So the hard part is over. It was smooth sailing throughout your entire presentation. The audience laughed at your jokes, they stayed attentive, and they even responded to your questions. But now your speech is coming to an end, and you need the perfect way to leave your audience thinking. Here’s a look at my five favorite presentation closers:
Convince your audience to take what you’ve told them and do it. Challenge them to make a difference or to do something out of the ordinary. Use the power of your speech to inspire action in your audience and dare them to take what they’ve learned in your speech and apply it to their life. I used the “challenge closer” to end my speech during my TEDx Talk, “The Art of Saying No.”
Sum up your presentation with a motivational or inspirational quote. Find one that reiterates your point and gives that last push to help the audience understand the meaning behind your presentation. After your quote, you can exit the stage with confidence and leave the audience with a certain something to always remember. It may just become their new favorite saying! Here’s a look at 25 Awesome Public Speaking Quotes, a compilation of some of our favorites.
Tell a story.
Take a story you started earlier on in your presentation and finish it as your close. Making a reference to an earlier part in your presentation will refresh the audience’s memory before their departure. A success story will give the audience a sense of hopefulness and the self-assurance to make their personal story a success as well. Our e-book, The Building of Stories, provides details on how to tell a great story.
As Brainscape writer Amanda Moritz explains, “This saying is really old…old enough to be one of those latin phrases that’s engraved into stone: Repetitio mater studiorum est | Repetition is the mother of all learning.” And “what’s really cool is that Scientists are still finding compelling research that back this truth.” It’s the classic: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you just told them. Repetition reaffirms your position on your argument and helps to get the audience on your side. If you repeat what you have been saying throughout your presentation, the message will definitely get across.
Ask something big.
The best way to get a reaction out of your audience is to simply ask them to do something. “Basically, the call to action asks your [audience], after having progressed through a brilliant and coherent argument, to do something or believe a certain way (Source: Writing Commons).” How will they know what you need from the crowd if you never ask? Asking the audience a question at the end of your presentation will keep their minds spinning with questions of their own.
Lastly, you don’t want to close your presentation without saying thank you. A little appreciation can go a long way. Always remember to be prepared and remain calm, and your presentation will be great.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Kenny Nguyen is the CEO/Founder of Big Fish Presentations, a company whose mantra is “turning presentations into experiences.” Kenny and his team work daily with clients nationwide, from Fortune 100 level to startups, providing high quality presentation design, training, and creative video. Kenny has been featured on popular news outlets such as TEDx, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo, Business Insider, Mashable, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post. Kenny was awarded the title of ‘2012 CEO Student Entrepreneur of the Year’ by the nation’s largest collegiate entrepreneur organization CEO. Under Kenny’s leadership, Big Fish Presentations was recently named one of the top 50 student-led startups in the world by the Kairos Society and also featured in Inc. Magazine’s “Coolest College Start-ups of 2012” list. A version of this post originally appeared on the author’s blog.
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