Before delving in how to end your presentation tips, let me ask you this: Have you ever experienced a speaker or a presentation which went on for long and the speaker abruptly ends on an awkward note leaving the audience hanging with no thank you or closing remark to cue the audience in that the presentation has come to an end? Such presentations end with awkward silence making the speaker himself or herself feel embarrassed.
Situations like this are sadly common and are mostly found within speakers who do not present for a living but were occasionally asked to speak to the crowd. Sometimes in cases like this, we may not really count them or even forgive them for the oversight. However, it is essential for every speaker to know the importance of planning how to start and end their presentations well.
No matter how well a speech is introduced and well presented, all efforts will go to waste as soon as the presenter ends it badly. It is crucial to start a topic or presentation on an excellent note, but it is essential you end well as a speaker. The better you finish, the more the ovation and recommendation you get from your audience. Your closing statements need to be strong and in some cases, stronger than your introduction.
A good introduction will wow the audience and make them pay attention to what you have to say but when you leave them with a weak conclusion that’s most probably what they are going to remember about you. They won’t remember how good your introduction was or the visuals and the jokes you made, but they will instead remember how you left them hanging at the end while some would even forget your presentation altogether based on the poor way in which you concluded your presentation.
It’s not that hard to end your presentation on a high note and wow your audience with your closing remarks and even leaving them yearning for more. Check below six great tips on how to end your presentation with a bang, and I will elaborate on them as I go.
6 Remarkable ways to end your Presentation
1. A call to action:
Every presentation needs a call to action. Your audience should be able to tell what you want them to do; they should know the essence of your presentation. If it is to buy a product, then say it, if it is to behave in a particular way, let them know. Without a call to action, they will be confused as to what you want them to do. Summing up your presentation with a call to action is an excellent way of telling your audience what you expect of them.
There are two ways you can call them to action. You start by letting them see the negative downfalls and consequences that could arise if they do not do it then you finish by making them see the benefits they would gain from it once they take action towards doing it. This is the best method of motivating your audience at the end. End on a high motivation, and you will maximize your chances of sending the audience into action.
2. End with a summary:
One of my favorite ways to end a presentation is to summarize the key points of the speech and then add in the call to action. It allows you to go over what you have been saying since you started in a short form. Seize the opportunity and make it short but memorable.
Most especially when you made a presentation with so many points covered, a summary helps you caption it all in a few sentences. Some points that the audience skipped will be brought to their memories again.
Be firm on points you want them to note at the end while making your summaries. Try to put in humor while stating your summary to give them a good impression of you. Also, make sure your summary isn’t lengthy else it loses its purpose of being a summary in the first place. Remember, it’s meant to be short and memorable.
Just as your creativity was vital in starting your presentation, making sure you are as creative as possible with your final remarks at the end of your presentation is also critical. Most presentations end with “thank you” or “thanks for listening ” at the end of the slide, but a spectacular presenter or speaker strives to be unique. The more creative you are, the more respected you will become in the eyes of your audience.
3. The Questioning technique :
Starting your presentation with a question and ending it with an answer is a neat way to end your presentation. When you refer to the beginning of your presentation by saying “I asked a question at the beginning of my presentation which I promised to answer when I am about to round up..” this reminds the audience of how good you are and how creative you were at the beginning for your presentation. Referring to your opening message is a very good strategy to keep them intrigued.
It doesn’t have to be a question; it could also be a story. The point here is that you kept your audience glued from start to finish and impressing them at the same time.
I am not an advocate of ending your presentation with a question. You will only end up making your audience puzzled, making the miss the whole point of your presentation in the first place if they still have unanswered questions lingering on their minds. They came for solutions, not problem compounding. Dee Clayton, a motivational speaker, had something to say on this :
“Never end with the questions, too many people make this mistake, if you get a negative question, you have dulled the whole presentation, and the audience leave on a negative note. Always do the questions before the wrap-up.”
4. They must be aware that you have finished :
Always make it clear that you have finished. It is always uncomfortable to the audience when you suddenly go quiet, leaving them puzzled to guess whether you are trying to remember or you are actually done.
Nothing is more awkward than the deafening silence of an audience working out if you have finished. Your closing words should make it evident and clear that you have finished which will make the audience respond hopefully with applause or an ovation. If the applause doesn’t come, don’t fidget, stand confidently and look at the crowd like you meant to do it and wrap it up with a confident thank you, a smile and if you intend to humor, a bow.
5. Inspirational and Motivational endings:
You can also end your presentation with a quote (I love using quotes on my speeches), a poem, or a catchphrase most times. Alternatively, a short word of encouragement. Some poems and phrases rhyme well and make absolute sense; such catchphrase could border on the point of your presentation which they will easily remember and would linger on their minds for a long time.
Ending with a catchphrase by Robert W. Service, for instance, “Don’t Quit, Carry on! ” is one which would meet the audience in high spirits. This phrase could be the one single thing they will remember for long from your presentation, and it would serve as a morale booster to most.
You could end your presentation with something inspirational as well if you had given a motivational talk before you will be familiar with the fact that hope is the main religion of humankind. Dwell on that as a presenter and work on it. Inspire your audience (check our solid tips on how to become a motivational speaker here), leave them with inspirational quotes.
People have to be motivated and inspired to do something good and better with their future. Here’s our article with 50+ great motivational and inspirational quotes you can use in your speeches.
Remember that everyone is dealing with problems, setbacks, difficulties, and temporary failures in every aspect of their lives and need assurance. For this reason, everyone appreciates a poem, inspirational words, words of advice, quotes, or encouragement that gives them strength or courage to carry on.
6. Proper planning :
To ensure that your closing remark will be a bang as you want it to be, you must plan for it word for word. Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When you are certain and sure about the kind of ending you desire, then it will even easier for you to be able to achieve such a result.
The best way you can have a great ending is to plan for the ending before you prepare for the rest of your speech, then go back and design the opening introduction, so it goes Hand in hand with your conclusion.
Remember, your presentation is the sum of all its part, from the introduction to the body down to the conclusion. Everything must work seamlessly together to ensure there are no flops. Please make the most of it.
Your ending is your final chance you have to impress your audience and let them know you have what it takes. End it well, and you will be impressed with yourself. You can end your presentation in several ways that will leave your audience commending you even after you have gone.
Thank you so much for reading this far! I wish you the best of luck on your next presentation, and I am curious to know how these tips helped you or what other tips would you add to this list to help all those who are now planning to ace their next presentations?
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING
Brian Tracy. 9 Tips To End A Speech With A Bang. https://www.briantracy.com/blog/public-speaking/how-to-end-a-speech-the-right-way/ . Accessed on 06/30/2019.
Eric Holtzclaw. The Most Powerful Way to End a Presentation. https://www.inc.com/eric-holtzclaw/the-most-powerful-way-to-end-a-presentation.html. Accessed on 06/30/2019.
Paul Petrone. The 6 Best Ways to Close a Presentation. https://learning.linkedin.com/blog/communication/the-6-best-ways-to-close-a-presentation . Accessed on 06/30/2019.
Fearless Presentations. How to End your Presentation with a Bang. https://www.fearlesspresentations.com/how-to-end-your-presentation-with-a-bang/ . Accessed on 06/30/2019.