Unlike a novel though, your conclusion does not have to be a surprise or a cliffhanger – it should be predictable and your final words should hang in the air and stay in the mind of the listener.
A strong conclusion will:
- Bring your message home
- Tie together all your points
- Tell the audience what it is you want them to do
- Let the audience know you are through speaking
Most importantly though, it demonstrates your competency as a speaker and shows that you are earnest about your subject.
While this is one of the most critical parts of your talk, many speakers give it inadequate attention. They reach the end of their talk and trail off into nothingness, losing the final WHAM the conclusion should deliver and hurting their credibility as a speaker.
As important as the conclusion is, it is generally the easiest to write. An effective and easy formula is to:
- Restate your theme,
- Remind the audience of the 3-5 key points; and
- Tell them what you hope they will do next.
Try plugging your details into this concluding statement:
“By now you can probably see why (your main point) is so important. We have discussed (3-5 key points). If this is of value to you then I encourage you to (action you want them to take).”
Think of it this way – your audience is most likely to remember your final words – so choose those last thoughts carefully and deliver them with a punch!
The ending of your talk is critical: it is like the final chapter in a book, the punch line of joke or the last chord of a song. To maximize your effectiveness as a speaker, take the time to create a well thought out, well rehearsed concluding statement.
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© 2007 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.