How to Properly Close Your Speech
Closing your speech properly will leave your audience with a lasting
(positive) impression of your presentation. When organizing your conclusion
you will need to have a transition into the closing part and recap the
main points of your speech. Think about the most important statements
you made in your speech and summarize these for the audience. And finally,
you will need to come up with a closing sentence that will stay in the
audience’s mind once you are long gone. This sentence will be the one
they repeat when asked to sum up the speech for someone who missed it.
The closer emphasizes the main purpose of your speech.
Here are some tips to remember when closing your speech:
- Carefully consider your conclusion and make it memorable and, if the subject is appropriate, end on a humorous note. If your speech is for entertainment purposes, ending on a laugh is a must.
- Your closing should constitute about 5 – 10% of your speech time.
- Before you begin your close you may wish to pause for effect (another type of transition).
- Recap the main points and don’t introduce any new points. The ending is often the most important part of the speech as it is what the audience will most likely remember. Build up to a climax, making sure it relates to the most relevant point in your speech.
- Refer back to your opening and the main thesis statement. Outline briefly how you have come ‘full circle’ by addressing the thesis.
- Don’t drag out the conclusion because people will know you are
wrapping up so they will be anxious for you to finish.
- Don’t apologize for anything and finish with strengths not weaknesses.
- If you have time for questions, make that clear. Give only a
specific amount of time for questions and leave when that is over.
Once you have left the lectern, stop speaking.
- Make sure you speak for the full length of time provided and
don’t go over.
- Say your closing remarks once only. Make sure your body language and facial expressions are all indicating a close. Once you have finished, don’t hang around or look uncertain or you might run the risk of repeating yourself. Finish up and leave the stage.
By the time you have reached your conclusion, you should be feeling relaxed and pleased that your speech is coming to an end. The adrenalin may be pumping and this should gear you up to finish on a high note. Enjoy it and revel in the audience’s applause.