Friday, May 04, 2012

Presentation and Public Speech Closings

One of the worst mistakes you can make as a presenter is talking too long. Not only will you send some folks to never, never land, you will make some of them downright mad. It doesn't matter if your entire talk was brilliant and the audience came away with information that will change their lives. If you talk too long, they will leave saying, "That speaker just wouldn't quit." Don't let this happen to you! Say what you have to say and sit down. Before you do, give them a well thought out closing.

The last thing you say may be the most remembered. You must put as much time into selecting and practicing your closing as you put into any other part of your presentation. Just like your opening, your closing does not have to be humorous. It could be motivational, challenging, thoughtful, respectful of the length of the presentation, or it could restate your point in a different way. This ending segment will have a strong influence on what the audience takes home with them when you are done. Please, at sometime during your talk ask the audience to do something. Many a great NO ZZZZZs talk went no further than the walls of the meeting room because the audience wasn't moved to action. If you haven't ask them to do something by now, the closing is your last chance.

If the subject is appropriate, I happen to be fond of humorous closings for several reasons. If you leave them laughing and applauding, you will exit, but an extremely positive impression about you will remain. Another good reason to leave them laughing is that the room will not be deadly silent as you are walking back to your seat. I hate when that happens. I do love laughter and feeling good; finishing a talk humorously gives me and the audience an opportunity to feel great. Talks that are for entertainment purposes only should generally leave the audience laughing.

The book that has all of the public speakers talking...