Research in psychology teaches us that we tend to remember best what we hear first and last rather than what comes in the middle – aka primacy and recency effects. You would expect then that speakers would dedicate more time to how they conclude their talks and meetings. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t happen. The most common concluding lines I hear go something like…”Uh, I guess we’re out of time and someone needs our conference room.” This type of ending is a missed opportunity! Take time to plan out and practice how your presentation and meeting will end. You must be concise and clear because you don’t have a lot of time. Once you signal you are wrapping up (e.g., “In conclusion”), your audience disengages and begins to focus on what comes next.
A great way to end is to first express gratitude: “Thank you for your time” or “I appreciate your attention to this”. And next, simply speak out your communication goal, which should be a concise statement of what you want your audience to know, feel and do as a result of your content. If you crafted your presentation or meeting focused on the information (know), emotion (feel) and action (do) you wanted to convey, then this type of conclusion should be a logical, succinct way to wrap up.
June 18, 2019