Finish strong. That’s how you do it

Have you ever finished a presentation with an emergency landing? You’ve reached the end of your talk and are not quite sure how to round things off?

‘And that was my talk, thank you for listening.’ Cue lukewarm applause. Your audience is caught off-guard. Little did they know you were approaching the end of your talk.

The trouble with this type of emergency landing is that it is too abrupt. Your audience needs to feel that the end is near. And most importantly: you want to make sure that your audience has absorbed your main message, and isn’t wondering ‘Uhm, what was this all about?’ That is where your ending comes in play.

Here are some tips for a strong finish.

Make sure to round your talk off with these three elements:

  1. Sum things up. Once more, remind your audience of the problem or challenge you were facing, what solution you came up with and how you got there.
  2. Why is this relevant (for your audience)? Tell them whom can this be helpful for and what the next steps are towards this goal.
  3. Call-to-action. Address your audience with a call to action, such as ‘Why not join the battle against skin cancer? The next time the sun is out, remember to put on sunscreen.’ The icing on the cake would be to link this closing thought to the opening sentence of your talk.

And of course, don’t forget to end with

  • a big smile ?
  • your name and contact details on your last slide.