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How to Say Goodbye

Updated: Nov 11, 2018

What makes a speaker memorable? Speakers who put as much, or more, effort into the way they will close their speech as they do into the content of it are the ones we remember. How about you? How much time do you invest in how you’re leaving your audience? Even good speakers, who start with a compelling opening, make their points clearly and concisely, brilliantly use storytelling, and deliver in a powerful way, often leave the audience with a lackluster, “Thank you, I appreciate your time and attention.” Or, worse yet, they conduct their Q&A at the end and the last words the audience hears are, “Any more questions? No? Okay, I guess that’s it. Thanks.” No, say it isn’t so! 

There are several ways you can close your presentation that will make you stand out as a great speaker instead of just a good one. You want to be memorable, don’t you?

Try closing with:

A Story...

This is the most powerful way to connect to your audience and it’s an impressive way to end a speech.

A Quote...

Use a quote, one that isn’t overused and is appropriate for your speech

A Call to Action...

Ask the audience to do something they can do within a few hours of leaving, like go to your website and sign up for your newsletter, sign a petition, buy a book, or call a family member and say, “I love you,” etc.

A Tie Back to Your Compelling Opening...

This is a creative technique is to tell part of a story at the beginning, let them know you’ll let them know the outcome later, and let that be your ending.

A Question...

Craig Valentine, a World Champion of Public Speaking and author of World Class Speaking recently ended his speech this way:

“Before I go to sleep each night, I ask myself two questions. My first question is, ‘If I asked my wife to marry me again today, would she say yes?’ And, secondly I ask, ‘If my life story was made into a movie would I be proud of my character?’ Now, what questions can you ask yourself?”

What a brilliant ending to an inspiring speech! The proof that solid endings are effective is that I just repeated that by memory—his words stuck with me and moved me to action. I immediately came up with the questions I will ask myself each night.

How you leave your audience will impact whether they are return customers or not, so invest the time and effort in your endings. How will you say goodbye?


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