Concluding a presentation – The End is a new beginning

There will always be that last slide. You’ve given your presentation, taken a deep breath. It’s over. Or is it? In many cases it isn’t really. That’s why we’re dedicating this blog to a discussion of ‘the very last slide’.

Thank you for your time …

This last slide is one we’re all familiar with, and it holds a few disadvantages. “Thank you for your time” will drop a curtain of concluding boredom on your otherwise wonderful and compelling presentation. Why? Because this overused phrase closes hearts and minds to all that is yet to come, making your audience think of which pastry to pick at the next coffee break instead. Is that what you really want? We don’t think so. At the conclusion of your presentation, as a rule, your goal is to discuss the next steps with your audience or perhaps even prepare your offer to the extent that it’s ready for signature. You would like anything but having to bring everybody back on track after the final slide made them lose interest.

Letzte Folie

Paint a bright future

No matter what your goal was, your last slide picks up on it, juggles it and points to the future. Your last slide rounds off your presentation, makes it valuable and demonstrates to your listeners once more what a wonderful time they’ve just spent with you, learning about the wonderful prospects that are going to open up. Your actual purpose is to point the way to further cooperation or actions, to forge new paths. For example:

  • Your objective was to impart knowledge. Summarize the key message and open up a Q & A session.
  • Take the image, message, statement or title of your very first slide or your presentation opening and conclude it now with your last slide.
  • If you grabbed your listeners using a metaphor out of the corporate environment, then take that metaphor to its conclusion at this point. Play on the images, statements or slogans of the business you’re addressing. Dare to be different to your competition. Here’s an example:

You’re giving a presentation to a client whose company uses the marketing slogan “It’s time to change”. You can transfer this slogan beautifully to your meeting with this company. Begin and end your presentation with this slogan, and coin it to what you are presenting. With a wink you can then ask: “When if not now is it time to change and use us as your provider?”

That’s it for now, thank you for your time!

 

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