The 6 Best Ways to Close a Presentation
July 16, 2018
In December of 2017, we did a blog post on how to start a presentation. It remains one of our most popular blog posts, but we realize it’s only half the battle.
Yes, it’s critically important to open a presentation well, so you capture the audience's attention. Equally important – closing it well, as that’ll be what people remember most from your talk.
So, you want to make those last words count.
6 great ways to close your presentation
Six ways to effectively close your presentation are:
1. A short summary.
Simple, straightforward and effective.
For example, if your presentation has three takeaways, just summarize those three quickly. Or, summarize your main point.
Is it the sexiest way to close your presentation? No. But it will imprint your point on your audience’s mind – and it’s particularly effective when giving an informational talk.
2. The title close.
Have a clever title of your presentation that summarizes your main message?
Use it as the last line of your presentation. It’ll cement it in people’s minds.
3. A call-to-action.
If your presentation has a call-to-action in it, make it the last thing you say. That’ll again be what people remember and inspire them to take that next step.
The key here – make it clear. If it’s a sales presentation, ask for the sale (a surprising amount of salespeople don’t do this). If you want people to call their senator, tell them to call their senator. Heck, give them a number. If it’s to download an app, have them pull out their phones and walk them through it.
The clearer and easier the call-to-action is, the more people will do it.
4. A personal tagline.
Bergells gave the example of a sales manager who closed every sales presentation with “Sell value.” Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, ends every interview he does with “Go Hawks.”
Over time, this will build your personal brand and reinforce your message. Or, if there is a phrase you use again and again in your presentation, use it again as the closer.
“The constant drumbeat of a few choice words can make you and your message more memorable to your audience,” Bergells said.
5. A quote.
A quote can be a satisfying way to end a presentation, as it makes it both credible and memorable. Of course, the key is selecting a good quote, that is both unique and sums up the point of your message.
If done well, most people will walk away from your presentation remembering that quote and your message behind it.
6. A final story.
If you select this option, pick an emotional story. It can be an incredibly powerful way to end your presentation.
Want to really make this pop? Tell the beginning of your story at the beginning of your presentation and tell the audience you’ll get back to that later. And then end your talk with the end of the story, which is both super cool and really makes your point.
A few last tips – push yourself to write three different closes for your presentation. Then, you can select the last one.
Also, practice your last words, so they come out smoothly. And then, after you say them, hold for silence for a minute – and then nod, bow or use other appropriate body language to let the audience know the presentation is over.
That’ll really make it stick.
Want to become an elite speaker? Watch Laura Bergells full course, Public Speaking Foundations.
Other LinkedIn Learning courses you might be interested in are:
- PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations
- Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking
- Communicating with Confidence
- Body Language for Leaders