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How to End a Presentation in a Way People Will Remember

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How to End a Presentation in a Way People Will Remember

Knowing how to end a presentation is probably even more important that knowing how to begin it. Often the ending is what your audience will remember most vividly about the presentation, and will set the mood for how they reflect on your message. Because of this, the end of your presentation should be memorable and powerful. Here are 7 tips for how to end a presentation so that your message will stick.

1. Use an inspirational quote.

This is especially effective if the quote is one that your audience has likely heard before. Using a well-known quote (as long as it really is connected to the core message of your presentation) can make your speech really stick with your audience. You should use caution when selecting your quote. Avoid misusing or misinterpreting the quote, as that could backfire on you. You should also make sure that it’s properly attributed. When delivering the quote, cite the original author.

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2. Review your main points.

If you can go back over the main points of your presentation succinctly and quickly, this is a good way to refresh your audience. After all, these points are the core of the presentation, so it’s important that your audience remembers them. If it’s possible, arrange these points into an acronym. This is easy for people to remember and is a clean way to tie everything together.

3. Tell a story.

End your presentation by telling a story. This brings a human element to your presentation, and can show that your topic can impact real people in real situations. This can be your own personal story, or someone else’s—either can work. Just make sure you’re bringing the audience in with a more relatable aspect to your presentation.

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4. Have a call to action.

When you’re trying to convince people to do something, it’s very effective to end your presentation with a call to action. A call to action inspires people and will encourage them to do what you’ve been talking about. Be forceful and firm in this part of your presentation. You don’t want to be too intimidating, but you want to make sure that you’re getting your point across in a way that will make your audience members want to take action and follow your lead. When using a call to action, it’s most effective when you’re as specific as possible. For example, if you’re asking people to write a letter to their member of congress about a particular issue, don’t just say, “Write a letter when you get home today.” Instead, display the address to which the letter should be sent, give them an overview of what they should say in the letter, and say multiple times that it should be done as soon as possible. This makes it easier for people to follow your suggestion.

5. Be emotional.

This doesn’t mean you should stand in front of your audience and cry or scream. But do let your voice carry the full range of emotions that you feel about the topic of your speech. If you’re asking people to volunteer time at a children’s hospital, consider letting your voice convey some of the emotions surrounding that topic. Express the sadness and bravery of the situation, not with your words, but with your tone. This lends a sense of sincerity to your presentation that words alone can’t give it.

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6. Thank everyone.

This should be a no-brainer, but people forget to do this all the time. When you’re done with a presentation, be genuine, and thank your audience for their time and attention. Don’t be too offhand about it; take a few moments to express your thanks. If appropriate, thank the organization that put the event together, thank the people that gave you the space, and other people who gave you the opportunity to speak. This leaves people with a positive impression of you.

Featured photo credit: www.audio-luci-store.it via flickr.com

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More by this author

Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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