As an audience member, have you ever started to gather your things together and gotten ready to stand up following a presentation that didn’t really end? You may have been given cues, such as “In conclusion…,” “Finally,” and “As I wrap this up,” but the presentation keeps going. The audience must not be left guessing when your presentation is to be wrapped up. The presenter should ensure that there is a nice, tidy bow wrapped up on the conclusion. In the business world, I see this happen at the end of presentations, and even conference calls, where the host is not sure how to end, so we get minutes of filler and babbling while the listeners begin preparation for their next call or activity. I suggest being simple and confident. For a call, you may say, “Thank you for your contributions on the call, and have a great day.” For a presentation, you may say, “The final point is to…,” and end with, “Thank you for being a great audience.” Everyone will know it is over.
The key to success is your ability as a speaker to exude confidence that everything is wrapped up. Your conclusion should be a summation of what you told them, with emphasis on the critical points you want the group to walk away with. Never assume the audience caught everything. A strong recap reinforces the messages and ends the presentation on a potentially motivating, inspiring, or action-specific note. Find an effective way to end it. Don’t recap your recap and keep talking. After the summation, come in strongly and clearly and wrap it up.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby