Close a Presentation Effectively

You may think your presentations are incredibly well put together; you invest a lot of time into practicing your delivery and you are careful to use body language that sends a positive message to your audience. You know your stuff. You speak confidently. You hook your listeners with an opening that they can’t resist.

Collectively, these are terrific presentations skills and they are critical to your overall presentation. Do they also culminate with an equally formidable conclusion that leaves your listeners ready to spring into action?

Here’s what you need to know about delivering a memorable business presentation: How you end your presentation is what the audience will remember the most. The next most memorable piece? Your opening. That’s not to say everything in between doesn’t matter—after all, it’s the meat of your presentation—but your opening and your closing need to be spot-on. If the final three minutes of your presentation does not leave a lasting impression on your listeners, it’s doubtful they’ll be inclined to do anything with the information you’ve given them after the presentation wraps up.

End a Business Presentation Like a Pro

Just like programming a GPS, it’s easier and more effective to plan your route when you know where you want to end up. Use the same principle when you sit down to work on your presentation: Create the ending first so you can map out the shortest, simplest, and most effective route to get there. The Number 1 mistake people make in their business presentations is failing to get to the end fast enough. There isn’t a prize for the presenter who talks the longest. Say what you need to say and then stop.  Believe me, your audience will appreciate your ability to deliver a timely message.

Here are other mistakes you might not even realize you’re making at the end of your business presentations:

You don’t tie up loose ends. We tell our workshop participants that one of the best ways to start a presentation is with a story.  If you open with a story, you need to make sure it has a conclusion, which is usually placed in your closing. Think of it this way: When you watch a movie or read a book, you expect a sense of closure at the end, even if it’s a bad outcome. Don’t leave your audience hanging; if you open with a story, let them know how the story ends.

You don’t emphasize your main point with repetition. Repetition is the key to learning; it’s the reason you practice your presentation over and over before delivering it.  Repeat your main point in your closing so that your audience will think about it one more time.  Remember, the last few minutes of your presentation are what people will remember the most.

There’s no call to action. If you don’t tell your audience what to do with the information you’ve given them, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll do nothing, and your presentation goes to waste.  Challenge your listeners to do something after your presentation, even if it’s just to look at the world in a different way.  Business presentations don’t have to be dry and boring. Figure out a way to motivate your listeners to do something when it’s over.

The Message Lasts Beyond Your Final Words

Are you guilty of making any of these mistakes? Knowing how to close a presentation effectively is one of the most important skills to have in your public speaking arsenal if you want audiences to remember you after the mic is turned off.

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  1. Sage advice. I will remember to start with the end in mind. Nice blog post.

  2. Fawn Locklear says:

    Ꮃorking as a contгact paralegal has factors in its favor, and factors which migһt Ƅe adverse to some
    peoρle. Most of us arn’t very good at presenting.

  3. Charmaine says:

    One of the things my favorite speeches or presentations have is a link from the opening to the closing. Whether its tying statistics together, finishing the appealing short story, answering the question, or using a compare and contrast method, when a speaker closes by showing me where we started by showing me how the finish really ties back to the beginning, I feel the message is complete. This process doesn’t always happen and I’m left thinking, “That’s it?!?”

  4. lasertest says:

    Good post! We are linking to this great content on our website.
    Keep up the good writing.

  5. Helpful information. I try to remember that the first thing someone will remember about me is the last thing I said. Thank you.

  6. I completely agree with the idea that business presentations don’t have to be dry and boring. There is always room for creativity and that is what can set you apart from others.

  7. Nice post. I had always issues with body language but I am working in it. Also sometimes the presentation goes well, but the closeing isnt as good. Good tips.

  8. Great Post, I also had trouble with the endings.
    I’ll definitely give a task to my fellow crowd next time.

  9. Ahh, so thank you here’s my business card isn’t sufficient. I need to get better at this for sure!

  10. Anita Ayela says:

    Well written and useful post. Yes, the beginning and the closing is so important, and so is body language.

  11. Mike Rickard says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I’ve read a lot about public speaking and your site is easy to navigate and your blogs are easy to understand (that’s a big accomplishment there). I never knew the end part of the presentation The recommendations are excellent because giving a speech is a form of story-telling. You really hit the nail on its head with these tips.

  12. Thank you for these tips. I recently got promoted at work and will have to start giving press conferences as well as hosting rooms filled with potential clients. My wife noticed I hadn’t been eating much, I have been a nervous wreck. She actually e-mailed me this page. These small tips have likely saved me from embarrassing myself or losing my audience. Thank you!!

  13. Maria Arnold says:

    Wow! this is really a professional advice, the end of a presentation is also as important as the end as well.Thanks alot for sharing

  14. radaintholistics says:

    Good article. Very informative and reliable, thanks for sharing this and keep up the good work. Very much appreciated

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