Powerful ways to end any speech

The last thing your audience hears may be the only thing it remembers. Here are some suggestions for how to go out with bang instead of a whimper.

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A satisfying end, regardless of medium, is paramount.

Musicians write songs that build to rousing crescendos. Attorneys deliver emotionally moving closing arguments to impressionable jurors. Pastry chefs leave diners on a high note by ending their meals with beautifully plated desserts.

Throughout our culture, we recognize how important a big finish is. We want that blockbuster action film to end with a dazzling car chase, our favorite basketball team to win a nail-biter by sinking a decisive shot at the last second and the annual fireworks display to conclude with an awesome sequence of rapid-fire bursts.

Yet, when it comes to public speaking, many presenters finish, not on a high note, but a mumble. It’s as if they saw the end coming and took the first possible opportunity to flee the stage. Instead of offering one final thought that might linger in the minds of audience members long after they disperse, the presenter limped to the finish line with an abrupt phrase such as:

· “So, feel free to email or call me with any questions.”

· “That’s all I have today.”

· “Thank you for your time.”

· “Do you have any questions?”

· “Ummm…thanks.”

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