Thursday, March 01, 2012


Oddly enough, many of the things that you would include in your introductions should be included in your conclusions.  Both introductions and conclusions should be brief, compared to the body of the speech, which is the main reason you are speaking. The things listed as being important in your introductions are important in your conclusions.

1.  Who am I?
2.  Who are they?
3.  Why should they care?
4.  What kind of "map" will the audience need?
5.  How can more senses be involved?
6.  What will aid their recall?

Who am I?  Who you are establishes what you can say.  If you are well known and trusted you have high credibility.  In the areas you are well known and trusted your audience will "allow" you to say a great deal, especially if they wanted to know about it.  If you have been successful at doing things your credibility will be high in those areas of your success.  Again, if your audience wants to know about those things they will be able to listen better as well as retain what you have said.  In large part, they attend because they wanted to know and you could dependably tell them what they wanted to know.

Who are they? If your audience has a need to know what you know and the background to understand what you're saying, you have an excellent opportunity to have a successful communication.  If they have known weaknesses then you need to consider those when delivering the body of the speech and touch on them in your conclusion.  If the material can be summarized quickly with yet another interpretation it would be useful in the conclusion.

Why should they care?  Because, as you will briefly summarize, what you have said will aid them in reaching their goal.  They will be more successful, happier, better informed, etc.

What kind of "map" will the audience need? They will need to be able to recall the main ideas that you have presented.  Those main ideas are the backbone of your presentation. Whenever possible summarize what you said and then include a brief restatement "in other words" to add to their clarity.

How can more senses be involved?  If possible use both vision and hearing in the summary of your presentation.  If there were any gestures that you used repeatedly and effectively, use them again in your conclusion.  Anything that their brain can use to aid them in recall should be employed.

What will aid their recall? A final remark that invokes their larger goals, that builds on "promises made" and reminds them of the examples in your delivery that cited successes.  If possible, save the best to last. 

Like the introductions that you create, I would recommend that you put your brain through the process of selecting words for the conclusion.  Write it out just as if you were saying it to the audience.  That will aid you in being certain that all necessary elements have been included.  Don't memorize what you have written, but it would be great if you could practice it a few times.  In the introduction you are gaining and holding their attention while telling them who you are and what will be happening in the next few minutes as well as why this is important to them.  This is critical to your success in delivering the body of the speech. 

In your conclusion you will repeat, in other words, what you said during the introduction while putting a "fine point" of the reason that they should care.