Think back to the last time you attended a really fun concert. The band most likely played an awesome set, but the ending was what you loved most. That was when the greatest hits came out, the fireworks started exploding overhead, and the crowd went wild. You left on a high, with great memories.
What you remember best from that experience is most likely the ending. Presentations are no different. A strong, solid finale to a speech can inspire audience members into action; it can give them words of wisdom to think about for months or years and can entice them to talk about how great you were as a speaker to friends and colleagues.
So, what are some of the best ways to close out your next presentation if you want to end with a bang? We list five here.
#1. Tell them “One More Thing.”
Steve Jobs was famous for ending his speeches with the phrase, “one more thing,” then saying something startling that everyone would be talking about once they left the auditorium. Channel Jobs in your next speech and save the most surprising information you have for the end. This tactic will also capture the attention of the members of your crowd whose minds may be straying.
#2. End with a story.
Be careful when choosing your story. Make sure it is relatable to members in your audience and that is circles back to the central theme of your presentation. Bonus points for making it a personal story where you are the central character. People are likely to remember genuine stories that reveal vulnerabilities of the speaker.
#3. Ask a question.
Thought-provoking, provocative questions are very powerful ways to end a speech. Ask your crowd how they would handle a situation that ties into what you spoke about. Or if they could change something about their behavior related to the theme, what would it be and why. The question could pertain to how they are going to do things differently in the office. By putting the question on them, it will cause them to think.
#4. Use a quote.
Quotes that illustrate your central argument can be compelling at the end of a presentation. Try to choose a quote attributed by someone widely recognizable to give it extra weight. Put the quote up on the screen at the end of your speech.
#5. Call everyone to action.
Don’t end your speech with a Q&A session—questions and answers should be peppered throughout your presentation. Instead, call your audience to action. Instruct them as to what to do next, how to incorporate what you’ve told them into their own lives. This is a powerful way to finish off your speech.