Transition Phrases in the Conference Presentation
In this chapter, we will discuss one of the core elements of successful CPs, the use of considered transition phrases. In order to establish a coherent narrative flow in a CP, no element is more important than the use of explicit transitional discourse signals or markers. Their use in CPs and other formalized spoken texts had a notably positive effect upon enhancing the cohesion and holistic comprehensibility of the CP and subsequently had a more powerful impact upon the audience. These metadiscursive choices stand in sharp contrast to the often non-considered deployment of repeated, but semantically meaningless, connectives, or the mere verbalization of section headwords. These carry little pragmatic or semantic impact and thus did not offer any anchors or arrows, guideposts indicating developments or direction to listeners/viewers. Such speakers were apparently relying on the written text alone to carry the full communicative load. As a result of, or in combination with, the explicit use of transition discourse markers, the value of enhanced prosody, particularly intonation and the pacing of speech, were readily apparent. Since FP/PSs often do not allow for much kinetic flamboyance from the presenter, the onus is upon the intonation of the speaker to more explicitly indicate the rhetorical flow of the research.
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