presentation skills, public speaking


“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”-Dorothy Sarnoff

One of the worst mistakes you can make in public speaking is talking too long. Not only will you send some folks to never, never land, you will make some of them downright mad. So before any of such things happen, say what you have to say and take your seat. Before sitting down, give them a well thought out closing.

Whether you are giving a speech or a presentation, it is very important to have a good opening and closing as this is what proves your public speaking and presentation skills. You must put as much time into selecting and practicing your closing as you put into any other part of your presentation. Opening/starting and closing a speech or a talk or a presentation could be motivational, humorous, challenging, thoughtful, respectful of the length of the presentation, or it could restate your point in a different way. The closing must have a strong influence on the audience and they must know what they are taking home with them when you are done.

The following information shows how to close a speech that may have people having your message firmly planted in their minds.

  1. You can close a public speaking subject by summarizing the main speech points.
  2. Humorous ending by cracking a joke or funny remark. If you leave them laughing and applauding, and also you will leave an extremely positive impression about you on the audience. It has been noted that any public speaking matter can be closed in a humorous way.
  3. If the subject is not appropriate to end with humor, you could end with a touching story or quotation that leaves the audience thoughtful and quiet.
  4. Call for action. You may call the audience to act the way you say. For example you may ask them to stand up and take a pledge with you.
  5. Visualize the outcome of your call to action with a prop or visual aid.
  6. Ask a rhetorical question that captures the message and leaves the audience thinking. For example “What choice will you make when you leave here today?”
  7. Close with an illustrative example.
  8. Use some surprising facts or figures related to your public speaking subject that may leave the audience surprised.
  9. Recite a couple of lines from songs, poems or speech quotes from a historical presentation.
  10. Offer a so-called moral of the story.
  11. Refer back to the anecdote, quotation or saying that you used in the opening of the speech.
  12. Close with an illustrative example.

Always remember that the audience must have the feeling that you are really finished. So look at them after your last words and nod. Practice your last words. Write them out. Ask someone to judge your closing statement, just like you would do it for the opening of the speech. Closing of the speech is the final impression that you will leave your audience with.

Mr. Anurag Aggarwal, the author of this article provides training on public speaking, personality development and presentation skills at Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking. The training centers are located in Delhi-NCR. Mr. Anurag Aggarwal has been a public speaking trainer for over 12years and has given more than 3,000 workshops and trainings.

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