A preview statement is made in the beginning of a written piece or speech to highlight the main points being made and the order in which they'll be presented. Knowing how to construct a preview statement will help strengthen your writing and public speaking skills.

Preview Statements in Writing

In written pieces, such as reports and essays, a preview statement is one or two sentences that you include at the end of your introductory paragraph. These sentences should mention the overall topic of your essay, as well as the subtopics. For example, if you are doing an essay about the evolution of mass media, your preview statement may be something like this: "The media have evolved greatly over the years. In the 20th century alone, media shifted from radio to television to the Internet." This preview statement shows that the topic of the essay is media evolution, while subtopics include radio, television and the Internet. This helps your audience know what to expect and helps you organize your piece.

Preview Statements in Speeches

Include a preview statement at the beginning of your speech or presentation to tell your audience what you'll cover and in what order. It follows the general introduction, where you state the main topic of the piece. Unlike preview statements in formal essays and reports, you can use first-person language in a speech. For example, if you were doing a presentation about the influenza virus, your preview statement may sound like this: "I will begin my presentation with the history of the virus, then discuss its prevalence in North America, what vaccines and remedies are available and what current influenza research reveals."