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Public Speaking Course:

How to Close a Speech

One of the worst mistakes a professional public speaker can make during a presentation is to talk longer than needed. Not only will you send some people in your audience off to bedtime,  some of them could actually get mad. It doesn't matter if your entire speech was great and you gave out life changing information. If you talk too long, they will be thinking, "That speaker just didn't know when to stop." Don't let this happen to you! Say what you came to say and then sit down. You will learn a lot about good closings in my public speaking course, but here are a few tips to get you started.

A good closing is an extremely crucial part of your presentation because the last thing you say is usually what they will remember after leaving. It  requires that you must put as much time into selecting and practicing your closing as you put into any other part of your presentation. Just like your opening, your closing does not have to be funny either. It could be motivational, challenging, thoughtful, respectful of the length of the presentation, or it could restate your point in a different way. This ending segment will have a strong influence on what the audience takes home with them when you are done.

Being remembered is part of what you will learn in your public speaking course. A good way to make your speech more memorable is to ask the audience to do something. Many a great speech went no further than the walls of the meeting room because the audience wasn't moved to action. If you haven't ask them to do something by now, the closing is your last chance.

If the subject allows for it, I believe that you should close with humor for a couple of reasons. 
If you leave them laughing and applauding as you go, you will leave a lasting, positive impression on them. Another good reason to leave them laughing is that the room will not be totally silent as you are walking back to your seat. I hate when that happens, the walk back to your seat seems like it is taking absolutely forever. I love laughter and feeling good; so closing a speech in a funny way gives me and the audience an opportunity to feel great. Speeches that are for entertainment purposes only should always leave the audience laughing. All of these are great tools you can practice during a public speaking course.

Lastly, if the subject is not appropriate to end with laughter, try ending with a touching story or quotation that leaves the audience thoughtful and quiet. Even the most serious subjects can benefit from humor though, so learn to practice these skills in your public speaking course.  The humor should be well sprinkled throughout the body of the presentation not just at the end, because closings are powerful and the audience might think your overall attitude toward the subject is flippant.

This same concept can be very effective in ending a mostly funny presentation. Have them laughing all along while you make your points. Then finish seriously. This contrast will create a great impact. It will convey the fact that you believe in a lighthearted approach to the subject, but the results are very serious to you.

Don't be afraid to use humor when you speak in public. Just make sure you remember what you learned in your public speaking course  and deliver it right.

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