A good talk or public speech is like a good play, movie, or song. It opens by arresting the listener’s attention, develops point by point, and then ends strongly.

The truth is, if you don’t know how to end a speech, your key points may get lost. The words you say at the beginning, and especially at the end of your talk, will be remembered longer than almost any other part of your speech.

Some of the great speeches in history have ended with powerful, stirring words that live on in memory.

Here are 2 more tips and examples for concluding a speech:

3) End a speech with a summary

There is a simple formula for any talk:

    1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.

    2. Tell them.

    3. Then, tell them what you told them.

As you approach the end of your talk, say something like:

“Let me briefly restate these main points…”

You then list your key points, one by one, and repeat them to the audience, showing how each of them links to the other points.

Audiences appreciate a linear repetition of what they have just heard.

This makes it clear that you are coming to the end of your talk.

4) Close with a story

As you reach the end of your talk, you can say:

“Let me tell you a story that illustrates what I have been talking about…”

You then tell a brief story with a moral, and then tell the audience what the moral is.

Don’t leave it to them to figure out for themselves.

Often you can close with a story that illustrates your key points and then clearly links to the key message that you are making with your speech.

To learn more about storytelling in speaking, you can read my previous blog post “8 Public Speaking Tips to Wow Your Audience.”

Here’s a recap of four tips in a video:

 

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