Have you ever watched an amazing movie, only to be disappointed by the ending?
Sucks, doesn’t it?
What about a movie that was boring the whole way through but had an ending so good it blew you away?
Suddenly that movie becomes actually pretty good.
I want you to remember these two examples the next time you’re tasked to speak publicly. You can have an amazing speech, but if you blow the ending that’s all people will remember. Unfortunate, but a way of life.
Advantageously, however, you can have a boring speech but nail the ending, suddenly you’re being asked to keynote the next function.
How To Nail The Ending Of A Speech
There are a million ways to end a speech. This isn’t the only way, but merely the system I’ve designed to help me when designing the ending of a speech I have to give.
1.) Get Out From Behind The Podium
As your speech comes to a close, walk around and out from the podium/table/desk and walk closer to your audience. By eliminating this separating barrier you subconsciously eliminate the emotional wall blocking you from your audience. Your audience will not notice you getting closer if you make it seem natural and part of the speech, but they will begin to perk up and listen to you more attentively. They will stop slouching in their chair and perk their head up from writing notes. By walking out from behind the podium you create an intimacy with your audience that you can use to set up the ending.
Pro tip: Start your ending with “Finally,..” For some reason the word “finally” always get’s people’s attention because they know you are about to wrap up.
2.) Nail The Ending With A Quote
A quote by its very nature is meant to deliver a strong message in a compact phrase. By ending a speech with a quote you provide a final knockout delivery of your core message in a concise package. This helps your audience absorb your speech and end with a strong finish.
3.) Say “Thank You”. Smile
Once the quote has been delivered. Say “Thank You.” You’re done.
Don’t ramble, don’t trail off on a tangent. Don’t tell me you’re available after the meeting. You’re done.
I can’t tell you how many speeches I’ve witnessed that blew me away. I had pages and pages of notes. The speaker deserved a standing ovation from how much preparation they obviously put into the presentation. The crowd is ready to reward them, only for them to end the speech, and they IMMEDIATELY ask the audience
Half the audience raises their hand, the other half give a limp applause. The speaker confuses the audience by asking for questions at the end of the speech. We don’t know if we should clap, ask a question, or wait for everyone else to finish asking questions. It deflates the energy in the room. Let us thank you with applause. There will be plenty of time for questions when we’re done showing our appreciation.
I hope this three step system helps you nail the ending of your next speech. Knock them dead.
Be sincere; be brief; be seated. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt, on speechmaking
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