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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What is Signposting

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Imagine driving around an unfamiliar urban town. Sounds hard right? Now imagine driving around without the help of signposts to help guide you around.

In the same manner where signposts help motorists get to their desired destination, you can help your audience understand you better by using the technique known as “signposting”.

We all do some signposting in our natural conversation. Phases such as “on the other hand” and “in conclusion” are effective signposts that we use in everyday life.

So, what is signposting anyway?

Signposting is a technique to help people follow the meaning of what you are saying.

They act as guides to help the reader follow what you are saying throughout a conversation, helps in establishing rapport and helps them to categories what you are saying.

Here are more examples of signposting

To Begin Introducing your Point, you might consider starting with...

• I'd like to begin by...
• Let's start by...
• First of all, I'll...
• Starting with...
• To start with...
• I'll begin by...

For Finishing a Topic, try...

• Well, I've finished talking about...
• Well, that's all I have to say about...
• We've considered...
• So much for this subject...

To Start another topic, why not use...

• Now, let us move on to.
• Next, let us consider...
• Turning to...
• Moving on to...
• I would like now to discuss...

Applying Signposting Techniques in a discussion...

• So, where does that lead us?
• Let us consider this in more detail...
• What does this all mean?
• Translated this into real terms...

Giving an example...

• Here’s an example. I was...
• For example,...
• A good example of this is...
• To illustrate,...
• To give you an example,...
• To illustrate this point...
• Let’s consider a hypothetical situation for a moment. If you were to...
• Let me play the devil’s advocate for a moment. What might happen if...

To Summarize and conclude...

• In conclusion,...
• To conclude,...
• So, let's sum up, shall we?
• I would like now to recap...
• Let’s summarize what we’ve covered briefly...
• Finally, let me remind you of some of the issues we've covered...
• To sum up the main points...

To summarize what we’ve covered briefly, signposting is an effective method to help your audience follow what you are saying. Do try to keep it in mind whether you are communicating with a single individual, or to an entire audience. :) If you are interested in this post, you might consider the following posts 1) Signposting Words 2) 10 Attention Grabbers for Better Public Speaking 3) Presentation Tips for the Technical Professional

6 comments:

Patricia Rockwell said...

Amen to signposting. Good public speakers use it effectively. I might also add that signposting can be nonverbal, as well as verbal. A speaker can pause to say, "the next point will be important." The speaker can speaker faster on less important material. The speaker can draw the audience in with changes in volume and pitch and lead them to concentrate on the ideas of interest.

Michael Aulia said...

It may look and sound silly, but I guess it's more important to get your point across :)

Jennifer said...

That was a great way to introduce your topic by using the street signs. It really highlights just how important it is to give your listeners cues to where you are going.

Amit Patekar said...

Excellent article on signposting.
Signposting is very important for effective communication and more important if you have to stand out from the crowed.
We use this technique when bidding on projects on marketplace website.

Thank you for the clear to the point explanation about signposting.

Anonymous said...

Very provocative site.

Anonymous said...

Hey im new here.

Im sam, how is everyone?

I look forwards to being a active memeber