putting the FAN in evangelism – spreading your messages by daring to share what you are a FAN of
When presenting – make sure you finish strongly!
In previous posts (links at the end) I shared how many presenters struggle with “short” presentations or when their presentations need to be cut short (usually by an event running long because other speakers are running over-time).
Presenters often run out of time and stop abruptly – rather than having a strong finish.
Even if you are presenting and your get told you have to wrap up – don’t just keep talking through your planned presentation until you run out of time.
Have a strong finish planned – and smoothly move to that strong finish.
Also, signal that you are about to end.
Your audience will suffer from attention decay. Attention usually starts high and decays as a presentation progresses. It’s human nature. It’s natural – no matter how riveting a speaker may be.
By saying words like “to wrap up” or “in closing” – this draws back listener attention for your strong finish
How can you finish strongly?
Here are 3 ways.
1. the summary of 3 key points works well
It gives your presentation a “firmer, more solid end” and it will “feel” wrapped up to your audience – rather than ending as if you just ran out of time.
Also, you can use the finish of a presentation to reinforce your main message you want your audience to remember.The summary will leave your audience with the main points you want them to remember,
2. “Close the circle”. This is where you start with a main point and at the end of your presentation you come back to that main point. Once again this feels satisfying to an audience AND by repetition this makes your main point memorable.
3. End with a strong visual/image
In my TV career, I was blessed to work with many very talented editors (in this case editors who put together the video stories/packages – not newspaper sub-editors or editors of magazines).
The video editors would always look through the vision that was available and save some of the best/strongest vision for the end of a story. They realised the importance of a memorable finish to a story – rather than just “crashing out”
The reporter would try to have a good line to wrap up the story too. If your story was running too long – you would cut from the middle or near then end – so your story ended with that strong last line and strong last images.
Similarly, in a presentation you can finish with a strong image (and closing words).
Recently, I was privileged to work with a talented young presenter who took this advice to finish strongly.
When she applied the tip and presented again, she finished her presentation with one word filling the whole screen. One word to summarise her whole presentation.
It was very dramatic – very impressive – and very memorable.
As she wrapped up her presentation she showed a slide with lots of words and said:
In wrapping up, there is one positive word in all of this (pause while we all look to see what that word is)…and that word is… (press to the final “big finish” slide.)
Preventable (Preventable fills the screen in her closing slide that stays as a background).
Let’s work together to prevent these problems.
Wow – now that was a strong finish!
She skipped some stuff in the middle – but made sure she finished with her short yet strong finish.
In fact, I was so impressed – I asked her if I could use her example to illustrate the strong finish technique to others.
So, in wrapping up this post – I urge you to prepare a strong finish. Even if your presentation is cut short, trim from the middle and use the power of your strong finish.
Many presentations fizzle out or end abruptly. Many presenters rush to cram in too much information – but remember, these problems are…
Here are links to previous posts in this 3-part series:
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