“I want two things from you, first answer “Why” questions and second wait before you made your conclusion.”
― Deyth Banger
You’ve started your speech with a bang. You’ve hooked the audience with your groovy storytelling. All that is needed is an effective conclusion.
Before you wrap up, you need to prepare the audience for it. At the same time, you’ve to ensure they remain inspired after the presentation, or adopt your roadmap.
Here are a few ways to let your audience know that your speech is drawing to a close.
DON’T END ABRUPTLY
That’s all for now… sounds good in a live news report. But this is a rather abrupt way to conclude your speech and catches your listeners unexpectedly. Throw some cues during your presentation. Something along the lines of: I’ll be taking questions towards the end, followed by a recap. Come Q&A time, your listeners know the current session will shortly draw to a close.
VOICE AND BODY LANGUAGE
You use your voice to set the pace of presentation and modulate it to highlight or negate a point. Body language conveys your passion for the subject and emphasizes humorous comments. Why not use these physical attributes for the finale? Add strength or an emotional tone to your voice as you begin your concluding statements. If the audience is still unsure, let your posture and expressions signify the end.
AVOID ENDING WITH Q&A
You want audience members to retain a positive memory of the presentation. Sometimes, your Q&A session may not follow the plan, end in a negative way, or worse still, in uncomfortable silence. This shifts the focus from your key message and affects your audience’s perception. You don’t want that. Make sure you have a call-to-action or a summary ready, after you’ve answered questions.
WORK ON A CONCLUDING STATEMENT
Nothing irks an audience more than not knowing when to applaud. Spend some time thinking up the right words for a solid finish. Whether you use a rhetorical question, quote someone, or repeat the opening message, it should indicate that your presentation is definitely over. This gives your audience a chance to respond.
Are you looking for techniques to create effective and strong conclusions? Stay tuned for my next post on memorable ways to close.
Does your audience know when exactly your speech draws to a close?