THE CONCLUSION IS THE most valuable part of any speech: it must be compelling and engaging, it must create anticipation, and, above all, it must be memorable. It is in your conclusion that you will motivate your audience to commit to your call to action-to actually respond and do something, rather than merely spectate. And in moving your audience to commit to something, you will demonstrate your real leadership ability.
TECHNIQUES FOR A POWERHOUSE ENDING:
You may want to summarize or refer back to your key points at the end of your speech. Tying your points together at the end of your presentation creates a sense of cohesion and unity. It also reminds your audience of what they’ve just been through and can give them the sense that you have accomplished what you said you planned to accomplish at the beginning of your speech.
A great way to end a speech is to present an emphatic challenge-for example, “I’m urging every single one of you to take action, to get involved, and to make a difference. This will require you to make a firm decision. Let’s move forward.” Remember, you have the right to make this kind of appeal to your listeners, because they’ve essentially elected you as their leader for the duration of your presentation.
An equally good approach is to get your audience to look toward the future. “Success is what the future will hold for you, ladies and gentlemen, if you take part in the group involvement and teamwork we are formulating here today.”
Never use the phrase “in conclusion.” It’s predictable and is a sure giveaway that the person speaking is an amateur.
QUESTIONS FIRST – CONCLUSION LAST
Never conduct a question-and-answer period after your conclusion It’s anticlimactic Conduct your question and answer period before your conclusion. For example, you could say, “Before I conclude my presentation, I would like to open the floor up to questions ” Doing this allows you to answer questions without sacrificing the chance to use your conclusion to build momentum back up and end your speech on a strong note.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Craft your conclusion so that it builds momentum, is compelling and memorable, and includes your call to action. In your final words to your audience, you should be instructing them to take action, take a stand, get involved, or make some other sort of commitment. Remember, every speech you give is geared toward some sort of product or outcome, and your conclusion is your last chance to get your audience on board.
International Speaker & Coach
Author, Best-Seller, No Fear Speaking