“I’m Talking and I Can’t Stop” or “The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ending”

images By Susan Tomai 

There are few experiences in life as excruciating as being forced to endure a speaker who doesn’t know how to stop talking.  We hear “in conclusion,” then two minutes later it’s “in closing,” and three minutes after that “finally,” then a minute later it’s “my final thought to you today is,” by which point you’re about ready to say “just finish the darn speech already!” before jumping out the nearest window.

Speakers should carefully craft and deliver their closing remarks, and then simply stop. Here’s how: at the end of your presentation, briefly reiterate your key points - I repeat, briefly - then tell your audience what to do with the information you just delivered. The final step is to leave them with something powerful and memorable - perhaps a quote, a strong visual, or a story – and then say “Thank you.” Wasn’t that easy? Your audiences will thank you for it, and they’ll remember your key points.