A lot of presenters begin their presentations on a high note and maintain the tempo only to lose it at the end. In as much as it’s important to capture the attention of your audience at the start of your presentation, you need to think about how to sign off because the end plays a pivotal role in determining the overall success of your presentation.
Many of us are often preoccupied with how to make a lasting first impression but we’re incognizant of the detrimental risk of having a crappy and unmemorable ending to a presentation.
Remember that there is a direct correlation between the start and finish points of your presentation. The secret to having a powerful closing is to plan in advance; know what to say or do before the curtain comes down.
5 Powerful Conclusions
1.Finish your presentation with a provocative question
Pose a challenging or interesting question that will compel your audience to keep thinking about the answer long after they have left the conference.
2.Include a call-to-action in your conclusion
The fundamental role of a presentation is to influence your audience in some way. Be specific and tell your audience what you want them to do next. For instance, do you want them to donate, purchase your product or join a worthy cause?
3.Run through your key points once again
There’s no harm spending a minute to quickly revisit the core sections of your presentation. Doing this refreshes the memory of your audience and cements your intended message in their minds. If you are going to do this, please try to add a bit of flare to the language you use. There is a fine line between reminding your audience of your key messages and boring them by rehashing the exact same content in the same words as you have been speaking about for the last 15 minutes.
4.Wind up your presentation on a humorous or motivating note
Include a joke that will make everyone break into laughter; your audience will not forget you. Alternatively, mention a motivational quote that will inspire them to continue this knowledge-journey you have taken them on.
5.Finish by referring back to the opening
It’s often a good idea to shift back to where you started off. For instance, you can give an answer to a question you had asked at the beginning of the presentation.
Additional Points to Consider
Further to these closings, here are some other things to keep in mind that you may find relevant:
Whilst a ‘Questions?’ slide isn’t the most glamorous ending, it will provide you with options. For example, if you are running overtime, you can simply skip it at the end, however, if you are running under time it can be an easy way to ‘pad out’ the presentation. Also, don’t feel like you need to write the word ‘Questions’ on the slide. You can utilise a slide that infers this, whilst still looking interesting:
7.Share your contact details with your audience
This wont be applicable in all cases. However, it gives your audience the option to consider your presentation carefully and clarify any points you made, particularly if they are contentious.
8.Appreciate everyone who supported you
It’s never a bad idea to show gratitude to both your audience and team players who played a role in making your presentation a success.