How not to close a presentation… ever!

I can’t help but squirm in my seat when I hear experienced speakers and presenters deliver a lousy conclusion. Never should you summarize your speech or end it with a Question & Answer (Q&A) session.

Let me explain. Summarizing your presentation usually signals the audience that you’re wrapping things up — half of the audience gets packing, ready to hit the door as soon as you shut up. The other half actually stop doodling and listen. But they’re bored to death already, rendering your presentation ineffective.

Regarding Q&As — almost 100 percent of the time they fail to leave an impact when employed to conclude a presentation. You literally give control to the audience. A Q&A session lack the finesse of a well thoughout and purposeful conclusion, no matter how confident you are at handling questions.

Here’s what I encourage you to do — invite the audience to commit to a call to action instead of summarizing. Like writing down three things that they learned from the presentation/workshop that they wish to carry out at the workplace.

You can also tell them a story that ties into the main point of your presentation.

I know a few speakers who employ both! They tell a story and then invite the audience to think, act or do something to establish the major point.

This simple tweak to your presentations leaves the audience on a high, creates a lasting impression and can literally double your rehire rate!