All this hard work would be for naught if at the end of the presentation we just fell flat on our faces. The way you end your speeches is very important. For some people it will be the only part they remember!
You may have noticed in every day speech that people sort of trail off when they’re done talking. They’ll say, “Yeah that’s my favorite band. I saw them live in 1998, so…” And then they say nothing else, and you’re left there waiting for the “…so what?” part. The word “so” is not an end to a sentence.
When you’re done making a strong point, just stop talking, like this.
“That’s when I decided I would never again eat fast food!” Boom! Done, silence. Next point.
Similarly, when you end your speech have an ending worked out. The audience will remember a strong ending just as much as a strong intro so make it count. Don’t trail off and say, “Well, uh, we’ve had a busy afternoon. I, er, hope you had a good time, so…” Silence, followed by a weak applause.
Do the ending strong! “You’ve been a great audience. Thank you very much!” Punctuate that with a small bow of the head and you’ll be idolized!
See the difference? Give them a definitive end. If you do, they’ll even know it’s time to applause. It almost doesn’t even matter what you say as long as it’s firm and confident and doesn’t end with, “So…um…yeah. Thanks. Bye.”
A couple other things to note about the end of your speech:
First, if you plan on making a career of speaking, you should note that the audience’s reaction to a speech is of paramount importance. If you can get an audience fired up and they all jump up in energetic applause after your speech, you have a pretty good chance of
If you end your speech and people lazily get up, look at their watches and silently shuffle to the exits, you don’t have much chance of a return visit.
Another reason to end strong is sales. Nearly all professional speakers, and most amateurs as well, sell stuff at the back of the room when the speech is done. They sell books, self-help programs, audio tapes, etc. If you get your crowd all pumped up at the end of the speech, you’ll make a lot more money!
That about covers the 5 Essential Presentation Pointers. While writing these posts, I realized there are a great number of other essential public speaking tips that are getting short shrift here.
I guess I’ll just have to start another series, eh?
As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them at the applicable posts or to contact us directly.
Best of luck!