them know they’ll be moving towards their goals even while they’re asleep. They don’t know what the point is yet, but they at least know WIIFT and so they anticipate the next part.  


The BOB Approach to Enticement

Give much thought to these spaces between your points. Here’s a suggestion for you. If you’re the type to memorize your opening line of your speech and your closing statements, do yourself a favor and begin to memorize and internalize your transitions as well.  Dont’ wing them. They’re too important! These can become the building blocks of a benefits-oriented speech which, like most magicians, leaves the audience wanting more.

 Another great ideas is, when you create your transitions, always think of BOB. You might want to write the name BOB in front of you whenever you put together your speech and especially your transitions. BOB stands for Build ON Benefits. If you build your transitions on the benefits your audience will get (WIIFT?), you’ll keep even the toughest audiences with you for your entire journey. And you will provide a much needed energizing and enticing break between your main points.

Craig Valentine

Leave a Reply 5 comments