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The Structure of a Speaking Presentation

A presentation is composed of three distinct parts. here you will learn about tying them together, and how to link up your ideas.
Very colourful Signpost
© Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI) 2021

There are three parts to a well-structured presentation. These parts can be identified and made clear to the audience using signposting.

To help the audience follow your presentation easily, you should use signpost words. Signpost words are used to transition from one point to the next and order and link up your ideas. Signpost words are important to help your listener to follow and better understand and follow your presentation.

Consider the following examples of signpost words:

Starting the presentation

  • Good morning everyone.
  • My name’s… and I’m from…

Outline

  • Today, I’m going to talk about…
  • This presentation will explore…
  • First of all I’ll talk about…Second/Next…Finally/Lastly…

Introducing an idea

  • So, first let’s look at…
  • My second point is…

Moving on

  • Now, let’s look at…
  • If we turn to…

Explaining and giving examples

  • Let me explain in more detail.
  • For example,
  • A good example of this is…
  • To demonstrate,
  • To illustrate this point…

To repeat an idea

  • In other words….
  • So what I’m saying is…
  • To put it another way…
  • To show an important point
  • Significantly,
  • This is interesting because…

To contrast

  • Conversely, In contrast, However, On the other hand, On the contrary, while, whereas
  • Referring to visual aids/props
  • Take a look at…
  • This shows you…

Ending the presentation

  • In conclusion, To summarise, To sum up,
  • I’ve talked about…
  • Thank you for your attention.
  • I’m happy to answer questions.
  • Please feel free to ask questions.

Signpost words can also be used to identify the three main parts of your speech.

The Three Parts

The introduction, body and conclusion are the parts required for a successful presentation. The aspects needed in each part are listed in the image below.

Three parts to a presentation

In this activity, the focus will be on planning for a strong introduction, though the body and conclusion are equally as important for a successful presentation as a strong introduction.

A “hook” is something that serves as an attention-grabbing element. It is a catchy sentence or paragraph in the introduction. The purpose of a hook is to motivate people to think about how the content will be relevant to them. A hook can be:

  • A fact.
  • A quote.
  • A question to the audience.

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© Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI) 2021
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