How to Master the Segue in Public Speaking

A "segue" can be defined as a smooth transition from one topic of section to the next. As a public speaker (or even the occasional presenter), it’s important to master the segue, to ensure a smooth and seamless presentation.

Without proper segues, your presentation can appear disjointed, your audience can become confused, and valuable questions can remain unasked. Here are some tips for artfully transitioning from one part of your speech to the next.


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    Use a joke. Sure, it might be the oldest trick in the book, but it still works. A carefully selected bit of humor can easily transition your audience from one topic to the next – even if those topics seem completely unrelated.
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    Change your tone. This segue style is effective if the tone or mood of the two topics are dramatically different. For example, if you were presenting a problem (or bad news), and now you’ll present the solution (or the good news). It might sound something like this: "OK, we’ve covered the dismal reality of last year’s final numbers but enough doom and gloom – let’s now look at the bright future that we are in the process of creating."
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    Stop and start. Perhaps the easiest way to transition is to simply let the audience know that this section is complete, and ask if there are any questions before we move into the next topic. "That concludes the technical part of today’s demonstration. Are there any questions before we begin talking about sales strategies?"


  • Alternatively, you might find an image, drawing or cartoon that could potentially link these two topic together, and you can insert it into your slide show as the segue.
  • Be sure to practice your presentation at least once out loud, as this will help you spot any awkward transitions.
  • It's easy to segue with a joke; here's one example: Complete the final statement in the segment, followed by..."Which reminds me of a joke." (insert joke related to next topic.) And speaking of (next topic),..." then proceed with the next segment.
  • Images are a useful and easy way to master your transitions and segues, and a rental projector or visual aid can definitely help


  • Don't use the same segue style more than once (or twice for a longer presentation), otherwise it can become predictable and boring. Be sure to vary your segue styles.

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Categories: Public Speaking