Presentations always have a purpose. During the design process, presentations require the perfect balance of art and science. At the time of delivery though, presentations should be all business. Successful presenters deliver presentations to drive results.
The last few minutes of a presentation are some of the most valuable moments for a presenter. To drive the results you need, use the end of your presentation to deliver a powerful conclusion. Here’s how:
1. Be original.
Try something different. Don’t end with a Q&A session. Q&A sessions can drain the enthusiasm from an audience. For example, during a typical Q&A session, attendees who don’t have a question will check their phone, or start daydreaming about the rest of their day. Distracted attendees will influence other audience members; boredom is a contagious energy that can quickly spread through a crowd. Instead of ending with a Q&A, solicit questions immediately before your conclusion.
To ensure that your Q&A is brief, cover frequently asked questions in your presentation material. Also, to make sure your Q&A does not kill the dynamic energy in the room, allude to the exciting conclusion that will immediately follow the brief Q&A. Lastly, announce a time limit for the Q&A session to keep antsy audience members in their seats.
For example, introduce the Q&A session by saying something like, Before I wrap-up by telling you how to utilize these insights in your career, I would like to open the floor to questions for two-minutes. Does anyone have any questions?
If your audience has a lot of questions, announce a follow-up option for attendees who want to dialogue with you more extensively. You can provide your social media contact information if you want to keep your follow-up discussions in the public forum, or you can provide your email address if you prefer to answer questions via private messages. Also, you can linger after your presentation to answer questions in person. Regardless, don’t end on a downer. Conclude your presentation with something more exciting than a Q&A session.
2. Be passionate.
After a quick Q&A session, raise the energy level in the room.
Wake up sleepy audience members with a final display of passion for your presentation topic. For example, tell an enthralling story, show an inspirational video with an upbeat soundtrack, or share an exciting, unexpected statistic or fact.
It does not matter how you exude passion, all that matters is that you show abundant enthusiasm. You need to leave your audience with something to remember. If the excitement of your presentation topic is the only memorable element of your presentation, your audience might still revisit the topic on their own time, or contact you directly for more information. If, however, your presentation does not stir some excitement within your audience, attendees will likely never think about your presentation again.
Your genuine enthusiasm is the most important element of a compelling conclusion, so let your passion guide you as you craft a segue from the Q&A to your presentation finale.
3. Be personal.
After you follow your Q&A with an energizing expression of enthusiasm, direct your focus back to the audience. The last moments of your finale should be designed to inspire your audience to share your passion for your presentation topic.
In your conclusion, answer, or at least reiterate your answer to the question your audience will inevitably ask: What’s in it for me?
Summarize the ways that your presentation resolves problems for your audience. Explain how your presentation will make their life easier and better. To really inspire your audience, make the finale of your presentation all about them.
4. Be clear.
Use the last sentences of your presentation to deliver a clear call-to-action. Tell your audience what they should do after your presentation. For example, do you want your audience to buy a product? Finance your idea? Implement a process? Let the purpose of your presentation guide the creation of your call-to-action.
Use strong verbs to explain the next steps for your audience members. In addition, offer an incentive, and create a sense of urgency.
For more tips on delivering a compelling call-to-action, check out:
Conclusion: Don’t end your presentation with a Q&A session. Conclude your presentation by sharing your passion, as well as tailoring your message to reach your audience on a personal level. Lastly, give your audience clear instructions on what to do next. Your presentation has a purpose; let the purpose shine through in the conclusion of your presentation.
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