In my last post, I warned against using six weak approaches to closing a presentation. Whether you’re introducing a new product at a trade show, addressing your team at your annual sales meeting, or making the case for your company to your dream client, you want to end with a bang, not a whimper.
How can you do that? Here are eleven tactics for closing your presentation on a high note.
1. Share a quote
A great quotation can make people laugh, think, or feel. Sometimes all three at the same time. One caveat: avoid common quotations that everyone has heard dozens of times. Do some research and find a gem that isn’t as well-known.
2. Show a photo
A good photo can convey emotions in ways words simply can’t. What kind of visual would help you make your message memorable? A shot of a happy customer? An historical photo? A “before and after” comparison?
3. Play a video
Video has the capacity to pack even more emotional punch than a photo. Perhaps a testimonial from a grateful client. Or your product in action. Or a news report. Or a transformation of some kind.
4. Cite a startling statistic
Why is your message so important? Cite a statistic that hammers home why your audience needs to take action.
5. Tell a story
Stories are one of the most powerful tools in a presenter’s toolbox. Stories can communicate both data and emotion. They are also entertaining and engaging. They can make your audience laugh, cry, or hope. Advanced Tip: Open your presentation with the beginning of a story and close it by finishing the story.
6. Give a gift
If it works for Oprah, it can work for you. Give your audience a free sample of your new product. Or a gift card to use in your business. Or a book. Or anything else that will enable them to leave with a sense of appreciation.
7. Ask a question
Sometimes the best thing you can do at the end of a presentation is make your audience think. “So what will you do the next time you…?” “How much is it worth to you to…?” “Are you prepared for…?”
8. Offer a choice
The old way or the new way. Do nothing or take action. The short-term approach or the long-term approach. What choice could you leave them with?
9. Issue a challenge
People often respond well to a challenge. So what do you want your audience to do? Challenge them to do it and watch them rise to the occasion.
10. Make a call to action
Sometimes it’s best not to beat about the bush. Tell your audience what you want them to do. Tell them exactly how, when, and where to do it. And make it simple.
11. Combine two or more of the above
Amp up the power of your close by using several tactics together. Show a photo and tell the story behind it. Cite a statistic and challenge your audience to do something about it. Give them a gift and make a call to action.
As a professional speaker and sales trainer, I’ve used each of these approaches to closing my presentations. The specific one I choose depends on the audience, the message, the type of presentation it is, and how I want the audience to think, feel, and act when I’m finished. That’s what you want to consider as well when you’re planning your presentations.
Like me, you work hard to create a presentation that moves people. Heck, you work hard just to get in the position of being able to deliver a presentation. Make the most of it! Which of these techniques will you use to close your next presentation?