How to close your presentation

by ltconsulting on September 26, 2011

Our presentation courses are planned to significantly improve presentation skills to allow delegates of all levels to be able to make powerful presentations.  The presentation seminars that we provide are packed full of presentation tips and techniques that demonstrate strategies which will show delegates how to reduce nerves in presentations and to allow them to present confidently when presenting to clients or colleagues. Our presentation skills workshops are designed not just to show delegates how to make a simple presentation: they are designed to show delegates how to create a successful presentation also maximising the applications of PowerPoint to make great presentationsPresentation training will allow delegates to build on their presenting skills; make better presentations; enjoy making presentations and teach delegates how to present successfully.  Delegates who have taken our Presentation Courses have expressed how much they enjoyed the variety in our presentation skills training and now feel confident to present in any situation.

How to close your presentation

If there are two parts that you must focus on getting right, it’s the opening and the close of your presentation/ speech. People remember the last thing that you say the most, then the first. Everything else falls somewhere in between.

Often, good presenters may not say anything of substance during their talk, but because they opened and closed their presentation well, the audience should leave with a feeling that they have just heard an important speech. Your audience will leave feeling unimpressed if your presentation meekly fizzles out towards the end, even if you prepared a strong presentation with great content. If you can get the Open and the Close down, you are well on your way to speaking success.

One of the worst mistakes you can make as a public speaker is talking too long. Not only can it cause parts of the audience to lose interest, you may also irritate some members of the audience. Regardless of whether your entire speech was brilliant and the audience came away with information that will change their lives, if you talk too long, your audience will not be appreciative. Say what you have to say and sit down. Before you do, give them a well thought out closing.

The last thing you say may be the most remembered. You must put as much time into selecting and practicing your closing as you put into any other part of your presentation. Just like your opening, your closing does not have to be humorous. It could be motivational, challenging, thoughtful, respectful of the length of the presentation, or it could restate your point in a different way. Your ending segment will have a strong influence on what the audience takes home with them when you are done. It is also important at some point during your speech to get your audience into action – this will will ensure your are still holding their attention. Examples of actions for your audience, dependant on size are: role-plays for smaller groups; questionnaires or quizzes for larger groups. In turn, you are allowing your audience to make the speech/ presentation relevant to them.

It may be relevant to use a humorous ending, if the subject is appropriate. If you leave them laughing and applauding, you will exit, but an extremely positive impression about you will remain. Finishing a presentation with humour gives the audience (and you, the presenter) the opportunity to feel great. Click on this link for more information on using humour in presentations.

If the subject is not appropriate to end with laughter, you could end with a touching story or quotation that leaves the audience thoughtful and quiet. Even the most serious public speaking subjects can benefit from humour, but the humour should be sprinkled throughout the body of the presentation. Don’t put it at the end because closings are powerful and the audience will think your overall attitude toward the subject is flippant.

Finishing early leaves more time for questions, and shows appreciation and respect for the time the audience members have taken to attend. It creates positive feelings in the audience that can influence how people feel about your message.. The greater one’s preparation, the shorter the presentation can be. Audiences rarely leave a meeting saying, “That was very good, but I wish the speaker had gone on for longer!”

TOP TIPS FOR A STRONG CLOSING

The close is what will be ringing in their ears as they walk out of your talk. There are three parts of your close to consider.

  1. Summary: If your talk has been long enough to require it, go over the main points that you covered.
  2. Call To Action: Spell out for them what you want them to do as a result of your talk, i.e. what action is required as a result of their attendance at the presentation. Make this really easy and obvious.
  3. Close: These are your final words, and for real impact you could memorise some or most of what you would like to say – it is important to prepare this in advance.

So what should your final words be?

  • Go back to the open: This technique helps to bring your talk full circle and makes you look like a skilled speaker. If you started with a story, bring that in to your close.
  • Quote: Closing with a quote can make your presentation more impactful. Start collecting quotes so that you can use them as required.
  • Challenge your audience: Make them walk out of your talk inspired to do something as a result of it.

Excellent presentation skills give you a platform to demonstrate your sales skills, leadership qualities, communication skills, influencing abilities and promotion potential. Our objective over the two days is to teach you the skills and techniques that will give you both the confidence and competence to enjoy making presentations in all situations. We will be giving action points to sharpen your image; reduce nerves; allow you to appear both confident and competent and increase your credibility in the eyes of colleagues and clients.

PowerPoint presentation skills, Advanced Presentation skills and Presentation skills are three of the courses trained by Total Success Training, a training consultancy specialising in communication training and management skills in London and throughout the UK. Other related courses include sales presentation skills, training the trainer, assertiveness skills, selling skills, negotiation skills and communication skills for managers. Click here if you need more information regarding presentation skills course information or contact Total Success who will be delighted to talk to you via e-mail.

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