Introductions, Transitions, and Conclusions

Course(s) Used:

  • Public Speaking

Goals and Objectives:

  • Students can identify the essential components of an effective introduction.
  • Students can identify the common types of transition and the locations where they are needed.
  • Students can identify the essential components of an effective conclusion.

Rationale: Effective introductions, transitions, and conclusions are essential components of every presentation. They are essential for establishing and maintaining audience attention throughout the presentation. Introductions and conclusions are the portions of presentations that audiences are most likely to remember.

Materials Needed

Materials:

  • None

Technology:

  • Classroom computer and projector

Outline of the Lesson

  1. Review of previous session’s content
  2. Lesson opening
  3. Introductions
    1. Attention Getter
    2. Relevance Statement
    3. Credibility Statement1
    4. Thesis Statement
    5. Overview of Main Points2
  4. Transitions
    1. Types of transition
      1. Internal summary
      2. Internal preview
      3. Directional3
    2. Signposts with Transitions4
    3. Placement
      1. Between intro and first main point
      2. Between each main point in the body
      3. Between last main point and conclusion
  5. Conclusions
    1. Summarized Main Points5
    2. Restated Thesis
    3. Clincher6
  6. Hands-on group work
    1. Group students into groups of 5 students
    2. Students create an introduction, transitions, and a conclusion for a presentation on “how to do” something.
    3. Debrief the activity
  7. Lesson closing

Limitations

This lesson requires students to use notebook paper and note cards. Strategic grouping may be necessary for improved peer mentoring.

Variations and Accommodations

Follow guidance from local accommodation authorities. Students for whom technology usage will present an unreasonable burden may be accommodated on an individual basis. Students may be placed in groups strategically if needed.


  1. Both your relevance statement and your credibility statement should really be called “arguments.” You need to show your audience evidence that the topic is relevant and you are credible. Don’t just say it! ^
  2. This is the “roadmap” or “preview” of your presentation. “I’ll start off by talking about foo, then I’ll explain bar.” ^
  3. A directional transition includes both a summary and a preview. “Now that you’ve heard the main arguments in support of…, let’s look at some of the counter-arguments.” ^
  4. Examples of signpost transitions include “First”, “Next”, and “In conclusion.” ^
  5. Summarizing your main points is optional. You should do this if you think the audience might have trouble remembering them, like if you had a lot, or if the presentation was long. ^
  6. A clincher that connects back to your introduction often works well, if you are having a hard time. ^
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