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3 Ways Not to End Your Presentation

by Gilda Bonanno

The last few minutes of your presentation are important - when you have the final opportunity to make your point and leave a lasting impression on the audience.

Here are 3 ways NOT to end your presentation:

1.    “Any questions…?”

First of all, don’t ask for questions if you don’t really want to answer any or there is no time for them.

Secondly, if you ask for questions and there aren’t any, you are ending with an uncomfortable silence.

Thirdly, even if there are questions, you want to have a final conclusion after answering questions, so you stay in control of the presentation and have the last word

2.    Endless Thank-yous

Like your opening, your conclusion is not the place to list out every last person to thank.  Either thank a few people briefly, before your conclusion or incorporate the longer list into the body of your presentation or include it in your handout


3.    Weak Non-verbals  (shrug your shoulders, voice trailing off….)

“Uh, so that’s my presentation…”


“Well, that’s pretty much it…”

If you mumble your final words or let your voice trail off, the audience will be unsure whether you’re done.  And you will have missed your chance to end strongly.


Your words and non-verbals should demonstrate confidence.  Your final sentence should have a definitive conclusion, whether it ends with a period, exclamation point or question mark.  Smile, stand tall, keep making eye contact, keep your voice strong and clearly enunciate all the words to the end of the sentence.  You want your audience to know that you’re done and to remember what you’ve said.

Here are examples of good (and simple) endings:

“That has been my journey to minimize fuel surcharges in the eastern region.”

“The bottom line is that I recommend we move on this opportunity before the end of the month to maintain our competitive advantage.”

“In conclusion, remember that public speaking is a skill that is essential to your career – and since it’s a skill, you can practice and improve it.” 

Gilda Bonanno is a speaker, trainer and coach who helps people from all walks of life improve their communication and presentation skills.

Copyright (c) 2011




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