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7 Tips To End A Speech With A Bang

7 Tips To End A Speech With A Bang

Think of your favorite book, movie or TV show. Can you remember how it started? Maybe, maybe not. Can you remember how it ended? Of course!

Whenever you give a speech, at a high school or college graduation, at a business meeting or a civic association, you want your audience to remember the ENDING of your speech more than anything else.

Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream‘ speech, contains one of the most moving and inspirational endings in the history of rhetoric. The haunting refrain that runs throughout the entire speech moved millions who heard it back then, and it still resonates today.

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Here are seven super ways to end your speech that will leave your audiences wide awake and ready to follow your lead:

1. Do not leave the ending of your speech up to improvisation

Maybe you’re good at thinking on your feet, and don’t like the idea of being constrained by written words for your closing remarks. But in the famous words of Agent Gibbs on TV’s NCIS, “Suck it up, probie.” Unless you’re a professional stand up comedian, you need the words on paper to keep you focused, articulate, and professional-sounding. One of the first rules of Toastmasters International, an organization that trains its members in the art of speech making, is to BE PREPARED before you even start your speech. In other words: begin with the end in mind.

2. Always close with a CTA

Editor Andrew Dlugan advises, “Make your call to action clear and direct; make your request something the audience can act upon immediately; make it easy and convenient enough so anyone can do it; make sure the audience knows exactly how it will benefit them; and don’t issue the challenge to your audience, but to the individuals in the audience- you don’t want the crowd to do anything, but you want each individual in it to do something… look at them directly and state forcefully ‘I challenge you today to . . ..’”

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3. Summarize at the end

Anything from a meandering wasp to an uncomfortable seat can distract your audience so that they miss key elements of your speech. Repetition of your main points near the end of your talk is appreciated by audiences, and will recharge their memory and prepare them for your subsequent call to action.

4. Use a story at the end of your speech

In an article in The New Yorker about the science of storytelling, writer Adam Gopnik says, “Stories are the currency of life.” People don’t remember how many drowned on the Titanic; they only remember how they felt when they saw the story or heard the story for the first time. But make sure you use a story that will excite people- not a bedtime story that you would tell a child!

5. Include something interesting/educational

Few things are more deathly dull than giving a high school graduation speech- or listening to one! Such speeches are usually a tepid brew of platitudes and bromides that would make a cyclone lie down and snooze. So use some interesting factoids, such as the ones present in this Shutterfly infographic about graduation ceremonies around the world, to spice things up and build interest as you approach the end of your speech. Rummage through the internet for weird and intriguing items you can include in your speech to keep your audience wondering and chuckling right to the end.

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6. Make ‘em laugh

“Always leave ‘em with a laugh” is the old vaudeville saying, and it still works today. A bit of self-deprecating humor is always appreciated, and happily remembered, by your audience as you wind down. For example:

“I know I’m a great speaker, because as soon as I sit down people start telling me it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Or:

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“My speeches are like the horns on a steer- one point here and one point there, and in between just a lot of bull.”

Adding humor to your speech can bring it alive; as speechwriter Robert Orben noted, “One laugh is worth a thousand words.”

7. Less is more

If your speech is scheduled for the last ten minutes of a business meeting, talk to them for nine minutes, and then ask if there are any questions. If you’re doing an hour-long seminar, you can make the crowd love you, and, in fact, you might even get a standing ovation, if you only take 50 minutes. Statistics show that adult attention spans have been steadily decreasing during the past 15 years. Unless you have the charisma of Jerry Seinfeld, the sex appeal of Jennifer Lopez, and the money of Bill Gates, you are going to have to work hard at making the audience like you and pay attention to you for much longer than a few minutes at a time. As Shakespeare wrote: “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

Featured photo credit: allanfernancato via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

1. You’re depressed about your home life.

No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

3. You can’t stop snooping.

Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

4. You’re afraid of commitment.

If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

7. You chase past feelings.

It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

Final thoughts

If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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