How to conclude a Presentation or Speech

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How exactly should you conclude a presentation or speech?

The way you begin and end a presentation or speech is very essential. Just as it seems, the beginning of a presentation is where you attract the attention of your audience and make sure they pay rapt attention to the rest of the speech. The result is simply to give an impression that your audience take away with them.

According to some studies, it is believed that when people recall what was said, they tend to rate highly both the performance at the beginning and the end. Hence, it is very crucial that you have a remarkable closing statement. An impactful closing speech motivates, inspires, encourages people to take a resounding action.

However, it is a big faux if you end your presentation with a thank you note. It is not your place to thank the audience. It is the duty of the person that will give the vote of thanks to appreciate the audience at the end.

Your speech should be concluded in such a way that it should make the listeners comfortable and at ease to wait patiently for the next sessions.

There are several ways you can bring your presentation or speech to a conclusion.

A short story

Using a short compelling story to end your speech is a welcoming idea most especially if it is a personal story or it has to do with how the content presented has affected someone or some people. Whatever story you want to narrate should be narrated in such a way that the audience can remember it and relate to it. Also, make sure the story relates to the points made in your speech.

A surprising fact

This has the power to bring back the audience engagement. Let your facts have numbers in them. There are several facts you can get on the internet that relates with your presentation. Also, know the source of the fact should incase you are been asked about it.

Acknowledge some personality or companies

Appreciating publicly the people or companies that has helped you one way or the other during preparing your content is another way to bring your presentation to an end. You could do this in form of a PowerPoint credit feature. Now, you can mention names of sponsors, partners, some of the dignitaries among the guests, etc. You should also appreciate all the guests for taken out their time for being present.

It is important to note here that you must have the names of those you want to acknowledge before you begin your presentation. After having done the acknowledgement, you should endeavour to introduce the next speaker who will take the stage after you. You should say a brief introduction about him or her. This is something you must know before coming onto the stage at first.

Using a running clock

Most presenters now make use of a running clock to conclude their presentations. A running clock kicks the audience to get into action. It reminds them that time wait for no man and thus, they should start doing and stop procrastinating. You can use a running timer to make more emphasis to your concluding statement.

Using a powerful quote

Using a powerful is one major way you can end your presentation. The quote should not be a popular one that people are used to hearing. You need to find a quote that will motivate your audience and sink deep into them. Plus, it must relate with the presentation content. Your thought can be used as well to buttress the quote.

Never conclude with audience questions

Never end your speech with the Q&A session. Making your listeners to go home with some questions popping in their head is not so good. It is essential that your listeners go home remembering the main points in the speech.

Questions slide is a no no

It is wrong to end your presentation with questions slide. Many people are guilty of this. It is advisable to take questions throughout the presentation so that the questions and answers are relevant to the content you are presenting. And to those that prefers questions at the closing of the speech, you can have a relevant image that relates to the content presented.

No questions from the audience?

There are times in which no one asks questions from the audience. If you are concerned about this, you can arrange for your colleague or friend among the audience to ask questions. This is an effective way to make the rest of the audience to ask questions. It is highly likely that some people might want to ask questions, but they don’t want to be the first to open the question floor.

Link the major points to the main message

When starting your presentation, it is important that you find the key ideas you will be talking about. You should let your listeners know what you want to take them through. Believe me, some of them may feel unease if they do not have the prior knowledge of what they want to embark on. When concluding your speech, take them back to what you have talked about, explain every relationship each idea you talked about have and how they are linked to your message.

Do away with ‘thank you’ slide

Ideally, it is not advisable to use a thank you slide to end your presentation as mentioned earlier in the beginning. ‘Thank you’ should be for the person giving the vote of thanks. Howbeit, use a summary slide instead. The summary slide will find all the key points in your content, including your call to action. You can include your name and contact details. I have seen many summary slides having this and it is cool. You know, some of the audience may want to speak with you one on one after the presentation. So, adding your contact details to the summary slide is allowed.

Use a visual image

Ending your presentation with a visual image that your audience can completely get involved with is a good one. Leave the image on the screen for a while as you walk away from the stage. This will make your audience to focus on the image and the message it is portraying.

Ask an impressive question

Asking an impressive question will make your listeners to think and ponder on the answer. Let’s say for instance, your presentation was about Human Resources and Employment, you might ask I’d like to come to a conclusion by asking you the future of work’, will the human efforts be completely eradicated and be replaced with robotics?

The second you ask this rhetoric question; your audience will begin to think of answers.

Say a memorable statement

Look for a way you can distill your message to a memorable but short statement. Ensure it is relevant to your key message and idea.

Calling your audience to action

Do not assume your message will motivate your audience to act. You need to tell them to take the bold step and get into action. And this must be concise and specific. What you are saying should be able to convince your listeners. There are several examples of call to action;

  1. Retain 50 percent of your workforce with your developmental programme.
  2. Grow your business 150 percent with this strategy.
  3. Put a smile on someone’s face today with a little donation.

Use cartoon/animation

If you are so conversant with TED talk, you would have seen speakers using cartoons and animations to end their speech. Using cartoon or animation is both visual, imaginative, and amusing. Use an animation that will teach your audience something and at the same time stay in their head.

End with enthusiasm

It has expected that you feel tired when you are about to end your presentation. The energy you had at the beginning of the presentation might have worn off. But try to regain your strength and do not appear like as if you are in haste to finish. Show enthusiasm so the audience too can be enthusiastic. If you show you are tired, what attitude do you want the audience to portray too? And it is a known fact that some audience tends to get tired quickly during presentation. So therefore, showing enthusiasm till you leave the stage is necessary.

Let the audience know you have finished

Make it known to the audience that you have finished. Have a statement that shows that your speech has ended. And wait patiently for the audience to applaud you before you leave the stage.

In conclusion, try as much as possible not to exceed the allotted time for your presentation. Doing this will make the audience to get tired and fed up, and they may not pay rapt attention to you words afterwards. Extending the time will kill your audience’s excitement and bore them. Time management is an important skill that every speaker must ensure to have.

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