The best way to close a presentation


Yesterday I talked about the best ways to open a presentation. Today, I want to talk about the best way to close a presentation.

Many presentations close with a summary of the key points made during the talk. You tell the audience what you want them to remember, perhaps numbering them in some fashion, and that’s fine.

Another way to close is to tell another story that illustrates those key points.

Stories can dramatize your message and create an emotional response in the listener. People tend to remember the stories you tell long after they have forgotten the facts.

You might combine these two techniques–summarize a few key points, then tell a story that reinforces them.

Another good way to close is to say something that echoes something you said at the beginning. Finish the story you began early on, or provide another startling statistic.

One of the best ways to end a presentation, and something I do in almost every presentation I give, is to tell the audience what to do.

Tell them to fill out the paperwork. Tell them to visit a web page. Tell them to like your page. Tell them to buy.

What do you want them to do after they leave the presentation? What do you want them to do while they’re still in the room?

They’re listening to you because they want to learn something. What do you want them to do with that information?

You’re delivering this talk to gain a new client, subscriber, supporter, or follower. What should they do to take the next step?

The same idea applies to written pieces, mostly. Close with a call to action. Tell them what to do. Tell them why.

When you tell people what to do, more people will do it.

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If you’re reading this in an email, please forward it to three attorneys you know. If you’re reading this on the blog, please like, tweet, or share.

And this:

Your friends will thank you for thinking of them and how they might benefit from this information. I will appreciate you, too.

So thanks for sharing. You’re a good egg. And thanks for listening. You’ve been a great audience.