“A good beginning makes a good ending.” - English Proverb
You just finished writing a magnificent presentation that is sure to wow your audience. It has a strong opening that will capture their attention, supporting material that will persuade them to take action, and a theme that will keep them interested. How should you end the presentation? What you do not want to do is say "That's all I have." or ask for questions. The last thing you say just might be the most remembered; therefore, the closing is probably the most crucial factor of a presentation.
A solid presentation closing incorporates a proven formula where you tell the audience what you told them, challenge them to take a particular action and conclude with something memorable. Keep in mind that audiences will only retain a small percentage of the information you present, so make sure MAS (Memorable, Action, and Summarize) is in your closing. The following are suggestions for delivering a great closing.
Memorable - Leave the audience with something they will remember about your presentation. It can be a statistic, quote or story that creates a connection with the audience.
Last quarter we missed our revenue target by 5%. While that is definitely disappointing, we must look at our progress from a broader perspective; our total revenues for the year are up over 68% from last year.
Action - Challenge the audience to act on the message of your presentation. It can be a decision or an action to perform. The call to action can be as simple as remembering a key point from the presentation.
Without your approval of the budget, the new training program cannot be rolled out and the decline in our customer service will continue. Can we afford NOT to move forward?
Summarize - Recap the purpose and key points of your presentation. You are telling the audience what you told them so your main idea is fresh on their mind.
Today we discussed how it feels to be a satisfied customer. We now understand what it means to go above and beyond for a customer and what it means to WOW! a customer.
Example Presentation Close with MAS
Without the proper training for our employees, we cannot expect to improve our current position in the marketplace. It was Lee Iacocca that said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.” Today we discussed how to Prepare, Develop, and Deliver an effective presentation. I challenge you to go back to your job and start implementing these new techniques and start improving your communication in the workplace, so as a company we can improve our position in the marketplace. Thank you.
Finally, there is one thing you want to avoid in your presentation closing. Never end a presentation with a question and answer session. If the last question is a tough one, or if you don’t know the answer, it can affect the audience’s impression of your entire presentation. The Q&A portion of your presentation should be conducted prior to the presentation conclusion. This ensures that the impression you leave them with is your presentation, and not a bizarre question or comment from an audience member.
The closing statement of your presentation is your final impression with an audience. Give yourself an advantage and use the iSpeak MAS technique so your audience will remember your presentation, what you said, and what you want them to do as a result. That's all I have. Any questions? 😉
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