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Public Speaking Course:

How to Close a Speech

One of the worst mistakes you can make during a speaking engagement is to talk to long. Not only will you send some people in your audience to never, never land,  some of them will get downright mad. It doesn't matter whether your entire speech was flawless and the audience came away with information that will change their lives. If you talk too long, they will say, "That speaker just didn't know when to stop." Don't let this happen to you! Say what you need 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 very important to your presentation because the last thing you say is usually what stays in their mind after they leave. 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 humorous. 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.

Making an impact and being remembered part of what you will learn in your public speaking course. To make your speech more memorable 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, I usually use funny closings for a couple of reasons. 
If you leave them laughing and applauding you leave a lasting, positive impression. 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 unending. I love laughter and feeling good; so finishing 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.

Finally, if the subject is not appropriate to end with laughter, you could end with a touching story or quotation that leaves the audience thoughtful and quiet. Even the most serious subjects can benefit from humor, 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 idea 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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