4 tips on how to close your speech
Have you ever been listening to a really fantastic speech…and then all of a sudden the speaker stops short with a smile and a nice “thank you for coming today,” and you’re left feeling unsatisfied?
The closing is your final chance to make a lasting impression on your audience. A lot of people focus on the content of their speech and not so much the beginning and end, but those are the parts of your speech your audience is going to remember most. Here are some tips on how to write a great closing to your speech and leave them wanting more:
1. Don’t be abrupt – but be clear that your speech is coming to a close
You don’t want to be too straightforward or boring when you are wrapping up your speech. Don’t use phrases like “in conclusion,” “to sum things up,” or other cliches like that. This will prompt your audience to start getting up to leave and they will tune out fast. Instead, indicate that you are closing your speech by altering the tone in your voice and changing topics more gradually, instead of just cutting off the content.
2. Go back over what you have said in your speech
You don’t want to repeat your points word for word, but you should try to remind your audience what you talked about, especially if your speech was lengthy – they may have forgotten what you said in the beginning. Be nonchalant and casual in your approach – don’t sound like you are listing off each point you had written down in your notes. Reword your points slightly to let your audience consider your speech from different points of view.
3. Circle back around to a story, anecdote, joke, etc. that you made early on in your speech
If you are continuously incorporating elements from the same personal story into your speech, your audience may remember the whole speech better because they can relate to it better. It is also a good way to indicate your speech is coming to close – by returning to an earlier anecdote, you are creating that “full-circle” feeling for your audience. Or, if you want to end on a new story, make sure there is a lot of personality and emotion behind it. People are more affected by, and therefore better recall, experiences that are charged with emotion.
4. Give the audience a way to respond.
Create a call-to-action at the end of your speech. If your speech is about “how to be happy,” tell them to go out and try to laugh at least once a day, if that is one of the points you made in your speech. Or, if you have a great response to your speech, maybe tell them where they can find you at another event, or mention the social media platforms you are on.
Remember: a great way to win your audience over is to close your speech in a fluid, passionate way. A great closing can stick with an audience for ages to come!