Now What?

endings

As you close your speech, your audience is going to be thinking two questions. First, is the speaker really coming to the end of their speech? Secondly, now what does the speaker want me to do with all of this information?

Many audiences have listened to speakers who don’t quite know how to end their speech. Some dawdle towards to their ending. Others end their speech on a dead stop leaving audiences in a lurch. The best way is to simply announce by saying, “in conclusion… or to summarize…” Or you can briefly restated your main points by saying, “let me finish by restating two main ideas to take away…” When the audience knows the end is near, they generally pay more attention.

The last few minutes of your speech or presentation is what your audience is going to remember about your material and you. This is where your parting thought, challenge or action answers the second question.

This is the end…but now what!

endings

One problem with many speech endings is the ending. Many speakers seem to focus their attention on either the opening or the main body of the speech and leave the ending as an afterthought.

One of the important reasons speakers start with the ending in mind first is that it allows you, the speaker, to have a roadmap of where you want your audience to go. Most speakers want their audience to do or feel something when they leave the room. There has to be a plan for this in the main body of the speech. This leads to the ending that you want to happen.

One great way to help the entire speech is to build a map and plan everything from start to finish. Also include in this map what you want your audiences to feel. All of this planning will lead to a great and memorable ending.