By KIRSTY STEEL

This is the last installment of Kirsty’s six-part Communication series. Click here to check out Part 5!

 

I’ve just finished watching one of my favourite series. The only problem with watching a great show is that when it comes to an end, it leaves you wanting more. What happens next to the characters? Is everything going to work out? Will they find love again?!!?

Often great things come to an end, like my summer holiday or eating a delicious ice cream. My ice cream won’t last forever…it will barely last 5 minutes! What I’m getting at is things come to an end and so do speeches. How you finish a speech is important.

Here are some things to think about when finishing a speech:

What impression do I want to leave?

Do you want your audience to leave on a high or low note? I’ve left a few presentations where they finished with a sad personal story, and walked away feeling so sorry for the person. Be aware of the impact you want to leave. The audience’s last impression of you is often one that will stick. Finish well!

What was the point of my speech?

Summarising the points you have made is important, but don’t introduce anything new. The end of your speech is for wrapping things up. Be clear, precise and sum up the speech in a paragraph.

Will I see this audience again in the future?

If you are going to see the audience again, let them know. “Great to speak with you all today, looking forward to the next time when we will be covering (insert topic).” As an audience member, I always like to know when I may be hearing from the speaker again.

Should I finish with a sound bite?

This may sound like throwing food at your audience so they can leave with a bite to eat, but it’s actually the term used for a high impact statement. This is a great way to end a speech; with a short snappy phrase that will leave the audience empowered. It may encourage them to make a change, take an action or think through new ways of looking at things.

Is Q&A time at the end a good idea?

If you have some spare time at the end of your presentation, you could open the floor to see if anyone has any questions. This isn’t always possible depending on your speaking environment and the time left, but something to keep as an idea.

While this advice is all about the end of a speech and how to leave them wanting more, this is also the end of the Communication Series; I hope it has left you wanting more. Not only wanting more information, but wanting to improve and sharpen your communication skill set.

All the best with your talks and public speeches!

 

Kirsty is the Managing Director for Develop HQ, a Training and Development Company. She is passionate about youth communication, public speaking and leadership skills. She has presented and delivered workshops to over 80,000 people throughout New Zealand and Australia.

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