A while ago I wrote about how to open a presentation. This is important to grab everybody’s attention. But when people leave the room after your presentation, they’ll remember the last bit the best. Therefore, ending a presentation well is just as important as having the right opening. Here are three steps to end your presentation in a good way.
A. Signal when you’re close to the end
Ending the presentation by suddenly arriving at you’re last powerpoint sheet, isn’t the best performance. Tell your public when you only have to do one or two more slides or just a minute more. You can also use this moment to shake up the people that did not listen too well anymore. Leave a silence of a few seconds to draw attention and tell them you’re nearly there: ‘now I will finalize with the conclusions, which will take two more sheets’.
B. Summarize and conclude
As people will remember the end of you’re presentation best, it is a great opportunity to repeat and emphasize your main message. Make a short summary of what you said and give the conclusions. It can be helpful to think about the very last sentences in advance. Some nice, well spoken last words can ignite a good applause. For example: ‘…and that is why I believe this plan is the best, most effective and most attractive option! Thank you!’.
C. Aks for questions gracefully
For most presentations, you”ll have to answer questions afterwards. A mumbled ‘thanks, are there any questions’ doesn’t have much elegance. Try to ask for questions in a more graceful way. For example: ‘I hope I have been able to explain all aspects of our project. If there are any questions left, I’m very willing to answer them.’
So that’s how to end a presentation. Remember though, that the real final words mostly are your answers on the questions. Make sure to prepare for that too!