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.

  

    

 

9. A running clock

Marketing and advertising executive Dietmar Dahmen ends his Create Your Own Change talk with a running clock to accompany his last statement. "Users rule," he says, "so stop waiting and start doing. And you have to do that now because time is running out." If you're delivering a time-sensitive message, where you want to urge your listeners to move quickly, you can have a background slide with a running clock to add pizzazz to your last statement. You can insert a countdown timer in PowerPoint.

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10. A powerful visual

In The Power of Video, Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist, says that a huge chunk of our brain power is devoted to processing visual images. "It's how we communicate, it's how we share information," Kaku says. "It's by images, pictures, videos that we understand the universe." Make use of this power by ending your presentation with a riveting visual that ties to your take-home message.

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Here's an example from architecture and design firm NBBJ's chief marketing officer, Tim Leberecht. In the final moments of his talk on ways to usefully lose control of your brand, he displays a photo of the Mona Lisa and says, "A smile is a door that is half open and half closed ... companies can give employees and customers more control or less. They can worry about how openness is good for them and what needs to stay closed, or they can simply smile and remain open to all possibilities." The image becomes a visual metaphor that makes the message stick.

 

      

 

11. A return to your opening

A standard piece of advice on closing is to return to your opening. For example, refer to whatever hook you used in starting your presentation. This can be a wrap-up of a story you started or an answer to a question you posed. It can also be a reaffirmation of your presentation title or the title of the conference at which you're speaking. You can't go wrong with a book-end closure.

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12. One more thing

Steve Jobs was known to end his presentations with "one more thing." Author Chris Higgins assembled clips of every Steve Jobs "one more thing" endings. You can use the same tactic to add richness to your presentation as you wrap up. It's the additional cherry on the sundae. Pick it with care.

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