Guide your audience using signpost language

roadsign In all my workshops “Speaking in Public”, we look at signpost language or the technique called ‘signalling’ for presentations. But what is this exactly?

On the road you have a lot of signposts indicating where you are, where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. In the case of a presentation: you, the presenter, know these things of your presentation. But, how can the audience know where you are during your presentation? What point you will be covering next? Or how long it will take? They know because you tell them. You have to give them the signposts. It’s important to draw a roadmap for the audience.

In the introduction, you could say something like:

“To start with, I will give you an overview of the project. We’ll look at the different parts of the project, the scope and where we are right now. After that I will give you the results of the analysis. Then we’ll move on to the most important part of today: the decisions we’ll have to make based on our analysis. Before turning to the actual discussion of those points, I will share with you our recommendations based on the analysis.”

Later during the presentation you can use expressions like “that’s all I wanted to say about the current situation”, “let’s move on to the analysis” or “as you have seen the results of our analysis, let me give you some or our recommendations.”
If you want to know more about signpost language and see more examples, check this post of BBC learning English of the section Talking Business.

Don’t forget to use signpost language to make your presentations easier to follow and in that way more effective.

Image: David Castillo Dominici, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3062

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