Your Speech Is All About How It Ends

How you conclude your speech will determine the impact you'll make
How you conclude your speech will determine the impact you’ll make
Image Credit: Alan Levine

So here’s a question for you: what is the most important part of your speech? Is the opening? The middle? Or the ending? We all know that we have to grab our audience’s attention right off the bat. We also know that we have to support our main points during the middle of the speech. However, what’s up with that conclusion? Just exactly what are we supposed to do with that?

The Power Of The Conclusion

Just exactly how important is the conclusion of your speech? If you don’t do a good job of wrapping your speech up the right way, you run the risk of losing your audience at the end of your speech. What could happen would be that because you chose to not provide an emphasis on your conclusion, your speech suffered for it. Yes, there is a good chance that your speech had a traditional opening, body and conclusion; however, your conclusions may have been little more than a summary of what you had already told your audience.

As speakers, we need to learn to emphasize the ending of our speech because it has the ability to close our presentation well. In fact, the opening and body of our speech should set up the final message that we share and emphasize in our conclusion. We also need to use our conclusion to express what we want our listeners to take away from our speech. It is critical to make the most of our final shared thoughts because audiences often remember best what they heard last.

The challenge of creating a powerful conclusion is that what we would like to be able to do is to provide our audience with a conceptually tight package that briefly restates our major points. We need to make sure that our audience understands and feels the importance of our message. The one thing that we don’t want to do is to leave our audience dangling when we conclude our speech. If they walk out of our speech not clear about what we were trying to tell them, then we will have missed an opportunity to connect with them and perhaps change their lives.

How To Make Your Conclusion Work For Your Speech

As speakers, what we all need to realize is that if we do it right, a strong conclusion can be the most powerful part of our speech. What we all need to do is to find a way to pack power into the conclusion in our next speech. The good news is that this is something that can be done, and done well. What we need to understand is that there are two simple ways to make your next conclusion carry weight with your audience.

The first thing that we will have to do is to find a way to plan our time wisely. Keep in mind that time is one of the most precious things that any speaker has and how we choose to use it can determine how our speech is going to turn out. Try this rule of thumb when it comes to creating a powerful conclusion for your next speech: use 15 percent of the content for your opening, 70 percent for the body of your speech and the remaining 15 percent for the conclusion. While each speech that you will be giving can vary from all of the other ones, you shouldn’t shortchange your speech’s conclusion — a single sentence for the conclusion is too short!

If we can all agree that your speech’s conclusion is a critical part of the speech, this, of course, leads to the question of just exactly how you should go about creating a conclusion for your next speech. One way to go about doing this is to try writing your conclusion first. By doing so you will be able to focus the rest of your presentation on the message that you want to deliver. There is an added benefit to making the effort to do this. You will also quickly discover when you are cramming too many ideas into one presentation.

What All Of This Means For You

Every time that we give a speech, we’d like to be able to make an impact on our audience. That’s why we spend so much time trying to create the perfect opening that will sweep them off of their feet, the perfect middle that will show them why our ideas are the right ideas, and a conclusion. However, all too often our conclusion can fall flat. It’s a simple summary of what we have already told our audience. We can’t let this happen – the conclusion is too important for that. Instead, we need to learn how to make a conclusion that will make our speech that much more powerful.

We need to understand that the conclusion of our speech may be the most important part of the speech. We need to understand that the last thing that we tell our audience will be the thing that is ringing in their ears after they leave our speech. We need to make sure that our conclusion is tight and that we use it to cover our main points one more time. There are two things that we can do to make a great conclusion. The first is to plan the time that we’ll be giving to our conclusion to make sure that it has enough time. When we go to create a conclusion, we should write it down so that we can focus the rest of our speech on what we want to say during our conclusion.

Our next speech’s conclusion just may be the most important part of the speech. If we understand this, then we need to take the time to make sure that it will resonate with our audience. When you sit down to craft your next speech, remember the inherent power of a good conclusion and wow your audiences from now on!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How long do you think a conclusion should be?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I think that we can all agree that giving a speech can be a very stressful thing to do. There are so many different things that are out of our control and any one of these things can go wrong and end up destroying our speech and preventing us from sharing the importance of public speaking. One of a speaker’s greatest fears is that half way through our speech we are just going to forget what we wanted to say. Our mind will go blank and we just be staring at our audience. It turns out that if we don’t want this to happen, there are several things that we can do in order to prevent it…