Effective Transitions in a Speech: Creation & Importance

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  • 0:01 What Are Transitions?
  • 1:59 Transition Tips and Tricks
  • 3:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Cathryn Jackson

Cat has taught a variety of subjects, including communications, mathematics, and technology. Cat has a master's degree in education and is currently working on her Ph.D.

An important, yet often overlooked, component of a speech is the transition sentences that move the speaker from one point to the next. Learn how to create these sentences.

What Are Transitions?

Sarah is working on a presentation for her public speaking class. As she practices her speech, she notices that there is some awkwardness between the points. She can resolve this by creating transition sentences.

In this lesson, you will learn about transition sentences and some useful tips and tricks to create them in your speech.

A transition sentence is the sentence between two points in a speech that signals one idea is ending and another is beginning. Transitions are used to help piece together your ideas into one cohesive speech and they help the audience follow each idea as you are speaking. Additionally, your transitions will help you show relationships between your ideas.

For example, let's say that Sarah was giving a speech about domestic violence. Her first point may discuss the causes of domestic violence and her second point may discuss the effects. A transition sentence can help her move from one point to the next while also showing the relationship between the two like this:

Now that we've discussed the causes of domestic violence, it is important to understand the effects. Each cause discussed in my first point will relate to a corresponding effect in my second point.

Your transitions will also help your speech flow from one thought to the next. For example, if Sarah were giving a speech about different types of dogs, then her first main point might be about retrievers and her second main point might be about setters. Her transition sentence might look like this:

Next, let's talk about another breed that is similar to a retriever and is also a sporting dog, the setters.

So, where should you put your transition sentences? Your transition sentences should appear between your introduction and first main point, between each main point, and between the last main point and conclusion.

Now that you understand the purpose of transition sentences, let's discuss some tips and tricks to creating a good transition sentence.

Transition Tips and Tricks

It can often be difficult to create transition sentences for your speech. When considering a transition sentence, keep a few things in mind.

First, organize your ideas and your speech before creating your transition sentences. If your speech is unorganized and hard to follow, then it will be difficult for you to come up with a good transition sentence and it will be hard for your audience to follow along. Also, a disorganized speech won't follow a relationship or logical pattern. If you are having trouble developing a transition sentence, you may want to consider whether or not your speech is organized logically.

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