Signposting language for presentation skills



When you are travelling to Jaipur, there are signs on the road which give you information. Some signs state the number of  kilometres there are between you and your destination. Some signs warn you that there is some road work ahead and you will have to turn right to avoid it. While driving, signs are helpful.

Signs are important when making presentations as well. There are words and phrases which give information and a sense of direction to the audience. For example, we can say:

‘My talk today is going to be about key issues affecting sales in western India.’

‘My presentation is divided into three sections.’

‘The presentation will last for 10 minutes.’

All this language (My talk today is going to be about… My presentation is divided into three sections… The presentation will last for 10 minutes.) is called signposting language.

This language is really important. Using signposting language can help you organise the flow of your thoughts/ideas. It also helps you better structure your presentation.

Signposting language helps your listeners as well. It  gives the audience a sense of control. This is because the audience knows what to expect (e.g. the talk is for 10 minutes). Furthermore, the audience will be able to understand the structure of your presentation. This will make it easier for them to absorb and retain what you are saying.

Here is some signposting language you can use:

1. Introduction 

Good morning, my name is …

I am going to talk about …

My presentation is divided into three parts… First, we will look at …. Second, we will look at… Third, we will look at …

The presentation will last for 15 minutes. After the presentation, we will have 10 minutes for Q&A.

2. Middle 

First,… Second,… Third…

Moving to the second point…

An example of this is…

Now let’s look at…

When we look at the graph on the slide, we can see that…

3. End 

To summarise…

To conclude…

The most important point to remember is…


For your next presentation, try to use some of this signposting language. I’m sure you’ll notice the difference!



Author: amalfabian

I am an English language corporate trainer based in India. Am attracted to printed matter and I like to scribble sometimes.

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