You have probably noticed that the ending is one of the most memorable and most important parts of a film. The same can be said for a book, something which J.K Rowling certainly exemplified with her simple ‘all was well' ending that still lingers in the memory of readers all around the world.
It's the same with presentations as well - how you end it probably matters more than how you begin it. If you falter in the middle but deliver a stunning closing statement, most people would remember your closing argument rather than your mistakes in the middle.
This is why paying close attention on ending your presentation properly is crucial if you want to make it memorable and leave a lasting impression on your audience. To help you do that, I have made a list of the 5 best ways to end a presentation. If you remember these five points the next time you are about to give a speech and incorporate them into your presentation, you're guaranteed to leave your audience in awe.
1. End with a powerful quote
Although it might seem like a simple idea, it's one of the most effective ways of closing a presentation. There's no shortage of inspirational quotes on any subject, so it would only take a little bit of research to find one that is appropriate for your own presentation. If you choose your quote carefully, you'll be able to reinforce the message that you've been trying to convey throughout your presentation. Try to find something unique and inspirational, something that's just a little out of the box instead of opting for quotes that have already been used several times.
Another thing you can do is take a well-known quote and give it your own personal twist. You can add a little bit of your own experience that would relate to the quote in some way to make it more unique and a bit more personal. It takes creativity and understanding to alter a famous quote in a tasteful, effective manner, but it can lead to a thought-provoking conclusion to your presentation.
2. Tell a story
Everyone likes a good story, and it's one of the best ways to add a human element to your presentation. However, it isn't always easy to incorporate one into it. If you're tempted to go this route, pick a personal experience that is relevant to the subject of the presentation. For example, if you are talking about ways to reduce traffic in cities, you can end with your own experience in rush hour traffic. Closing your speech this way will have a lasting impression on people's minds because it properly illustrates the message you're trying to deliver.
3. State a surprising fact
Ending your presentation with an unusual fact or statistic can shock your audience and reinforce your message. For example, if you're delivering a presentation on your company's potential to expand in another country, you can tell your audience a compelling statistic that would show why taking that step would be a good idea.
Using statistics at the right time can have a very dramatic effect. Take the following example into consideration. A marketer is trying to convince some clients about the merits of social media marketing. He explains all the benefits and opportunities therein. At the end he states just one fact: Facebook has 2.2 billion users, of which 1.44 billion are active monthly users.
That's a very compelling statistic and can persuade clients to consider his point. The fact that he ended his presentation on that note means that his clients leave with a clear impression of the merits of social media marketing.
4. Add a call-to-action
A call-to-action gets your audience involved and motivated, and helps you end your presentation on a strong note. However, you always need to remember to make it short, succinct and thought provoking. Even simple phrases like ‘let's do this together' can bring people in and put responsibility on the shoulders of your audience, forcing them to consider their actions and instilling a sense of determination in them.
5. Return to the beginning
This is one of the most common and yet most effective ways to end a presentation. It might even become necessary if you have a lot of material and the presentation lasts for a long time. In such cases, you might want to remind your audience about your original idea at the end of your speech.
To do that, you need to include a hook at the introduction, and create a plausible way to connect it to the end of your presentation. This can be done by posing a question at the start and consolidating the answer at the end. You can also connect your ending to the presentation title. It's a tried and tested method and if used correctly, it works extremely well.
Do you have any other tips on how to end a presentation effectively and leave a lasting impression on your audience? Tell us your ideas in the comments below!
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