12 Ways

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Don't leave the ending of your presentation to chance.

Use one of these powerful ways to make a killer impression.




5. A sound bite

A sound bite is an attention magnet. It cuts to the core of your central message and is one of the most memorable takeaways for today's Twitter-sized attention spans.

Consider Steve Jobs' famous last line at his commencement address at Stanford University: "Stay hungry, stay foolish."

And here's an example from author Steven Johnson, in his presentation "Where Good Ideas Come From." In speaking about how innovation happens  , Johnson ends with, "Chance favors the connected mind."

Catching phrases example Be GREATbody Vadim KotelnikovMotivational slogan example Don't be a star, be a SUN! Vadim Kotelnikov Innompic Games Planet of Loving Creators

Think about how you can distill your message down to a crisp, memorable statement. After you've crafted the statement, ask yourself: Is it tweet-worthy? Above all, does it represent your authentic voice? Does it accurately condense what your core message is about? Listeners, especially business audiences, have a radar that quickly spots an effort to impress rather than to genuinely communicate an important message.


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6. The rule of three

The rule of three is one of the most memorable patterns. Think "location, location, location"; "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"; or three-word slogans, such as "Just Do It."

Here are a few examples of how speakers do it.

Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of TrendHunter.com, ends his speech on innovation with three key benefits: "By leveraging viral trends and methodical innovation, you can generate ideas, harness creativity and ultimately exploit chaos."

Dianna Cohen, co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, ends her talk on plastic pollution with a three-pronged declaration: In using alternatives to single-use plastics, Cohen says, "We can save our oceans, save our planets, save ourselves."

Alan Siegel, a brand identity consultant, also uses the rule of three to end his speech on simplifying legal language: "How are we going to change the world?" he asks. "Make clarity, transparency and simplicity a national priority."




7. An unusual quote

A relatively easy way to powerfully end your speech is by using a quote. For this to be effective, however, the quote needs to be one that has not been heard so often that it has become cliche. Ken Banks, founder of kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS, quotes Einstein to sum up his thinking on the real value of money: "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." If you use a worn-out quote, consider adding a twist to it, as Heather Fleming, CEO of Catapult Design, does in her talk on designing change. She mentions Gandhi's quote: "You have to be the change that you want to see in the world" and adds this twist: "But the part that was missing for me was getting the courage to be the change that you want to see in the world. I hope that we can all engage in that concept." This is a smart way to personalize a quotation and make it resonate with others.

Unusual quote example Problem is not a trouble, it is an opportunity to grow Vadim KotelnikovVadim Kotelnikov quotes Busines is a tool to make people happier

To access fresh quotes, consider searching current personalities rather than historical figures. For example, a quote on optimism can come from financier George Soros: “The worse a situation becomes, the less it takes to turn it around, and the bigger the upside.” A quote on marketing can come from a contemporary businessperson: "Your culture is your brand," says Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com. You can also research quotes for the specific industry your clients belong to so the quote has a personal impact.




8. A touch of humility

In a world where everyone flashes their achievements and opinions, those with an understated approach shine. Supermodel Cameron Russell ends her talk on TED saying, "If there is a takeaway to this talk, I hope it's that we all feel more comfortable acknowledging the power of image in our perceived successes and our perceived failures." Contrast this with a bolder, "As I have proven to you, image plays a powerful role in our perceived successes and our perceived failures." When you make a compelling case in your presentation, there is value sometimes in contrasting this with a touch of humility at the end.

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