You’re feeling good. Your presentation has gone well so far. You spent plenty of time rehearsing the guts of it, so you felt pretty confident when you got up there. You’ve shared some anecdotes to bring your material to life – hell, you even got a laugh or two.
You click through to your final slide. You make your final point. Then you realise, that you haven’t thought through how you’re going to close this thing off. “Uh, well, so umm that’s it then.”, you mutter. “Anyone got any questions?”. Silence. You feel like a deer in headlights. Not quite sure what to do next. Your confidence slowly starts to drain away.
You’ve made a mistake that’s made all too often – you’ve not thought about your wrap up, never mind rehearsed it. We’re all so keen to get the hard bit over, we often forget the importance of the way we wrap up a presentation. After all, it’s the final impression you leave with your audience. Finish badly and you can derail what was actually a bloody good presentation.
Here are our top tactics to help you make sure you end with a bang:
- Use a logical structure when you prepare your presentation – start, middle and end.
- Make sure your ‘end’ includes a summary of your key messages.
- Rehearse all of the presentation, not just the opening.
- Remind the audience of your initial creative opening to top and tail the presentation i.e. “remember the story I told; you can really see the relevance now!”
- Stand centre stage and close to the audience to show conviction
- Make sure you finish with a call to action – what do you want from your audience, what’s their next step?
- Instead of the (rather boring and predictable) ‘Any Questions’ slide, end with a powerful image and a summary of your key messages on your final slide. Leave this slide up during the Q&A.
- Prepare a narrative segue to the Q&A, rather than just asking for questions, ie “There may be a few things you’re still wondering about; we’ve now got some time to discuss any outstanding questions.”
- After the Q&A, restate your summary and call to action.
If you’ve got a presentation coming up and want to make sure you nail it, contact us today.
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