How to ruin your presentation in the last 30 seconds

You’re about to wrap up a fantastic speech, and you choose to end with, “Well, that’s it. Thanks for your time.” You just ruined everything.

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Here’s how you probably did it:

I’ve done all of these at some point in my speaking career. I’m most guilty of ending with a Q-and-A session. Do you want your audience to remember some wing-nut question or something that adds value to their lives?

Your presentation’s conclusion is what your audience will remember most. This is called The Recency Effect. Your conclusion needs to be memorable — leave the audience with a message that sticks.

Your conclusion is key to reinforcing your big idea statement. It should contain three parts: a summary, call to action (or pitch) and remarkable close.

1. Summarize your speech.

The summary doesn’t need to be long or detailed. It should reinforce your big idea statement and briefly recap the supporting points.

Don’t be boring. Don’t say, “In summary, I discussed this, that and that other forgettable thing.” It’s not conversational or memorable. It sucks. Think about how you can use a story or metaphor to summarize your big idea. Be creative. The conclusion is not the place to skimp on creative impact.