Imagine that you are listening to a speaker at a conference or even at the head of the boardroom table and you begin to notice that every sentence is connected with the word and. Have you ever heard this before? Nothing could be less interesting than listening to this dull, unimaginative style of addressing an audience except possibly hearing you know at the end of every sentence! |
I know a presenter who begins every new idea or sub-topic with the words, “And the next point I want to cover….” This becomes very tedious and predictable. When your audience knows what you are going to say before you say it, you will lose their attention. The answer is to use one of four types of connectives.
Connectives are a part of good writing skills but they are also a part of good speaking skills. A connective is a word, a phrase or a sentence that not only connects your ideas in your speech or presentation but also shows the relationship between ideas.
1. Transitions – words or phrases that indicate that you have finished one thought and are moving on to another.
Now that I have explained the problem of using the word and to connect all your sentences, let’s look at some more interesting ways of connecting your ideas. 2. Internal Previews – more detailed than transitions, the internal preview lets your audience know what you are going to talk about next.
In talking about the use of good connectives, I’d like to first discuss the transition. 3. Internal Summaries – one or more brief sentences in the body of the speech which gives a summary of your previous point or points. Internal summaries are very effective because they reinforce what you have previously said.
Now that we’ve seen the difference between the transition and the internal preview, let’s look at the 3rd connective which is the internal summary. 4. Signposts – a brief statement, a number. or even a question which indicates where you are in your speech and places the focus on your key ideas.
The most important thing to remember about connectives is that they move you from one idea to another, often reinforcing that which has been said and preparing your audience for what is to be said. Adding interest to your delivery, connectives are a vital part of a good presentation and are very beneficial in helping you coordinate your ideas as well as helping your listeners organize that which you have said.
Watch The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels as she describes Dynamic Public Speaking Skills at Voice Dynamic or if you are interested in working personally with Nancy, check out her Voice Training Workshops.
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