15 Powerful Ways to Close your Last Minutes of a Presentation
Usually, speakers pay particular attention to the beginning of their speeches. And it’s obvious. Hundreds of articles have been written about the importance of the first impression and the ability to catch an audience from the first sentence. Meanwhile, although every skilled speaker should know how to start a presentation, at the same time, it is equally important to know how to correctly end a presentation so that all efforts are not in vain. Why is it important? It’s obvious that you should leave a positive impression, be remembered, and bring listeners to the desired actions. In this article, we will learn how to do it.
Here, we gathered 15 effective methods that will help you find out how to end a presentation correctly so that be sure that your message is kept in listeners’ minds. When using one of the below-mentioned techniques, you’ll definitely find the right option for your presentations and will be able to create attractive and memorable projects.
A call to action
Do not leave an audience in limbo. Take the initiative in your own hands. After all, your work had some specific goal – so outline it. Tell attendees what they have to do next and how it will help. Encourage your listeners to contact you by leaving contacts, filling in a form, asking additional questions, getting details, ordering products or services, purchasing a product.
The main thing to remember is that your last words must clearly call them to make a certain step. Otherwise, they’ll be uncertain and your speech is in vain.
Quote the words of a famous person, tell a catchphrase – this will always be appropriate for both speakers and listeners. A common mistake of this method is the choice of the wrong quote, which illogically ends the presentation.
In this case, it is important to find the right expression that will contain the main message of your speech. Thus, even if attendees don’t remember all the details of a presentation, they’ll at least recall the last quote.
A compelling story
This is one of the best and more effective methods to end a presentation. The main thing is to find the right story. It can be your own experience or just a story that will demonstrate the practical use of your message. Or at least it will help build an analogy and remember your topic.
An impressive photo, illustration, or infographics
Visualization is an important part of a speech. You can place a memorable photo on the last slide of your visual material. It is important that the chosen visual element is associated with your speech.
To draw a line, speakers can display their contact information. Let the last thing a public sees in your presentation be contact information. Indicate the following: your name/ company name; phone number; E-mail address; a website; links to social networks; your photo and/or logo.
A contradictory example
British writer Ken Robinson successfully used this technique. He managed to draw everybody’s attention by speaking about viruses while the topic of his report was education system reforms. His vivid contradictory comparison with viruses made everyone remember his speech.
A picture of the future
Outlining the future is an option that is not suitable for any topic. It will work perfectly in the case of new technologies if a speaker outlines an idealistic society.
A picture of the future will also come in handy for presentations on ecology topics. In this case, you can outline two pictures:
- What will happen if humankind continues the same route – scorched wastelands, lack of greenery, suffering animals?
- What happens if we act reasonably?
The essence of this method is an emotional impact. It is necessary to touch the inner core of every attendee, to show the possible benefits or unpleasant consequences of his/ her actions. Nevertheless, it can serve as one more way to use other words for concluding a speech.
A dialogue with an audience
Invite listeners to take part in a short survey or a poll. For example, a psychologist talks about harmful co-dependent relationships and at the end asks an audience to mentally answer “This is about me” or “This is not about me” to three short statements:
- “I often think about what my partner thinks over now.”
- “I can’t go about my business when my partner is not at home.”
- “I actively follow the page of my partner on social networks.”
And then the psychologist says: “If at least two of these statements are true for you, you are in a dependent relationship.” This technique involves each listener, and after that, you can call for action, give your contacts, offer psychotherapy to those present and their friends. A similar method of involvement can be used both at the end and at the beginning of a presentation.
Jokes or funny stories
Humor performs three important functions at once:
- It leaves a pleasant “aftertaste”.
- It causes an audience a personal affection for the speaker.
- It helps simplify perception and remembering of a presentation.
But, like any conclusion to a speech, the joke should be appropriate for a problem that the speaker develops.
The connection between the beginning and the end
The beginning and end of a speech should always be connected logically. But in order to attract attention, you can connect both parts of your speech with the help of an illustration that evokes strong emotions.
For example, a speaker talks about relaxation techniques, and at the very beginning shows a picture or gif that depicts an exhausting cat. It is torn between screaming kittens and fish, which it should catch in order to have some food.
At the end of a presentation, there is another picture – the same cat that basks in the sun, kittens play in the distance, and fish splash in the water, and so close that it is enough to raise a paw. But the cat is resting. This image would not be remembered so much if there was no picture at the beginning of a presentation.
A rhetorical question
This is one of the standard methods of how to end a presentation. But, despite its prevalence, it does not lose relevance. A rhetorical question is able to leave a certain “aftertaste” after a speech, tune in attendees to certain thoughts and make people think over a particular topic.
Make a compliment to an audience
In fact, a banal compliment can significantly attract your listeners, leave a good impression about a speaker. Aren’t these perfect presentation endings? Say something like this: “It is an honor for me to speak before you …”; “I have never spoken to such a pleasant audience …”; “Being here with you is the best pastime for me …”; “You are the best listeners …” etc.
If you deliver a speech, for example, at a conference or seminar that takes place on Friday night, wish everyone a good weekend. This will shake up an audience after your presentation, set them up in a positive way.
This is the best way to end a presentation. Inspire listeners. Just because every person naturally likes to hear words of approval and support. Thus, you will make an attendee make the first step. Thus, you’ll be sure that your speech causes action and is helpful.
In the 21st century, every person daily processes a huge amount of information. That is why the perception of new data is significantly complicated. Simplify your speech due to the use of a summary. If during a presentation you spoke about several important things – at the end, recall what was discussed. Describe the key points of your speech.
What should be avoided
Many speakers advise avoiding a FAQ section as the final part of a presentation. It is recommended organizing a Q&A section as a pre-closing part of a speech. As if it is the final part, then listeners can get bored.
Slides with “Thank you for watching” will ruin all your speech even if it is brilliant. Forget about this slide and never even recall it!
Visualization as a useful tool of speech delivering
Nowadays, visual material serves as an indispensable (or even obligatory) part of any speech at a seminar, meeting, or conference. It adds vividness to speeches and simplifies topics consideration. Thus, it is important to properly choose the final slides for your speech. Not only words but also visual materials play a key role. Thus, it is possible to choose slides with quotes, contact information, funny illustrations, or infographics. The main rule is that their stylistics should be properly chosen. Colors and decorative elements should match your logo or brand.
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As you see, the mood with which listeners will leave a hall and the message that remains in their heads depend on few last sentences of your performance. Therefore, do not underestimate the importance of how to end a presentation and speech. We hope that the above-mentioned tips will be useful for you and help make speeches more memorable and vivid.